More Evidence of US War CrimesSubmitted by legalizeliberty on Mon, 01/24/2011 - 20:56
Military documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union after a lengthy lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act provide important new evidence of American war crimes. The documents include autopsy reports and investigative reports on the deaths of 190 prisoners held by the US military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The more than 2,600 pages of documents were turned over to the ACLU on January 14 and made public on the organization’s web site five days later.
An ACLU statement said that 25 to 30 cases were “unjustified homicides.” US military investigators themselves identified many of the deaths as homicides, although there were very few trials or convictions of the soldiers involved.
The ACLU issued a statement declaring: “So far, the documents released by the government raise more questions than they answer, but they do confirm one troubling fact: that no senior officials have been held to account for the widespread abuse of detainees. Without real accountability for these abuses, we risk inviting more abuse in the future.”
Some of the deaths are well known cases of atrocities committed by American soldiers, such as the killing of four prisoners who were shot and then thrown into a Baghdad canal in 2007. Others are previously unknown or not widely reported.
The autopsy reports make for gruesome reading. One document details the beating death in 2003 of Abid Mowhosh, a prisoner at Abu Ghraib, the infamous prison outside Baghdad that was the site of the largest number of deaths.
The autopsy report concludes: “This 56-year-old Iraqi detainee died of asphyxia and chest compression. Significant findings of the autopsy included rib fractures and numerous contusions (bruises), some of which were patterned due to impacts with a blunt object…”
Another autopsy report describes the killing of Farhad Mohamed following a military raid in 2004 in Mosul: “This approximately 27-year-old male civilian, presumed Iraqi national, died in US custody approximately 72 hours after being apprehended. By report, physical force was required during his initial apprehension during a raid. During his confinement, he was hooded, sleep deprived and subjected to hot and cold environmental conditions, including the use of cold water on his body and hood.”
The young man is described as a “well-developed, well-nourished male,” who was six feet tall and 190 pounds. He died after three days of torture. The techniques described—hooding, sleep deprivation, and some form of waterboarding—are prohibited under the Geneva Conventions.