Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 16, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

GUANTANAMO TAPES....Five British prisoners from Guantanamo were released a few months ago and have complained repeatedly about their treatment there. The Abu Ghraib revelations have given new life to their allegations:

It is the case of [Tarek] Dergoul...that is likely to be the most damaging. The 26-year-old, from Mile End in east London, spent 22 months at Guantanamo Bay from May 2002. Today he tells The Observer of repeated assaults by Camp Delta's punishment squad, known as the Extreme Reaction Force or ERF.

Their attacks, he says, would be prompted by minor disciplinary infractions, such as refusing to agree to the third cell search in a day - which he describes as an act of deliberate provocation.

Dergoul tells of one assault by a five-man ERF in shocking terms: 'They pepper-sprayed me in the face, and I started vomiting. They pinned me down and attacked me, poking their fingers in my eyes, and forced my head into the toilet pan and flushed.

....Dergoul...reveals that every time the ERFs were deployed, a sixth team member recorded on digital video everything that happened.

Lieutenant Colonel Leon Sumpter, the Guantanamo Joint Task Force spokesman, confirmed this last night, saying all ERF actions were filmed so they could be 'reviewed' by senior officers. All the tapes are kept in an archive there, he said.

Tapes of beatings at Guantanamo? That has the potential to be very bad indeed....

Kevin Drum 3:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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