Saturday, April 07, 2007

Haibullah and Dilwar

Okay, so I think we can all agree that the following case constituted torture. But, the question is if we can agree that cases like this, and the way they are handled, are hurting the war effort, which I believe they are.

From Wikipedia:
"In 2005, a 2,000-page U.S. Army report was obtained by the New York Times concerning the homicides of two unarmed civilian Afghan prisoners by U.S. Armed Forces in 2002 at the Bagram Collection Point.

"The prisoners, Haibullah and Dilawar, were chained to the ceiling and beaten, which caused their deaths. Military coroners ruled that both the prisoners' deaths were homicide. Autopsies revealed severe trauma to both prisoners' legs, describing the trauma as comparable to being run over by a bus. Seven soldiers were charged with assault.

(Only two soldiers have done any jail time, one for 75 days, and the other for five months.)

"No one was charged with murder in either Habibullah or Dilawar's case because prosecutors were unable to determine which of the hundreds of blows was the fatal blow.

New York Times (1):
"The investigative file on Bagram, obtained by The Times, showed that the mistreatment of prisoners was routine: shackling them to the ceilings of their cells, depriving them of sleep, kicking and hitting them, sexually humiliating them and threatening them with guard dogs -- the very same behavior later repeated in Iraq.

On the day of his death, Dilawar had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days.

"A guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend. An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a doctor after they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, though, the guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling.

"Leave him up," one of the guards quoted Specialist Claus as saying. Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen.

New York Times (2):
"It would be many months before Army investigators learned a final horrific detail:

Most of the interrogators had believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time."

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