Tuesday, December 14

A couple more dead prisoners

The US Army has admitted to two more deaths of prisoners held in custody in Afghanistan, bringing the total number to eight. One has to wonder if a full accounting of prisoner deaths will ever see the light of day. From the BBC.
The US army has admitted that eight detainees have died in its custody in Afghanistan - two more than it had previously acknowledged.

The army's admission came after the campaign group Human Rights Watch said it knew of three new incidents.

The group sent an open letter to US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying the US has failed to investigate or punish abuses by its soldiers.

A US official said at least three deaths were still being investigated.
"It's time for the United States to come clean about crimes committed by US forces in Afghanistan," said Brad Adams, Asia Division director for Human Rights Watch (HRW).

A failure to prosecute soldiers for incidents in Afghanistan had led to "a culture of impunity" which may have spread to Iraq, he said.

There was fury earlier this year when photographs emerged of Iraqi prisoners being physically and sexually abused by American prison guards.

The latest revelations are a further embarrassment for the US military and will only intensify scrutiny of the way it treats its prisoners, says the BBC's Ian Pannell in Washington.
Just what the doctor ordered, more embarrasment. Can we just go ahead and put some guidelines in place, so we can stop improper treatment and handling, 'cause in the long run this is going to bite us in the ass. I would hate to hear that the 70 oral surgeon that is shipping out to Afghanistan, has been kidnapped, tortured and killed in retaliation. I am sure that Rummy will finally get around to fixing this mess.
HRW also urged the US military to publish a delayed internal report on its Afghan detention centres.

The US authorities promised to release parts of the report several months ago, but a spokesman said on Monday that no date had been set for publishing the report because its findings were still being reviewed in Washington - but that no abuses had been uncovered.
Natch, we are still reviewing the case, but do not expect to find anything that could cause the administration damage, I mean any other cases of abuse. If we had let Ken Lay investigate Enron, I am sure that he would find no evidence at all of impropriety.