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Inside the Iraq Prison Scandal
Evidence suggests command foul-ups and, maybe, collusion
By Mark Mazzetti, Julian E. Barnes and Edward T. Pound
Late last August, the Pentagon dispatched Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller and a team of some two dozen staffers to Iraq on a mission of the utmost urgency. Months had passed since the United States began its uneasy occupation of Iraq, but a lethal rear-guard insurgency was still claiming the lives of American soldiers almost every day. Saddam Hussein was still on the run, and U.S. commanders had precious little intelligence about who was behind the spate of deadly attacks like the destruction of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. Inside the Pentagon, war planners had come to the conclusion that human intelligence was the key to ending the insurgency. And Miller got the task of helping to extract that intelligence from the thousands of prisoners detained inside U.S. military facilities across Iraq.
A big legal mess, too
Courts-martial have begun. But what were the rules on interrogation at Abu Ghraib?
By Angie Cannon and Chitra Ragavan
Spc. Jeremy Sivits is described as a quiet, well-mannered young man who loves baseball and worked in a window-blind factory. But this week, he's expected to plead guilty to charges of abusing Iraqi prisoners, the first U.S. soldier to face a court-martial in the case. Sivits's situation may be resolved quickly, but it's unlikely the same can be said for the many knotty legal questions swirling around the scandal.
Sources of sadism
Was it conditions at Abu Ghraib or perverse human nature that led to these atrocities?
By Marianne Szegedy-Maszak
Those hoping to see a flicker of anger or remorse or conscience on the faces of the American soldiers photographed tormenting Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib are likely to be disappointed. Evidence of how these young recruits apparently became gleeful sadists can be found in neither their faces nor their biographies.
Why playing it by the rules can be trouble
The worst abuse by MPs at ABU GHRAIB prison clearly violated the Geneva Conventions Safeguards for prisoners of war. Bt even some of the authorized interrogation methods may be prohibited under international rules.
The pentagons rules of engagement for Interrogation
Guidelines issued by Lt. Ricardo Sanchez, top U. S. Commander in Iraq
Direct / Incentive / Incentive Removal Emotional love/hate / Fear up harsh / Fear up mild / Reduced fear / Pride and ego up / futility / We know all / Establish your identity / Repetition / File and Dossier / Rapid fire / Silence
Allowed with General’s OK
Change of scenery down / Dietary manipulation / Environmental Manipulation / Sleep adjustment / Isolation for longer than 30 days / Presence of military working dog / Sleep Management / Sensory depravation / Stress position
Techniques must be annotated in questioning strategy
Approaches must always be humane and lawful
Detainees will never be touched in a malicious or unwanted manner
Wounded or medically burdened detainees must be medically cleared prior to interrogation
The Geneva Conventions apply within Combined Joint Task Force-7
The Requirements of the Geneva Conventions
Selected provisions of the Geneva conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war, which cover both uniformed military and resistance fighters
Prohibit physical and mental torture, coercion, and reprisals. POWs must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.
Require that POWs receive humane treatment, including adequate housing, food, clothing, and medical care. Provisions also cover written communications, religious practices, discipline, and other aspects of detention. Facilities are to be under authority of a commissioned officer familiar with the Geneva Conventions and responsible for ensuring that provisions are known by camp personnel.
A fourth of the way down the page…
PART III METHODS AND MEANS OF WARFARE, COMBATANT AND PRISONER-OF-WAR STATUS, SECTION I.-METHODS AND MEANS OF WARFARE
…Article 44.-Combatants and prisoners of war
…Article 45.-Protection of persons who have taken part in hostilities
Originally posted by NOGODSINTHEUNIVERSE
what do you find in prisons,besides the guards ?
and how do you become a prisoner ?
by doing CRIME !
so why should one feel pitty for criminals ?
feel pitty for their victims !
Chain of Command
The Taguba report recommended that 7 officers overseeing soldiers in the Abu Gahraib prison be reprimanded and relieved of duty. But lawmakers want to identify which other military officers bear resopnsibility. It is not an easy task. Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller's visit to Iraq and his recomendation thatmilitary intelligence officers take tatical control of Abu Gahraib complicated and cofused the lines of authority.
Stanford prison experiment:A Simulation Study of the Psychology of Imprisonment Conducted at Stanford University
Welcome to the Stanford Prison Experiment web site, which features an extensive slide show and information about this classic psychology experiment, including parallels with the recent abuse of Iraqi prisoners. What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? These are some of the questions we posed in this dramatic simulation of prison life conducted in the summer of 1971 at Stanford University.
Parallels with Prisoner Abuse in Iraq:
NPR Interview with Dr. Zimbardo on Iraqi Prisoner Abuse (May 4, 2004)
Stanford Experiment Foretold Iraq Scandal (San Francisco Chronicle, May 8, 2004)
Power Turns Good Soldiers into "Bad Apples" (Zimbardo editorial, May 9, 2004)
Psychology Offers Clues in Prison Abuse (Boston Globe, May 7, 2004)
The Fine Line Between "Normal" and "Monster" (New York Times, May 6, 2004)
Why Did They Do It? (Time magazine, May 9, 2004)
The Face of War (ABC News, May 7, 2004)
A Human Kind of Horror (Newsday, May 7, 2004)
During the parole hearings we also witnessed an unexpected metamorphosis of our prison consultant as he adopted the role of head of the Parole Board. He literally became the most hated authoritarian official imaginable, so much so that when it was over he felt sick at who he had become -- his own tormentor who had previously rejected his annual parole requests for 16 years when he was a prisoner.
By the end of the study, the prisoners were disintegrated, both as a group and as individuals. There was no longer any group unity; just a bunch of isolated individuals hanging on, much like prisoners of war or hospitalized mental patients. The guards had won total control of the prison, and they commanded the blind obedience of each prisoner.
We did see one final act of rebellion. Prisoner #416 was newly admitted as one of our stand-by prisoners. Unlike the other prisoners, who had experienced a gradual escalation of harassment, this prisoner's horror was full-blown when he arrived. The "old timer" prisoners told him that quitting was impossible, that it was a real prison.
At this point it became clear that we had to end the study. We had created an overwhelmingly powerful situation -- a situation in which prisoners were withdrawing and behaving in pathological ways, and in which some of the guards were behaving sadistically. Even the "good" guards felt helpless to intervene, and none of the guards quit while the study was in progress. Indeed, it should be noted that no guard ever came late for his shift, called in sick, left early, or demanded extra pay for overtime work.