<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: Sexual abuse at Guantanamo "beyond belief"

Monday, January 31, 2005

Sexual abuse at Guantanamo "beyond belief"

A former American Army sergeant who worked as an Arabic interpreter at Guantanamo has written a book detailing the ways female interrogators used sex and religion to try to break Muslim detainees at the U.S. prison camp in Cuba. As the NY Times' Maureen Dowd says, "It's not merely disgusting. It's beyond belief."

The yet-unpublished book has been deemed classified pending a Pentagon review, but the Associated Press interviewed the author, Eric R. Saar, who recounted the following harrowing anecdote:

A female military interrogator who wanted to turn up the heat on a 21-year-old Saudi detainee who allegedly had taken flying lessons in Arizona before 9/11 removed her uniform top to expose a snug T-shirt. She began belittling the prisoner—who was praying with his eyes closed—as she touched her breasts, rubbed them against the Saudi's back and commented on his apparent erection.

After the prisoner spat in her face, she left the room to ask a Muslim linguist how she could break the prisoner's reliance on God. The linguist suggested she tell the prisoner that she was menstruating, touch him, and then shut off the water in his cell so he couldn't wash.

"The concept was to make the detainee feel that after talking to her he was unclean and was unable to go before his God in prayer and gain strength," Mr. Saar recounted, adding: "She then started to place her hands in her pants as she walked behind the detainee. As she circled around him he could see that she was taking her hand out of her pants. When it became visible the detainee saw what appeared to be red blood on her hand. She said, 'Who sent you to Arizona?' He then glared at her with a piercing look of hatred. She then wiped the red ink on his face. He shouted at the top of his lungs, spat at her and lunged forward," breaking out of an ankle shackle.

"He began to cry like a baby," the author wrote, adding that the interrogator's parting shot was: "Have a fun night in your cell without any water to clean yourself."

As Maureen Dowd says, "Who are these women? Who allows this to happen? Why don't the officers who allow it get into trouble? Why do Rummy and Paul Wolfowitz still have their jobs?"

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/30/opinion/30dowd.html

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