US may have kidnapped families of Iraqi detainees

American forces in Iraq have been accused of kidnapping the families of detainees as an interrogation tactic, RAW STORY has learned.

A story in today’s edition of Salon suggests that the kidnapping method may have been used systematically in the course of intelligence gathering through interrogations in the Iraq War.

Salon added that Members of Congress including Rep. Christopher Shays, a Republican of Connecticut, have issued a subpoena to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to hand over documents on the matter. They are due at 5 PM today.

An excerpt from the subscribers-only article is included below.

Congress has demanded that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld hand over a raft of documents to Congress that could substantiate allegations that U.S. forces have tried to break terror suspects by kidnapping and mistreating their family members. Rumsfeld has until 5 p.m. Friday to comply.

It now appears that kidnapping, scarcely covered by the Media, and absent in the major military investigations of detainee abuse, may have been systematically employed by U.S. troops. Salon has obtained Army documents that show several cases where U.S. forces abducted terror suspects’ families. After he was thrown in prison, Cpl. Charles Graner, the alleged ringleader at Abu Ghraib, told investigators the military routinely kidnapped family members to force suspects to turn themselves in.

A House subcommittee led by Connecticut Republican Christopher Shays took the unusual step last month of issuing Rumsfeld a subpoena for the documents after months of stonewalling by the Pentagon. Shays had requested the documents in a March 7 letter. “There was no response” to the letter, a frustrated Shays told Salon. “We are not going to back off this.”

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