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The National Security Archive at George Washington University

CONSORTIUM NEWS - Edited by Robert Parry


February 14, 2003

US Secretly Using 'Torture by Proxy'

'"Stress and Duress' Tactics Used on Terrorism Suspects Held in Secret Overseas Facilities' (12/26/02 - Washington Post via Common Dreams)

The article, by Dana Priest and Barton Gellman of the Washington Post, graphically reveals how US interrogators at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, and at other overseas sites, have brutally treated al Qaeda and Taliban forces in a "brass-knuckled quest for information" to uncover future terrorist plots. "Take-down teams," consisting of US Army Special Forces troops, FBI and CIA agents and Northern Alliance troops, disorient and intimidate suspects by blindfolding and beating them, throwing them into walls, binding them for long periods in contorted positions and depriving them of sleep for days at a time.

The teams then "package" some prisoners by hooding them and duct-taping them to stretchers for transport. Approximately 100 have been extradited for interrogation in countries with notorious human rights records, including Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia -- all of which have been cited by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the U.S. State Department for their brutal treatment of prisoners -- including torture.

These detention centers (including the Bagram and Diego Garcia facilities) are off limits to independent agencies such as the Red Cross, which might monitor prisoner conditions and treatment. Although the CIA officially prohibits torture, the Bush administration has largely ignored the treatment of extradited prisoners.

[Read the source...]

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