[News] General Sanchez' authorized abuse at Abu Ghraib

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Mon Apr 4 08:59:24 EDT 2005


Iraq abuse: US general's role revealed
By Christian Henderson

Sunday 03 April 2005, 20:19 Makka Time, 17:19 GMT
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ACLU has accused Lieutenant-General Sanchez of perjury
[]

A leading US civil liberties group has obtained a document showing that the 
former US commander in Iraq sanctioned the abuse that took place in Abu 
Ghraib prison.

The document, which is published on the American Civil Liberties Union 
(ACLU) website <http://www.aclu.org/>www.aclu.org, reveals that 
Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez authorised interrogation techniques 
using dogs, stress positions, sleep and isolation.

The techniques are against the Geneva Conventions and are forbidden by US 
army regulations.

Sanchez authorised 29 interrogation techniques in the 2003 memo which was 
released by the Pentagon under the Freedom of Information Act.

"Presence of Military Working Dogs. Exploits Arab fear of dogs," is one 
technique listed.

"Yelling, Loud Music, and Light Control. Used to create fear, disorient 
detainee and prolong capture shock," is another.

Perjury alleged

In addition to Sanchez's memo, the Pentagon also released 1200 pages of 
documents which included reports of abuse and sworn statements by troops 
saying they were ordered to beat prisoners.

[]


US papers uncovered abuses at
Abu Ghraib jail near Baghdad

"General Sanchez authorised interrogation techniques that were in clear 
violation of the Geneva Conventions and the army's own standards," ACLU 
attorney Amrit Singh said.

"He and other high-ranking officials who bear responsibility for the 
widespread abuse of detainees must be held accountable."

ACLU is accusing General Sanchez of perjury after he denied that he had 
permitted such techniques during a Senate Armed Services Committee in May 2004.

"I never approved any of those measures to be used ... at any time in the 
last year," he said under oath.

"Lieutenant-General Sanchez's testimony, given under oath before the Senate 
Armed Services committee, is utterly inconsistent with the written record, 
and deserves serious investigation," Anthony D Romero, ACLU executive 
director, said in a letter to attorney-general Alberto Gonzales, asking him 
to open an investigation into possible perjury.

Scapegoats?

Romero added: "This clear breach of the public's trust is also further 
proof that the American people deserve the appointment of an independent 
special counsel by the attorney-general."

The document contradicts US army and Defence Department claims the Abu 
Ghraib abuse was carried out by individuals acting without orders.

[]


Charles Graner's lawyer says top
officers countenanced torture
Those accused of abusing prisoners say they were scapegoats for 
high-ranking officers and politicians who ordered that detainees be 
tortured so intelligence gathering in Iraq could be improved.

"The government is asking a corporal to take the hit for them," the lawyer 
of Charles Graner said after his client was given a 10-year prison sentence 
in January for being a ring-leader in the abuse scandal.

"The chain of command says, 'We didn't know anything about this stuff'. You 
know that is a lie," the lawyer said.

No surprise

Reacting to the development, Alaa Shalabi, a senior researcher with the 
Arab Organisation for Human Rights in Egypt, said the revelations were not 
a surprise.

"We have proof that these kinds of techniques were practised, especially in 
Abu Ghraib," he said. "Such actions raise suspicions about the whole chain 
of command all the way to [US President George] Bush. These practices have 
been justified by the Pentagon."

Shalabi said he thought abuses were common in all of the detention camps 
run by the US military.

The US Defence Department said they will respond to the issue in due course 
of time.

Aljazeera


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