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Former Gitmo Prosecutor Breaks Silence About Torture

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Posted by ZP Heller, Brave New Films at 2:00 PM on December 5, 2008.

Despite Bill O'Reilly's delusional rantings, there is no debate that the U.S. military tortured detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Not when you have former Gitmo prosecutors like Lt Col Darrel Vandeveld coming forward to testify about the atrocities that occurred there.
Col Vandeveld told the BBC this week about the Gitmo detainees who had been mistreated in order to secure confessions. In one particularly brutal case, Col Vandeveld discovered "indisputable evidence" regarding the mistreatment of an Afghan named Mohammed Jawad, who had been accused of throwing a grenade at a U.S. military vehicle.
According to the BBC, "After Jawad had tried to commit suicide by banging his head against a wall at Guantanamo, Col Vandeveld says that psychologists who assisted interrogators advised taking advantage of Mr Jawad's vulnerability by subjecting him to specialist interrogation techniques known as 'fear up'." Interrogators then subjected Jawad to the sleep deprivation technique known as the "frequent flyer" program, in which prisoners were moved from cell to cell every few hours until they confessed.
The Pentagon, as you might expect, disputed Col Vandeveld's assertions and continues to push the mendacious claim that Bush's military commissions provide "full and fair trials to accused unlawful enemy combatants who are charged with a variety of war crimes." And there lies the biggest obstacle once President-elect Obama takes office and closes Gitmo: What to do with the prisoners who still need to be brought to trial, assuming there remains probable cause to believe they've committed a crime?

Last week, Marjorie Cohn wrote in Jurist Legal News and Research that the National Lawyers Guild is urging President Obama to try these prisoners "in strict accordance with international human rights and humanitarian law, and the principles of fundamental justice pertaining to criminal proceedings." Questions remain whether the "new court system" that Obama is expected to propose will be any better than the current unconstitional military commissions. That's why Cohn suggests Obama ought to try those prisoners in U.S. civilian and military courts.
Before any of that can happen, however, Obama must close Gitmo and end Bush's military commissions.



                                               Look at the flowers

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