Media in Trouble: All the news thats UNfit to print!: New F.B.I. Files Describe Abuse of Iraq Inmates

"The information of the people at large can alone make them safe, as they are the sole depositary of our political and religious freedom." --Thomas Jefferson 1810

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

New F.B.I. Files Describe Abuse of Iraq Inmates

Read this

Since the blogosphere hasnt been on top of this story yet I guess I will be. Got that JAY TEA?

The ACLU, has gotten its hands on documents from the FBI regarding more torture at gitmo. Neil Lewis, the same reporter that broke the story about the International Red Cross report about Guantanamo Bay, now brings us a story about how the FBI may have also reported such atrocities in the recent past, in fact as early a June 24, of this year.

These memos describing interrogating techniques that were definitely torture and sadistic went right to the top of the FBI chain of Command.

How interesting is it that just one year ago Anthony Romero, CEO of the ACLU said this of the man who is now implicated in at least hiding and at worse not investigating some of the biggest civil rights violations this country has ever sponsored.

Here is one of Romero's quotes addressed directly to Meuller:

"We are especially concerned about the harsh and discriminatory treatment of immigrants as documented in the recent report by the Justice Department’s own Inspector General. That report strongly criticized the implementation of the “hold until cleared” policies that were responsible for detaining hundreds of innocent immigrants with no connection to terrorism for long periods. We have read the IG’s report suggesting changes in the DOJ’s practices. We will be interested to see if these recommendations are in fact implemented."

And what exactly did the IG suggest?

Read them here.

Conditions of Confinement

BOP officials imposed a communications blackout for September 11 detainees immediately after the terrorist attacks that lasted several weeks. After the blackout period ended, the MDC's designation of the September 11 detainees as "Witness Security" inmates frustrated efforts by detainees' attorneys, families, and even law enforcement officials, to determine where the detainees were being held. We found that MDC staff frequently - and mistakenly - told people who inquired about a specific September 11 detainee that the detainee was not held at the facility when, in fact, the opposite was true. [Chapter 7]

The MDC's restrictive and inconsistent policies on telephone access for detainees prevented some detainees from obtaining legal counsel in a timely manner. Most of the September 11 detainees did not have legal representation prior to their detention at the MDC. Consequently, the policy developed by the MDC that permitted detainees one legal call per week - while complying with broad BOP national standards - severely limited the detainees' ability to obtain and consult with legal counsel. In addition, we found that in many instances MDC staff did not ask detainees if they wanted their one legal call each week. We also found that the list of pro bono attorneys provided to the detainees contained inaccurate and outdated information. [Chapter 7]

With regard to allegations of abuse at the MDC, the evidence indicates a pattern of physical and verbal abuse by some correctional officers at the MDC against some September 11 detainees, particularly during the first months after the attacks and during intake and movement of prisoners. Although the allegations of abuse have been declined for criminal prosecution, the OIG is continuing to investigate these matters administratively. [Chapter 7]

The OIG review found that certain conditions of confinement at the MDC were unduly harsh, such as subjecting the September 11 detainees to having two lights illuminated in their cells 24 hours a day for several months longer than necessary, even after electricians rewired the cellblock to allow the lights to be turned off individually. We also found that MDC staff failed to inform MDC detainees in a timely manner about the process for filing formal complaints about their treatment. [Chapter 7]

By contrast, the OIG review found that the detainees confined at Passaic had much different, and significantly less harsh, experiences than the MDC detainees. According to INS data, Passaic housed 400 September 11 detainees from the date of the terrorist attacks through May 30, 2002, the largest number of September 11 detainees held at any single U.S. detention facility. Passaic detainees housed in the general population were treated like "regular" INS detainees who also were held at the facility. Although we received some allegations of physical and verbal abuse, we did not find the evidence indicated a pattern of abuse at Passaic. However, the INS did not conduct sufficient and regular visits to Passaic to ensure the September 11 detainees' conditions of confinement were appropriate. [Chapter 8]

And this was in detention centers here on the mainland.

This report was published in June of 2003. Guantanamo was not described in this report.

Meuller was reminded by the memo's reported in the New York Times, in June 2004.

So what did Mueller say last year when he addressed the question of detainees at the ACLU conference last year?

"My hope is that we will never again face a situation we faced on September 11. But if we do, it is my expectation that those recommendations from the inspector general will be assimilated."