Saturday, June 17, 2006
SHAME In case you missed the Saturday edition of The New York Times:
One prisoner was fed only bread and water for 17 days. Other detainees were locked for as many as seven days in cells so small that they could neither stand nor lie down, while interrogators played loud music that disrupted their sleep.
The inquiry also determined that some detainees were stripped naked, drenched with water and then interrogated in air-conditioned rooms or in cold weather. General Formica said it appeared that members of the Navy Seals had used that technique in the case of one detainee who died after questioning in Mosul in 2004, but he reported that he had no specific allegations that the use of the technique was related to that death.
Despite the findings, General Formica recommended that none of the service members be disciplined, saying what they did was wrong but not deliberate abuse. He faulted "inadequate policy guidance" rather than "personal failure" for the mistreatment, and cited the dangerous environment in which Special Operations forces carried out their missions. He said that, from his observations, none of the detainees seemed to be the worse for wear because of the treatment. "Seventeen days with only bread and water is too long," the general concluded. But he added that the military command's surgeon general had advised him "it would take longer than 17 days to develop a protein or vitamin deficiency from a diet of bread and water."