Update [2005-3-30 11:15:28 by susanhbu]: “The United States is holding about 10,500 prisoners in Iraq, more than double the number held in October, the military says.” (MSNBC)
Thanks again to the ACLU, we now have a copy of the “smoking gun” 2003 memo signed by Gen Ricardo Sanchez, then commander of US forces in Iraq.
Reports the BBC, “the Sept. 2003 document … authorised interrogation techniques including the use of dogs, stress positions and disorientation.” The ACLU press release notes:
“General Sanchez authorized interrogation techniques that were in clear violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Army’s own standards,” said ACLU attorney Amrit Singh. “He and other high-ranking officials who bear responsibility for the widespread abuse of detainees must be held accountable.”
The existence of the memo had been widely rumored, but this is the first time that the memo has been released. …
But what about Sanchez’s “no way, not me!” testimony before Congress?
Troutfishing posted a diary at Daily Kos this morning — “Citizen-journalist finds apparent proof of Sanchez perjury concerning torture” — that caught my eye. Amongst Troutfishing’s morning e-mail, he says he spotted this:
Please feel free to spread this information widely. It is arguably the “smoking gun” that those concerned about an Abu Ghraib coverup have been looking for. The question is now whether there will be an investigation, and if so, whether it will indicate that civilian members of the DoD, such as Rumsfeld or Wolfowitz, knew of these policies. Let’s just hope there is some indignation and outrage left in this country.
It appears that nobody else has made the connection.….
I [Susan’s note: The “I” is Mark Kraft] posted on my journal at insomnia.livejournal.com about a memo that the ACLU released late today, indicating that Gen. Sanchez signed off on 29 interrogation techniques, including 12 which far exceeded limits established by the Army’s own Field Manual.
The memo also indicates that Gen. Sanchez committed perjury when testifying before Congress.
From Sanchez’s testimony on May 19, 2004::
U.S. SENATOR JACK REED (D-RI): “General Sanchez, today’s USA Today, sir, reported that you ordered or approved the use of sleep deprivation,intimidation by guard dogs, excessive noise and inducing fear as an interrogation method for a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison. Is that correct?”
SANCHEZ: “Sir, that may be correct that it’s in a news article, but I never approved any of those measures to be used within CJTF-7 (Abu Grhaib) [sic] at any time in the last year.”
The memo, Troutfishing reports, specifically details his approval for the following techniques, as expressed verbatim from the document :
Presence of Military Working Dog: Exploits Arab fear of dogs …Sleep Management: Detainee provided minimum of 4 hours sleep per 24 hour period, not to exceed 72 continuous hours. Yelling, Loud Music, and Light Control: Used to create fear… (Sanchez’
wording, not mine.)
Specifically, in at least two instances, he signed off on practices that by his own admission were intended to create and exploit fear. He approved, frankly, the exact practices he said under oath that he did not approve.
Also of note from the ACLU on March 1, 2005:
The ACLU has also filed three similar complaints [similar to the historic Rumsfeld suit
] against Colonel Thomas Pappas, Brigadier General Janis Karpinski and Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez
on behalf of the torture victims who were detained in Iraq. These three additional complaints were filed in federal courts in Connecticut, South Carolina and Texas, respectively, due to court requirements regarding jurisdiction. …
You may view the ACLU’s copy of Sanchez’s memorandum.
Trouthfishing provides a link to “Sanchez’ sworn testimony before the Congressional committee.”
Emphases mine and Troutfishing’s.