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ACLU: FBI Ruse Used in Guantanamo Abuse
RSS Feeds From ABC 7 UPDATED - Tuesday December 21, 2004 9:04am
Washington (AP) - A civil liberties group is charging that military interrogators at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, some posing as FBI (website) agents, humiliated and abused detainees, including inserting lit cigarettes in their ears.

Releasing e-mails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the American Civil Liberties Union said Monday one detainee was wrapped in an Israeli flag and some were shackled hand and foot in fetal positions for 18 to 24 hours, forcing them to soil themselves.

The ACLU said e-mails suggested "inhumane interrogation methods" approved by President Bush (website - news - bio) - a charge the White House vigorously denied.

The military operation at Guantanamo Bay has come under increased scrutiny as former prisoners have alleged they were tortured. The Pentagon maintains it runs a humane operation there and investigates all allegations of abuse.

The White House denied a suggestion in an FBI (website) e-mail dated May 22, 2004, that Bush personally signed off on certain interrogation techniques in an executive order. The ACLU's disclosures primarily constitute e-mails between FBI officials whose names the government removed before releasing them. In several, the writers describe and criticize various interrogation techniques they say they witnessed at Guantanamo.

A Guantanamo prisoner has, in a court petition, described detainees wrapped in Israeli flags, among other allegations. At the time, a Guantanamo Bay spokesman denied his statements.

While military interrogators are performing much of the questioning at Guantanamo, the FBI and CIA also have operations there.

Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, said the FBI documents continue to show the U.S. government was "torturing individuals in some instances" and demonstrates a major rift between FBI agents and the military over proper interrogation techniques.

"There was real concern within our law enforcement community about whether we are torturing individuals," Romero said.

In other developments, a military review found a second Guantanamo prisoner wrongly classified as an enemy combatant, and he will be released soon to his home country, Navy Secretary Gordon England said Monday.

The newest prisoner to face release would be the second freed under a military process instituted after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last summer that prisoners at Guantanamo could challenge their detentions through the U.S. court system.

To bolster its case for each of the prisoners against any such challenge, the Pentagon set up tribunals to review circumstances of each man's capture to determine whether they are properly held.

Of the roughly 200 detainees already released, at least a dozen have returned to the battlefield. More than 300 additional cases are still being reviewed.

Separately Monday, a federal judge in New York said he would deny a government request to delay a review of whether certain CIA internal files related to Iraq should be made public.

Judge Alvin Hellerstein's comments marked a victory for the ACLU and other groups seeking information about the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo and in Iraq.


Associated Press Writer Curt Anderson contributed to this report.


On the Web:

American Civil Liberties Union: www.aclu.org

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


 Viewer Comments on ACLU: FBI Ruse Used in Guantanamo Abuse
IP: Logged
Posted: 12/31 11:44a
Lets see ACLU? Hummm! (American Civil Liberties Union) American being the operative word here. So tell me sister Katiebear what does the ACLU have to do with people who are foriegn prisoners. It seems to me that they need to take a good look at themselves. And I agree Floater,
The reality of the ACLU is very different from what most people think.
Although many people are beginning to get what they are about now.
With their recent involvement with NAMBLA it has become crystal clear
what they are about, and more and more people see them for what they really are. Unfortunately it no longer about Americans. Relish the thought of the dozen enemy that returned to combat as mentioned in the article. Think about the American lives they took and how your continued support for the ACLU helped to kill more American soldiers,
the operative word being American. Why you ask? Because the ACLU is all about Americans, right.

IP: Logged
Posted: 12/22 10:36a
Their mission statement says they protect "Your First Amendment rights-freedom of speech, association and assembly. Freedom of the press, and freedom of religion supported by the strict separation of church and state;" then, as just me tried to say, WHY try to get God removed from money and the Pledge?  Why the separation of Church and State? Why are they against "Merry Christmas?" This holiday is the celebration of the birth of Christ.  Why are they so Anti-Christian?  What about my Christian rights to pray where and when I want?  What about my Christian rights to say "under God" in the pledge?  What about MY rights? 

This really got off on a tangent.  However, I do not believe that the ACLU has valid evidence to say that those Iraqi's are being mistreated.  I too have friends in the military at "the Bay" and they're all saying that these allogations are just that, allogations.

IP: Logged
Posted: 12/21 8:17p
The ACLU rarely takes up actions on their own.  Instead, they consider appeals from individuals, and, when they feel it is warranted, they take up the fight on behalf of the individuals.  They do it for free, on behalf of those who have no other alternative and no one advocating for them, and many of their actions have benefited the general population in terms of exposure and legal precendents.

As for the ACLU's mission being to limit freedoms, that's simply not the case.  Here is their mission statement:

The mission of the ACLU is to preserve all of these protections and guarantees:

*Your First Amendment rights-freedom of speech, association and assembly. Freedom of the press, and freedom of religion supported by the strict separation of church and state.

*Your right to equal protection under the law - equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.

*Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.

*Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.

We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor.

If the rights of society's most vulnerable members are denied, everybody's rights are imperiled.

No organization run by we inherently fallible humans can possibly be perfect.  But I for one am grateful for the work they have done since 1920 on behalf of all of us, particularly those with no voice and no resources.  I am a member, and will proudly continue to support their work.

IP: Logged
Posted: 12/21 4:19p
I agree.  The reality of the ACLU is very different from what most people think.

Just Me...
IP: Logged
Posted: 12/21 2:38p
The ACLU needs to get OUT of the United States and go live with the Iraqi militants and all those anti-american groups they care so much for.  The don't give a squat for TRUE Americans.  I have a military friend who works in Guantanamo and he's told me that all this crap is false....and i believe him.  he'd NOT lie.  And if you're so worried about how WE treat those Iraqi's -- take a look at what they're co-horts are doing to Americans, etc.....BEHEADING THEM!!!  Then you have the ones who shout, we don't belong there....well that's everyone's individual opinion...

Now for my opinion and my opinion only -- and you don't have to agree -- but I have found it hard to support and/or believe a group that's only  good for is stirring up stink every time they walk by a pile of excrement.  They don't want GOD recognized anywhere in the U.S. (separation of church & state; In God We Trust on money; Under God in the pledge) when our Country's founded on religion -- They don't want want you to be allowed to say Merry Christmas but you can say Happy Hanukah and Happy Kwanza, but NO Merry Christmas because of Christ when Christmas IS THE CELBRATION OF CHRIST!  I been brought up to believe all religions should be respected ... i'm not offended by Hanukah or Kwanza or any other "religious" holiday - to each his own.  FREEDOM is what the U.S. was also founded on and the ACLU wants to remove some of those freedoms.....

So, ACLU take your little allogations and tell them to the groups who are really doing harm -- go to Iraq and try to pawn off your beliefs and your complaints and see how far you go -- they'll kill you too -- Then when you're done, GO JUMP IN A LAKE! -- once again, my opinion....be it agreeable or not....i'm sorry - i'm fed UP with them...

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