May 10, 2004
Wa Po on the Red Cross
The Post connects the dots on the Red Cross report:
Abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers was broad and “not individual acts” as President Bush has argued, according to a Red Cross report disclosed today.
Bush has said the abuses were the result of the “wrongdoing of a few.”
However, the report says “the use of ill-treatment against (Iraqi) persons deprived of their liberty went beyond exceptional cases and might be considered a practice tolerated by” coalition forces.
A senior Red Cross official added: “We were dealing here with a broad pattern, not individual acts. There was a pattern and a system.”
“ICRC (Red Cross) delegates directly witnessed and documented a variety of methods used to secure the cooperation of the persons deprived of their liberty with their interrogators,” according to the confidential report. The 24-page document was confirmed as authentic by the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) after it was published today by the Wall Street Journal.
The Red Cross report says its delegates saw how detainees at Abu Ghraib were kept “completely naked in totally empty concrete cells and in total darkness.” It said it found evidence supporting prisoners’ allegations of other forms of abuse during arrest, initial detention and interrogation.
Among the evidence were burns, bruises and other injuries consistent with the abuse that prisoners alleged, it said.
The report cites abuses – some “tantamount to torture” – including brutality, hooding, humiliation and threats of “imminent execution.”
The report said the abuses were primarily during the interrogation stage by military intelligence.
Another good reason to sign the petition.
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