First, the second paragraph of this story:
FBI agents documented more than two dozen incidents of possible mistreatment at the Guantanamo Bay military base, including one detainee whose head was wrapped in duct tape for chanting the Quran and another who pulled out his hair after hours in a sweltering room.That's called "losing control of the frame of the discussion."
Documents released Tuesday by the FBI offered new details about the harsh interrogations practice used by military officials and contractors when questioning so-called enemy combatants.
Then there's the "Do I look stupid to you?":
The reports describe a female guard who detainees said handled their genitals and wiped menstrual blood on their face. Another interrogator reportedly bragged to an FBI agent about dressing as a Catholic priest and "baptizing" a prisoner.Yeah, that's the issue: was this treatment "authorized," or "unauthorized"? Because if it's the latter, well, then, we just have no military discipline at Gitmo. There now, feel better?
Some military officials and contractors told FBI agents that the interrogation techniques had been approved by the Defense Department, including directly by former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
The documents were released in response to a public records request by the American Civil Liberties Union, which is suing Rumsfeld and others on behalf of former military detainees who say they were abused. Many of the incidents in the FBI documents have already been reported and are summarized in the ACLU's lawsuit.
Defense Department spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Joe Carpenter said the issues raised in the report are not new. A dozen reviews of detention operations have found no policies that condone abuse, he said.
Here are some of the details:
The agency asked 493 employees whether they witnessed aggressive treatment that was not consistent with the FBI's policies. The bureau received 26 positive responses, including some from agents who were troubled by what they saw.And here is the excuse:
"I did observe treatment that was not only aggressive but personally very upsetting," one agent wrote, describing seeing a man left in a 100-degree room with no ventilation overnight. "The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently literally been pulling his own hair out throughout the night."
Another agent said he heard several "thunderclaps" then saw a detainee lying on the floor with a bloody nose. Interrogators told the agent the man was upset and had thrown himself to the floor.
In one report, an agent said he saw a detainee draped in an Israeli flag in a room with loud music and strobe lights. A note on the report said the Israeli flag "may be over the top but not abusive." The words "may be" were then crossed out and replaced with "is."
Carpenter, the Pentagon spokesman, said the Guantanamo detainees "include some of the world's most vicious terrorist operatives."And the "good news"?
"The Department of Defense policy is clear," Carpenter said. "We treat detainees humanely. The United States operates safe, humane and professional detention operations for enemy combatants who are providing valuable information in the war on terror."
The FBI reports do not say whether any laws were broken. They said nothing employees observed rose to the level of abuse seen at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.Well, that's a relief!
I don't think this is going to last much longer; which is the only good thing I can say about it. Whether it will be so severely condemned and even punished, if necessary, so as to make anyone think twice about doing it in the future, well...I'm not holding my breath on that.
But at least AP is now calling them "so-called enemy combatants." The crying of "Wolf!" is beginning to wear thin.