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3 in 82nd Airborne Say Beating Iraqi Prisoners Was Routine

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A disturbing story was just published by The NY Times.

Anyone surprised by this? I think it is not unusual to breed this sort of behavior when one is exposed to war and atrocities on a daily basis. Is this typical? We'll never know because if it is the military PR machine would cover it up as best they could.

Particularly note this paragraph:
Senior Pentagon officials initially sought to characterize the scandal there as the work of a rogue group of military police soldiers on the prison's night shift, but since then the Army has opened more than 400 inquiries into detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan, and punished 230 enlisted soldiers and officers.
Some of you here insist that Abu Graib was an isolated incident, not at all representative of military policy. It appears that the continuing human rights violations are not isolated incidents, but a continuing trend of abuse that demans all that America stands for.
What's also scary to think about is how jaded our soldiers returning home from Iraq will have become while over there. What kind of re-intergration program (if any) do they go through so that they can transition back into a non-war environment. Here's page one of the piece with a link to the rest of the story.
3 in 82nd Airborne Say Beating Iraqi Prisoners Was Routine

By ERIC SCHMITT
Published: September 24, 2005 - The NewYork Times

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 - Three former members of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division say members of their battalion in Iraq routinely beat and abused prisoners in 2003 and 2004 to help gather intelligence on the insurgency and to amuse themselves.

The new allegations, the first involving members of the elite 82nd Airborne, are contained in a report by Human Rights Watch. They have also been reported by one of the soldiers, a decorated Army captain, to top aides of two senior Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee, John W. Warner of Virginia, the chairman, and John McCain of Arizona.

The captain approached the aides after he tried to report the allegations to his superiors for 17 months, the aides said. The aides also said they found the captain's accusations credible enough to warrant investigation.

An Army spokesman, Paul Boyce, said Friday that the captain's allegations first came to the Army's attention earlier this month, and that the Army had opened a criminal investigation into the matter, which focuses on the division's First Brigade, 504th Parachute Infantry. The investigation has just started; the Army knows the identity of the captain and has begun speaking with him, and is seeking the names of the two other soldiers.

In separate statements to the human rights organization, the Army captain and the two noncommissioned officers described systematic abuses of Iraqi prisoners, including beatings, exposure to extremes of hot and cold, stacking in human pyramids and sleep deprivation at Camp Mercury, a forward operating base near Falluja. Falluja was the site of the major uprising against the American-led occupation in April 2004. The report describes the soldiers' positions in the unit, but not their names.

The abuses reportedly took place between September 2003 and April 2004, before and during the investigations into similar misconduct at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. Senior Pentagon officials initially sought to characterize the scandal there as the work of a rogue group of military police soldiers on the prison's night shift, but since then the Army has opened more than 400 inquiries into detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan, and punished 230 enlisted soldiers and officers.

In the newest case, the human rights organization interviewed three soldiers: one sergeant who said he was a guard and acknowledged beating some prisoners at the direction of military intelligence personnel; another sergeant who was an infantry squad leader who said he had witnessed some detainees' being beaten; and the captain who said he had seen several interrogations and received regular reports from noncommissioned officers on the ill treatment of detainees.

In one incident, the Human Rights Watch report states, an off-duty cook allegedly broke a detainee's leg with a metal baseball bat. Detainees were also stacked, fully clothed, in human pyramids and forced to hold five-gallon water jugs with their arms outstretched or do jumping jacks until they passed out, the report says.

"We would give them blows to the head, chest, legs and stomach, and pull them down, kick dirt on them," one sergeant told Human Rights Watch researchers during one of four interviews in July and August. "This happened every day."

The sergeant continued: "Some days we would just get bored, so we would have everyone sit in a corner and then make them get in a pyramid. This was before Abu Ghraib but just like it. We did it for amusement."

At least one soldier said he had been acting under orders from military intelligence personnel to soften up detainees, whom the unit called persons under control, or P.U.C.'s, to make them more cooperative during formal interviews.

"They wanted intel," said one sergeant, an infantry fire-team leader who served as a guard when no military police soldiers were available. "As long as no P.U.C.'s came up dead, it happened." He added, "We kept it to broken arms and legs."

The soldiers told Human Rights Watch that while they were serving in Afghanistan, they learned the stress techniques from watching Central Intelligence Agency operatives interrogating prisoners.

The Army captain who made the allegations gave Human Rights Watch and Senate aides his long account only after his efforts to report the abuses to his superiors were rebuffed or ignored over 17 months, according to Senate aides and John Sifton, one of the Human Rights Watch researchers who conducted the interviews.

The captain told the researchers that one of his superiors told him, "Don't expect me to go to bat for you on this issue if you take it up." The captain, who is currently in Special Forces training at Fort Bragg, N.C., asked not to be identified in the report to avoid jeopardizing his career.

The two noncommissioned officers, both of whom served in Afghanistan and Iraq, gave statements to the human rights organization out of "regret" for what they had done themselves at the direction of military intelligence personnel or witnessed but did not report, Mr. Sifton said. They asked not to be identified, he said, out of fear they could be prosecuted for their actions. They did not contact Senate staff members, aides said.

One of the sergeants has left the Army, while the other is deployed overseas with a different unit, Mr. Sifton said, adding that both had declined to talk to reporters.
The rest of the story:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/24/p...6ef9747a50a&hp&ex=1127534400&partner=homepage
 

FinnMacCool

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How can you possibly be surpirsed by something like this?

We've been toruting people since like the beginning of time. This world, despite, what people say, is still ****ing barbaric as **** and its naive to think that we don't beat people down and torture people.
 

scottyz

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FinnMacCool said:
How can you possibly be surpirsed by something like this?
Ditto. We all know "moral" Bush doesn't condone torturing people.
 

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scottyz said:
Ditto. We all know "moral" Bush doesn't condone torturing people.
The harsh reality is that when you insert people into a war environment human rights violations are inevitable.

IMHO while Bush is not directly responsible for the specific behavior of individual soldiers, he is ultimately responsible because he put them into Iraq and created the situation that allowed the soldiers to be abusive.

I guarantee you that the spin is in and the victims in this will be the American people, not the soldiers as it is our worldwide reputation that is being completely destroyed.

I just can't believe that Bush is the poster boy for the USA. He's so intellectually inferior, so much of a Karl Rove puppet, and so many of you have been totally duped by Rove.

I think the status of the Iraq war, the price of gas, the pi$s poor emergency response that our government has shown first with Katrina and now with Rita reflects and reveals exactly how terrible a leader President Bush is.

All of us must pay for years for the crap that Bush is perpertrating today.
 
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