As I pointed out in May 2008:
Pulitzer-prize winning reporter Seymour Hersh says that the U.S. Government has videotapes of boys being raped at Abu Ghraib prison (and see this; see also this – General Taguba discusses the sexual humiliation of a father with his son – see this and this).
This doesn’t come as a complete surprise, given that assistant deputy Attorney General John Yoo has publicly argued that the president can order the torture of a child of a suspect in custody – including by crushing that child’s testicles.
In April 2009, I noted:
Respected political scientist Michael Haas has confirmed that children were tortured, and Raw Story has explained that the newly-release Bush torture memos may corroborate claims that at least some detainees’ children were tortured using insects.
The number two man at the State Department, Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson, said that many of those tortured at Guantanamo Bay were innocent, but that the Bush administration did not really care whether they were innocent or not.
Last December, I wrote:
Many reporters have said that the Bagram prison facility in Afghanistan is worse than Guantanamo ever was. Moreover, abuse is apparently still occurring there.
As Spiegel wrote on September 21, 2009, in an article entitled “Prisoner Abuse Continues at Bagram Prison in Afghanistan”:
US President Barack Obama has spoken out against CIA prisoner abuse and wants to close Guantanamo. But he tolerates the existence of Bagram military prison in Afghanistan, where more than 600 people are being held without charge. The facility makes Guantanamo look like a “nice hotel,” in the words of one military prosecutor…
Bagram is “the forgotten second Guantanamo,” says American military law expert Eugene Fidell, a professor at Yale Law School. “But apparently there is a continuing need for this sort of place even under the Obama administration.
“From the beginning, “Bagram was worse than Guantanamo,” says New York-based attorney Tina Foster, who has argued several cases on behalf of detainee rights in US courts. “Bagram has always been a torture chamber.”
And what does Obama say? Nothing. He never so much as mentions Bagram in any of his speeches. When discussing America’s mistreatment of detainees, he only refers to Guantanamo…
From the beginning, Bagram was notorious for the brutal forms of torture employed there. Former inmates report incidents of sleep deprivation, beatings and various forms of sexual humiliation [and rape with sticks]…
At least two men died during imprisonment. One of them, a 22-year-old taxi driver named Dilawar, was suspended by his hands from the ceiling for four days, during which US military personnel repeatedly beat his legs. Dilawar died on Dec. 10, 2002. In the autopsy report, a military doctor wrote that the tissue on his legs had basically been “pulpified.” As it happens, his interrogators had already known — and later testified — that there was no evidence against Dilawar…
However attorney Tina Foster feels that the new initiative is just a cosmetic measure. “There is absolutely no difference between the Bush administration and the Obama administration’s position with respect to Bagram detainees’ rights,” she says during an interview with SPIEGEL in her office in the New York borough of Queens.
And see this.
Moreover, Obama is still apparently allowing “rendition flights” – where prisoners are flown to countries which freely torture – to continue…
Finally, Jeremy Scahill – the reporter who broke most of the stories on Blackwater – says that some forms of torture at Guantanamo have continued under Obama, and may even have gotten worse. For example, Scahill points out that:
The Center for Constitutional Rights released a report titled “Conditions of Confinement at Guantánamo: Still In Violation of the Law,” which found that abuses continued. In fact, one Guantanamo lawyer, Ahmed Ghappour, said that his clients were reporting “a ramping up in abuse” since Obama was elected.
Now, reports are circulating that boys were tortured last year – after Obama was sworn in as President – at the Bagram prison in Afghanistan:
As the Washington Post reported Friday:
The U.S. military has begun investigating allegations that two Afghan teenagers were beaten and humiliated by guards while in American custody last year at a secret detention center at Bagram air base, according to U.S. and Afghan officials.
U.S. military officials took statements from the teenagers last month and are contacting others who say they were held at what Afghans call Bagram’s “black prison,” a detention center run by U.S. Special Operations forces. This classified facility is separate from the main prison at Bagram, which holds about 700 detainees.
The allegations of physical violence and sexual humiliation.
And see this.
Not much …