Gitmo: A Soldier's Testimony I

We were long told that the grueling accounts of torture, sexual abuse, and mental terror inflicted under orders from president Bush in Guantanamo Bay (and many other sites in the war on Jihadist terrorism) were lies. The testimony came from Jihadists, after all. The testimony of a man like Binyam Mohamed, who may be released this week to Britain, could not be trusted. But then came the testimony from FBI agents who saw the barbarism authorized in the camp; and increasingly, more and more US servicemembers have come forward to testify to rigged trials, orchestrated sadism, instrumental rape as policy and abuse of medical ethics. Here's the latest - 15,000 words from Army Private Brandon Neely. Some flavor of Standard Operating Procedure:

The prisoners arrived in orange suits. Some had orange ski caps. They had goggles on their eyes, earmuffs on their ears, surgical masks on their faces, and black gloves on their arms. They were handcuffed and leg-shackled. They had chains around their waists with a padlock on the back. The handcuffs were attached to the waist chain.

This is classic sensory deprivation apparatus, designed to break down a person's mental stability. Prisoners who in any way resisted force-feeding or offered any kind of resistance were IRFed, an over-powering method that soon became a routine form of abuse:

I don't believe the IRF team was used for the right reasons at all. At least the people on the team used it for the wrong reasons. It was their way to beat up on someone who was

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smaller and weaker than them. I have often wondered why you would need 5 healthy, grown men, in riot gear, to go take a down a detainee who was most likely underweight and very weak.

You could always tell when someone got IRFed, as the detainees throughout the camp would start chanting and screaming. So I could tell when the detainee on Alpha Block was IRFed that day. By the time the IRF team was coming off the block and I was walking back towards Alpha Block I noticed a couple of the guys had blood on their arms, hands, and uniforms. They were washing their hands with water. The detainee was escorted off the block to medical, where he was given stitches for multiple lacerations to his head. Later that day I came back on the block and saw the cage this detainee was IRFed in. The cement floor was a dull red color from the blood. You could tell at one point before it was washed out that there was a lot of blood on the floor of that cage.

(Photo: the result of an "enhanced interrogation" session at Abu Ghraib.)