Papers Suggest Detainee Abuse Widespread



The Bush administration is facing a wave of new allegations that the abuse
of foreign detainees in U.S. military custody was more widespread, varied
and grave in the past three years than the Defense Department has long
maintained.

New documents released yesterday detail a series of probes by Army criminal
investigators into multiple cases of threatened executions of Iraqi
detainees by U.S. soldiers, as well as of thefts of currency and other
private property, physical assaults, and deadly shootings of detainees at
detention camps in Iraq.

ALSO SEE:

CONGRESSIONAL LETTER TO THE INSPECTOR GENERAL ON DETAINEE ABUSE

December 21, 2004
The Honorable Glenn Fine
Inspector General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

Dear Mr. Inspector General:

We write with an urgent request that you investigate circumstances
surrounding the torture of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. According to
FBI documents disclosed by the American Civil Liberties Union, FBI agents
witnessed military personnel torturing detainees and admirably attempted to
put a halt to these tactics. Just this past summer, however, the White
House stated it did not permit torture and disavowed an August 2002 Justice
Department memorandum that attempted to legalize such treatment. We ask
that you determine exactly what transpired regarding the treatment of
detainees during interrogations.

In the course of your investigation, we ask that you pay particular
attention to:

* the types of torture and inhumane treatment described by FBI personnel in
the various memoranda;

* what presidential or military directives, including Executive Orders,
describe permissible or impermissible interrogation tactics;

* what steps either the Justice Department or FBI took to inform the White
House or Defense Department of the torture or inhumane treatment taking
place at Guantanamo Bay, and how the White House or Defense Department
responded to such information;

* Justice Department and FBI policies regarding the use of inhumane
treatment and torture, how such policies may have changed since September
11, 2001, and any internal conflicts pertaining to what types of treatment
are legally permissible;

* how and when the Justice Department and FBI made government personnel in
Cuba (both military and FBI) aware of permissible interrogation techniques;

* any personnel decisions or other administrative actions taken regarding
government employees, who may have disclosed the use of inhumane treatment
or torture, after such disclosures were made (i.e., were FBI agents who
disclosed the use of torture later transferred to less desirable or less
prestigious positions); and

* the legality of military personnel posing as FBI agents (see December 5,
2003 FBI e-mail);

Because of the conflict within the Executive Branch regarding which agency
authorized this torture, only a thorough investigation by your office can
get to the bottom of it. Please reply through Perry Apelbaum or Ted Kalo
of the Judiciary Committee staff, 2142 Rayburn House Office Building,
Washington, DC 20515 (tel: 202-225-6504; fax: 202-225-4423).

SIGNATORIES:

Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (MI)
Rep. Marty Meehan (MA)
Rep. Bill Delahunt (MA)
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY)
Rep. Maxine Waters (CA)
Rep. Bobby Scott (VA

 


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