Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Is there really any question that the CIA is involved in prisoner abuse in Gitmo?

Stepping up a confrontation with the Senate over the handling of detainees, the White House is insisting that the Central Intelligence Agency be exempted from a proposed ban on abusive treatment of suspected Qaeda militants and other terrorists.

The Senate defied a presidential veto threat nearly three weeks ago and approved, 90 to 9, an amendment to a $440 billion military spending bill that would ban the use of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of any detainee held by the United States government. This could bar some techniques that the C.I.A. has used in some interrogations overseas.

But in a 45-minute meeting last Thursday, Vice President Dick Cheney and the C.I.A. director, Porter J. Goss, urged Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who wrote the amendment, to support an exemption for the agency, arguing that the president needed maximum flexibility in dealing with the global war on terrorism, said two government officials who were briefed on the meeting. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the discussions.
Er...the CIA is not involved in abusing prisoners, but we want it to be free to do so, should it choose to become necessary.

I think it has something to do with American evangelism.

Meanwhile, the hunger strike in Gitmo continues. Or hadn't you heard?

Prisoners in Guantanamo Bay on hunger strike have alleged US troops punished them by repeatedly inserting and removing dirty feeding tubes until the detainees vomited blood.

Declassified notes released by defense lawyers for three men being held at the prison camp on Cuba said the prisoners came to view the large feeding tubes -- described as the thickness of a finger -- as objects of torture.

"They were forcibly shoved up the detainees' noses and down into their stomachs," the lawyers reported to a federal judge in August. "No anesthesia or sedative was provided."

According to their affidavits force feedings resulted in prisoners "vomiting up substantial amounts of blood. When they vomited up blood, the soldiers mocked and cursed at them, and taunted them with statements like `look what your religion has brought you.'"

Yousef al Shehri, 21, of Saudi Arabia, said guards removed a nasal feeding tube from one prisoner and reinserted it into another without cleaning it first. Another said a Navy doctor put a tube in his nose, down his throat and "kept moving the tube up and down" until he finally "started violently throwing up blood."

A military spokesman for the Guantanamo detention center, said there was no truth to the allegations. The prison camp has around 500 inmates; 25 detainees are on hunger strike, including 22 being force-fed, according to the spokesman.
No word yet on whether the CIA denies involvement.

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