Thursday, December 23, 2004

The ACLU report & World Media

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) report can be seen online here:

In an article called "war crimes", the Washington Post writes
"THANKS TO a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union and other human rights groups, thousands of pages of government documents released this month have confirmed some of the painful truths about the abuse of foreign detainees by the U.S. military and the CIA -- truths the Bush administration implacably has refused to acknowledge (...) the documents show that the abuse of prisoners was already occurring at Guantanamo in 2002 and continued in Iraq even after the outcry over the Abu Ghraib photographs."

In the research I made, the only article actually taking the defense of the Bush administration is this one from This defense is only based on technicalities and doesn't comment on all the alleged prisoners abuse cases.
"The American Civil Liberties Union is claiming President Bush issued an executive order authorizing the "torture" of terrorist suspects detained at Guantanamo Bay. But evidence to back the allegation was missing a few key components - such as an actual copy of the so-called Bush directive, or any documentation that might indicate when it was issued. "

Most of the US and the world media gave very different comments

The New York Times reports that "One set of documents released Tuesday by the Defense Department to the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the lawsuit, shows that in one instance a U.S. soldier was mustered out rather than having been charged with murder after killing an Iraqi prisoner in Tikrit on Aug. 8, 2003."

Reuters wrote that "A Jan. 1, 2004, memo written by Army criminal investigators said 44-year-old Abdul Kareem appeared to be healthy when captured the previous month. But he was discovered dead in his cell only days after being imprisoned, the memo stated. A medic who examined his body saw multiple wounds, including a head laceration, internal bleeding, bruising on his abdomen and a clear fluid in his right ear. The body was sent to Baghdad for an autopsy to determine the cause of death, but the battalion and group command blocked the procedure without explanation."

The Taipei Times (Taiwan) reports that "Memos obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union reveal federal agents believed their reports on the torture of detainees were being covered up"

Al Jazeera (Qatar) writes "According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), court martials are proceeding against dozens of soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.Many of the cases have been handled discreetly since 2002, and some soldiers have already been released with mere administrative sanctions. Some 49 internal military documents posted on the ACLU website describe major abuse incidents, most of them relating to Iraq."

The South Australia Adviser goes even further: ": Internal army documents describe alleged mistreatment of Iraqi citizens by U.S. soldiers, including reports of prisoners who died under suspicious circumstances and soldiers stealing from Iraqis in searches of their homes.",5936,11764776%255E912,00.html

The China Daily (China) reports that "American commanders in Iraq prevented an autopsy on a detainee who died in U.S. custody with multiple wounds, an Army document made public on Tuesday showed, in a case that rights activists said suggested a prisoner abuse cover-up."

CNews (Canada): "Hundreds of pages of army records released by the American Civil Liberties Union describe alleged mistreatment of Iraqi citizens by U.S. soldiers that the ACLU charges were not taken seriously by superiors."

Big News Network (Australia): "The American Civil Liberties Union says documents suggest Army commanders may have interfered in investigations into the deaths of Iraqi detainees."

The Financial Times (UK): "Internal army investigations into the suspicious deaths of several Iraqi detainees were cut short when authorities lost records, failed to conduct autopsies and contaminated evidence, according to government documents made public this week amid mounting questions for the US military over prisoner abuse."



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