"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Formica glosses over abuse - Task Force 121 or 145 or 6-26 still killing

Brig. Gen. Richard P. Formica of the US Army (see pic) has investigated and reported on abusive interrogation by forces in Iraq. This principally covered the Fifth and Tenth Special Forces Groups, which are primarily Army units. It did not cover the highly classified special operations units, including Delta Force and the Navy Seals, or other secretive, specialized units including the shadowy Task Force 6-26. (see footnote about these evil macho swaggering bastards busily "liberating" Iraq)

The report released today is actually history, it is a heavily redacted copy of the 75-page classified document General Formica completed 20 months ago. Members of Congress received briefings on its contents more than a year ago (it is said the report played a role in Congress's approval of Senator John McCain's anti-torture amendment ). It has been made public as public a declassified version under a Freedom of Information Act request by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The major concern was , (it appears) General Formica concluded, was that Special Operations interrogators mistakenly used 5 out of 12 interrogation techniques between February 2004 to May 2004 that Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, then the top commander in Iraq, had withdrawn in October 2003 because military lawyers had determined they were overly harsh.

Ssome detainees were stripped naked, drenched with water and then interrogated in air-conditioned rooms or outside in cold weather. General Formica said it appeared that technique was used in the case of one detainee who later died during questioning by Navy Seals in Mosul in 2004. He nonccalantly reports he had no specific allegations related to that death.

General Formica recommended 8 administrative changes (whooop di do say the relatives of the dead - administrative changes ....WOW !!) , including more training for Special Operations interrogators, minimum standards for detention conditions, and new policies regulating the use of indigenous forces who worked with Special Operations soldiers. Pentagon officials said today that all eight had been carried out.

Formica found that overall conditions "did not comport with the spirit of the principles set forth in the Geneva Conventions," which require humane treatment of prisoners.

Formica said, for example, that the forces used five interrogation techniques that were allowed at one point but had been rescinded by then: sleep or food deprivation, yelling and loud music, forcing detainees to remain in stressful physical positions, and changing environmental conditions, which could include making their locations too hot or too cold.

Formica also found that the nakedness "was unnecessary and inconsistent with the principles of dignity and respect" in the Geneva Conventions.

He did however make a decision about disciplining errant soldiers. They won't be disciplined ... because says the worthy General , he faulted "inadequate policy guidance" from superiors and not "personal failure" for the mistreatment, and he said that none of the Iraqi detainees he later interviewed seemed to be any worse for wear because of the mistreatment... so that's alright then .. presumably the dead man in Mosul and his relatives felt the same way too. Fiat justitia as they say in the Baghdad coffee shops.

Amrit Singh, an ACLU lawyer who has been following the abuse investigations, told the Washington Post the report is troubling, because the inquiry failed to investigate dozens of allegations that secretive task forces such as TF-121 and TF-626 seriously abused detainees.

"It signals what we have known for a while, and that is that the Special Operations forces were operating with impunity in Iraq and Afghanistan for a prolonged period of time," Singh said. "What is revealing about these investigations is what they do not say. What is the government afraid of that it so narrowly circumscribed its investigation and then withheld it from the public for years?"

CNN quotes her saying the report was a "whitewash".

AP reports that to date, there have been about 600 investigations into detainee-related incidents of all kinds, including natural deaths and detainee assaults on other detainees, and they quote Army spokesman Paul Boyce, " 267 soldiers have received some type of punishment, including 85 courts-martial and 95 nonjudicial actions."

The Boys in the Black Room Task Force 6-26 (The Boys with the toys)

The Black Room was one of the former Iraqi government's torture chambers , it was also part of a temporary detention site at Camp Nama, the secret headquarters of a shadowy military unit known as Task Force 6-26. Located at Baghdad International Airport, the camp was the first stop for many insurgents on their way to the Abu Ghraib prison a few miles away.

In the windowless, jet-black garage-size room, some soldiers beat prisoners with rifle butts, yelled and spit in their faces and, in a nearby area, used detainees for target practice in a game of jailer paintball. Their intention was to extract information to help hunt down Iraq's most-wanted terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, according to Defense Department personnel who served with the unit or were briefed on its operations.

Since 2003, 34 task force members have been disciplined in some form for mistreating prisoners, and at least 11 members have been removed from the unit, according to new figures the Special Operations Command provided in response to questions from The New York Times. Five Army Rangers in the unit were convicted three months ago for kicking and punching three detainees in September 2005.

The secrecy surrounding the highly classified unit has helped to shield its conduct from public scrutiny. The Pentagon will not disclose the unit's precise size, the names of its commanders, its operating bases or specific missions. Even the task force's name changes regularly to confuse adversaries, and the courts-martial and other disciplinary proceedings have not identified the soldiers in public announcements as task force members.

A key figure in creating these death squads has been Special Forces veteran Lt. Gen. William Boykin. Boykin became notorious in October for publicly describing recent U.S. military operations as a Christian war against Satan and Islam. He told an audience in Sandy, Ore., in June 2004 that George W. Bush got to the White House despite losing the popular vote in 2000, because god himself wanted Bush in power.

In June 2003 he publicly declared that radical Islamists hated the United States "because we're a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian ... and the enemy is a guy named Satan."

Boykin told another religious neeting .. "Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. He's in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this."

General Boykin once told NBC that he would be curtailing his speeches to religious groups. "I don't want to come across as a Right-wing radical," he said.

Paradoxically Task Force 6-26 had a singular focus: a very Un-Christian one at that ... capture or kill Mr. Zarqawi, the Jordanian militant operating in Iraq. "Anytime there was even the smell of Zarqawi nearby, they would go out and use any means possible to get information from a detainee," one official said... now 3 years later it was the Iraqis who found him with the help of the Jordanians. Obviously the Task Force 6-26 was not a great success in operational terms.

In the summer of 2004, Camp Nama closed and the unit moved to a new headquarters in Balad, 45 miles north of Baghdad. The unit's operations are now shrouded in even tighter secrecy and have been renamned as Task force 121 which is ...

Task Force 121 was already in existence. TF121 was formed from TF5 (Afghanistan) and TF20 (Iraq). It is a combination of Air, Army and Navy Special Forces. As of 2004, TF121 was composed of 4 elements:

1. Grey Fox: a deep-cover organisation based at Fort Belvoir in Northern Virginia. Specializes in Spying. After 9/11, Grey Fox was incorporated into.

2. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) at Fort Bragg, North Carloina; they report to Command Centre in Tampa, Florida.

3. CIA Special Activities Division.

4. Special Operation Division (Black Hawks, Chinooks, AH-6.) Resources, including Spy Satellites, Predators, helicopters, Cruise missiles and C120 gunships are at their disposal..

British and Australian SAS, as well as Poland's GROM and Norway's Marinejeger are reported to be connected to TF121.

According to The Real Truth, TF121's duty is "pre-emptive manhunting" (Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Mullah Omar, eg.)--'high value targets.'

TF121 is reputed to bear a resemblence to the Vietnamese Phoenix Programme.

General McChrystal, the leader of the Joint Special Operations Command, received his third star in a promotion ceremony at Fort Bragg on March 13 - eventtually he got the credits for bombing Zarkawi last week.... cui bono ?

Latest news is the unit is now called Task Force 145.

Sorry .. I just cannot take these people seriously ... what the fuck do they do when the war on terror is over ?

1 comment:

Mark said...

It wasn't just about detainees who had to deal with bread and water. The report specifically cites one prisoner who died during interogation, apparently due to using hypothermia techniques on him.

In the report, Brig. Gen. Formica said that he did not investigate the underlying incidents that led to the investigation, or check the existing documentation for completeness or accuracy, relying instead on the military's own previous findings on the incidents. Those previous findings, unfortunately, appear to have been from investigations which were stonewalled, where members of the Special Forces used fake names and mysteriously "lost" the great majority of their files, and in which the Criminal Investigations (CID) officer on site stated that he was "unable to thoroughly investigate suspects and witnesses because of their involvement in the Special Access Program and/or the security classification of the unit they were assigned to during the offense."

The Special Access Program was specifically approved by Rumsfeld and his assistants in the Pentagon.

Amongst the allegations not investigated further are this one, in which a US soldier over at Abu Ghraib swore an oath indicating that a young Iraqi claimed to have been sexually and physically abused and sodomized while imprisoned by US Special Forces.

The US soldier swore an oath indicating that the Iraqi in question "could not sit and was bleeding from the rectum". This claim of sexual assault while under Special Forces imprisonment appears to have been backed up by numerous other sworn statements from US soldiers.

According to the sworn statement of one soldier:
"In my opinion, (prisoner's name redacted) came in emotionally and physically abused. (Prisoner) said, I don't remember in exact words, "they have taken everything from me."

I don't know the name of their capturing unit. All I know is they came from the palace. . . I don't know if they got a rectal investigation. . . When SF (Special Forces troops, such as Task Force 626) brought detainees in . . . you could see that they were facially abused. I don't know which SF unit. I saw detainees with bruises, black eyes, beaten, physical abuse. If we get them like that, we'll stop and take them to the aid station or MPs, that way we're cleared of it. We don't want it said that it happened here. . ."

Over the course of my time here, I've seen maybe ten detainees come in here physically abused, downright beaten and tortured, and I've easily screened hundreds of detainees. The only trend associated with that abuse would be SF (Special Forces) detainees. One of the first questions I'd ask was "why were you detained" and if they would mention (redacted) it was usually associated with extortion, and "he beat me". Those were the two trends right there."

So basically, these are very serious allegations with numerous sworn statements backing them up. It should be of real concern that the US' best troops would act in such a manner, with such impunity.

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish