In the last two days, additional heartbreaking details have been reported on the way you and I are torturing people. Judging by the blogs featured on memeorandum today, we're not really very interested in what our tax dollars are paying for.
We paid for the baton that was used to kill one detainee. "A soldier lifted him up from the floor by placing a baton under his chin, fracturing his hyoid bone." And we even footed the bill for the "written letter of reprimand and counseling" that was the punishment for this "negligent homicide."
Yesterday the ACLU released new documents which "reveal that Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez ordered interrogators to "go to the outer limits." One of the officers who was in charge of a team of investigators said "that the expectation coming from "Headquarters was to break the detainees. These documents were from a group of over 100,000 documents that the ACLU was able to get released by using the Freedom of Information Act. They're all available here.
A Swedish citizen was taken prisoner in Iraq. You and I bought the rope that was used to tie his genitals to the genitals of 12 other men. We hired the "laughing guard" to push one to the "ground, causing other detainees to suffer." We paid for the belt that the G.I. used to tie around this man's neck and dragged him about 70 feet.
Amnesty International today released their report for the United Nations Committee against Torture. Their conclusion included the observation that "The US government is not only failing to take steps to eradicate torture it is actually creating a climate in which torture and other ill-treatment can flourish...Most of the torture and ill-treatment stemmed directly from officially sanctioned procedures and policies -- including interrogations techniques approved by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. (We pay Rummy $180,000., but he really costs us a whole lot more. He's not flying at economy class prices when he has to sneak into Iraq.)
Kids are cheaper. We're able to intimidate Omar Khadr, 15 years old when captured in 2002, by beating him, threatening him with dogs, threatening to rape him, and pine solvent. These are bargain tortures. But then you have to ask if it's fiscally responsible to hold him for almost four years. Teen-agers do eat a lot.
We're spending a lot incarcerating these guys. But we save a lot by not prosecuting the torturers. As Amnesty noted in today's report "The heaviest sentence imposed on anyone to date for a torture-related death while in US custody is five months --the same sentence that you might receive in the US for stealing a bicycle. In this case, the five-month sentence was for assaulting a 22-year-old taxi-driver who was hooded and chained to a ceiling while being kicked and beaten until he died."
Your Tax Dollars At Work.