Saturday, April 15th, 2006
Salon reports new evidence that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was intimately involved in prisoner abuse at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
According to a Dec. 20, 2005 Army inspector general’s report on Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the former commanding general in charge of Gitmo, Rumsfeld approved an interrogation plan for Mohammed al-Kahtani, the alleged 20th hijacker:
In a sworn statement to the inspector general, [Lt. Gen. Randall] Schmidt described Rumsfeld as “personally involved” in the interrogation and said that the defense secretary was “talking weekly” with Miller.
Rumsfeld developed an interrogation plan that required the Gitmo detainee to “stand naked in front of a female interrogator, was accused of being a homosexual, and was forced to wear women’s underwear and to perform ‘dog tricks’ on a leash.” Schmidt said that the open-ended policies Rumsfeld approved, and that the apparent lack of supervision of day-to-day interrogations permitted the wide-scale abuse to take place.
The report contradicts Rumsfeld’s earlier statements.
The people down there at Guantanamo Bay, under the President’s orders, have been treated humanely and they should be treated humanely…There’s no torture going on down there and there hasn’t been. [WPHT-AM Philadelphia, 6/21/05]
And let there be no doubt, the treatment of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay is proper, it’s humane, it’s appropriate, and it is fully consistent with international conventions. No detainee has been harmed, no detainee has been mistreated in any way. [DoD Briefing, 1/22/02]
Only relatively low-ranking military officials have been punished but the abuse of detainees at Guantanamo and elsewhere started at the top.
– Ben Kabak
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