Tuesday, February 20, 2007

"We don't torture."

Is this the democracy we took to Iraq?
Former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan alleges:

I was immediately [after arrest] asked to kneel down and I was asked again immediately `Where is he, Saddam Hussein? Where can we find him?'' as soon as I said I don't know, I was kicked to the floor. When I said I was tired, they began kicking me on my body, my shoulders, I was hit by the aluminum rod and forced to crawl and this went on. And when I asked for water to drink, they put the bottle in my mouth but I found it was hot. When I pleaded with them for cold water, they poured ice water on my body and my head, they said `This is how you will drink the water as you requested,' and that went on for two hours.

Then my elbows and knees started bleeding on the floor from crawling. Then they asked me to stand up, they tied my hands, they put the black bag on my head after they blindfolded me and they led me to a nearby place. I felt it was a wooden room. They asked me not to sit down and to keep walking back and forth inside the room non-stop, saying we will return in a few hours. We want you to think hard of our question and they left. They told the guards not to let me stop. After, I asked the guards to go to the restroom and an hour after my request they led me to the iron box (portable toilet). They led me in, took the bag off my head so I can see and they closed the door, without untying my hands. I said `How can I use the bathroom without untying my hands,' but they didn't answer.

Five minutes later I was led back to the room without having relieved myself. I resumed my walking back and forth and as a result of exhaustion and after 12 hours from my arrest, and some dizziness and numbness, some urine spilled on my body and on the floor. When the guards noticed they came and kicked me on the floor and took me by the neck and dragged me where the urine was and I was almost unconscious for five minutes.

Another Detainee:
The interpreter told me to take off my clothes … So I took off all my clothes. Then he put the bag back over my head. I was taken to another room that had black walls and an air conditioner. Water was poured on the bag, my neck and shoulders, the air conditioner was turned very cold and I was made to stand in front of it. The only light in the room was a flashlight. There was a stereo in the room. They made me listen to a bad movie in English language, then some American music, then sounds of children crying. A box was put over my head and something wet on my neck. I was told to walk from wall to wall. I could not see and walked into the walls, which would press the box into my chest. This caused me pain which lasted a couple of weeks.

The interrogator asked if I would now tell the truth. I told him I had said everything I know. He asked me if I was tough enough to continue. I told him no. He put me in front of the air conditioner and poured more cold water on me, keeping me wet. Then he put an MRE [Meals Ready to Eat, the military's pre-packaged food] in each of my hands and made me push them towards the ceiling. I held them up for a while then my arms began to drop. Someone punch me in my spine, below my shoulder blades with a fist. I passed out …

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