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Boy Abused to coax info from father


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GI: Boy mistreated to get dad to talk

 

Thu May 20, 9:40 AM ET? Add Top Stories - Chicago Tribune to My Yahoo!

 

 

By Mike Dorning Washington Bureau

 

A military intelligence analyst who recently completed duty at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq (news - web sites) said Wednesday that the 16-year-old son of a detainee there was abused by U.S. soldiers to break his father's resistance to interrogators.

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The analyst said the teenager was stripped naked, thrown in the back of an open truck, driven around in the cold night air, splattered with mud and then presented to his father at Abu Ghraib, the prison at the center of the scandal over abuse of Iraqi detainees.

 

 

Upon seeing his frail and frightened son, the prisoner broke down and cried and told interrogators he would tell them whatever they wanted, the analyst said.

 

 

The new account of mistreatment came as Army Spec. Jeremy Sivits was sentenced in Iraq to a year in prison Wednesday and a bad-conduct discharge after pleading guilty in the first court-martial stemming from the abuses at Abu Ghraib.

 

 

In Washington, top commanders for U.S. forces in Iraq told senators they never approved abusive techniques for interrogating prisoners. But they also promised that investigators would scrutinize everyone in the chain of command, including the generals themselves.

 

 

Sgt. Samuel Provance, who maintained the 302nd Military Intelligence Battalion's top-secret computer system at Abu Ghraib prison, gave the account of abuse of the teenager in a telephone interview from Germany, where he is now stationed. He said he also has described the incident to Army investigators.

 

 

Provance's account of mistreatment of a prisoner's son is consistent with concerns raised by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which had received reports that interrogators were threatening reprisals against detainees' family members.

 

 

Provance already has been deemed a credible witness by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who included the Army sergeant in a list of witnesses whose statements he relied on to make his findings of prisoner mistreatment at Abu Ghraib.

 

 

Although Pentagon (news - web sites) officials have portrayed the abuses at the prison as the isolated conduct of a few out-of-control guards, Provance's account offers fresh evidence of broader participation. He said members of Abu Ghraib's military intelligence unit were well aware that prisoners were subjected to sexual humiliation and other abuse.

 

 

One female interrogator told him of forcing detainees to wear nothing but women's underwear and questioning a male prisoner who was kept naked during interrogation, Provance said. He said he overheard colleagues in the military intelligence battalion laughing as a soldier in the unit described watching MPs use two detainees as "practice dummies," first knocking one prisoner unconscious with a blow and then doing the same to the other.

 

 

Account is 2nd-hand

 

 

Provance, 30, said he was not present for the mistreatment of the detainee's son, which he said occurred in December or possibly January. But he said an interrogator described the incident to him shortly afterward. When contacted by the Tribune on Wednesday, that soldier declined to comment.

 

 

Provance said he escorted the boy from the interrogation cellblock to the prison's general population immediately after the encounter between the teenager and his father.

 

 

"This kid was so frail. He was shaking like a leaf," he said.

 

 

Provance said he urged the interrogators not to put the teenager in the prison's unruly, poorly supervised general population, but was rebuffed.

 

 

"I even went inside and said, `This kid is scared for his life. He's probably going to be raped. He can't be put in general population,'" Provance said.

 

 

He said he did not know the identity of either the father or son but said the father was described to him as a "high-level individual" who had not provided useful intelligence in previous questioning.

 

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Army spokesman Col. Joseph Curtin said he could not comment on the incidents described by Provance because they are part of an investigation. But Curtin said, "We are working very hard to get to the truth."

 

Maj. Paul Karnaze, a spokesman for the Army Intelligence School at Ft. Huachuca, Ariz., said Army policy forbids any abuse or threats of abuse against family members during interrogations. "That's just so far from the Army values we train," Karnaze said.

 

Provance said he described the incidents to investigators, most recently in an interview this month with Maj. Gen. George Fay, who is overseeing the Army's investigation of military intelligence officials' involvement in prisoner abuse.

 

Concerns over a cover-up

 

Provance said he became concerned about a possible cover-up of the role of military intelligence officials after receiving written instructions shortly after the interview telling him not to discuss Abu Ghraib.

 

In addition, Provance said, Fay warned that he likely would recommend administrative action against Provance for not reporting abuses before his first sworn statement, made in January. The administrative action would effectively bar promotions for Provance.

 

"I felt like I was being punished for being honest," Provance said.

 

An Army official said it was routine procedure for military investigators to instruct witnesses not to discuss events that are under examination.

 

Provance said he questioned treatment of prisoners several times last fall without effect.

 

"I would voice my opinion . . . and they would say, `What do you know? You're a system administrator,'" he said. Among the interrogators "there's a certain cockiness," he added.

 

Provance said his duties recently were switched from a computer systems administrator to a military intelligence analyst but he remains on duty with his unit, which returned from Iraq in February. He is now stationed in Heidelberg, Germany, he said.

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You would

You are damn right. Sorry, but I succumb to the natural inclination to save my freinds and countrymen instead of some militant SOB who likes to support those who hang the charred remains of civilians on bridges, or behead them, or any other the mllion other things they've done.

 

Excuse me, but this is still a war, Americans are still being killed. Don't get all moralistic on us when it comes to some piece of trash who probably deserves what's coming to him anyway.

 

Kind of like Saddam huh?

 

That's just stupid.

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What about the millions of things we've done to these people? Would they have happened if we had not invaded? Did we create millions of militants in a relatively secular country because of our invasion?

 

Don't give me your bleeding heart BS. I'd rather have a bleeding heart than no heart at all. None of this s*** would be necessary if people like you didn't support war at all costs. And the narrow-minded ideaology of "me and mine first" won't ever bring anything good.

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You would

You are damn right. Sorry, but I succumb to the natural inclination to save my freinds and countrymen instead of some militant SOB who likes to support those who hang the charred remains of civilians on bridges, or behead them, or any other the mllion other things they've done.

 

Excuse me, but this is still a war, Americans are still being killed. Don't get all moralistic on us when it comes to some piece of trash who probably deserves what's coming to him anyway.

 

Kind of like Saddam huh?

That's just stupid.Saddam was protecting his fellow Sunni majority against the despised Kurds and Shiites who threatened national security. Everybody has their justification.

 

Oh yeah, they are all the same to you. I swear, someone can suggest rounding up every Iraqi and executing them and there would be support for it here. No wonder US foreign policy is so despised around the world.

 

 

but I succumb to the natural inclination to save my freinds and countrymen instead of some militant SOB

 

Thats exactly how Bin Laden sees it.

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What about the millions of things we've done to these people? Would they have happened if we had not invaded? Did we create millions of militants in a relatively secular country because of our invasion?

 

Don't give me your bleeding heart BS. I'd rather have a bleeding heart than not heart at all. None of this s*** would be necessary if people like you didn't support war at all costs.

You cannot seriously propose that the violence or "bad things" is more prevelant now than when Saddam was there. That's just ignorant.

 

Should you need a reminder, notice that a whole generation of Iraqi men is pretty much missing as a result of the little war that Saddam started with Iran.

 

Or keep in mind the fact that 60-80 executions were carried out TWICE A WEEK IN ABU GRAIB when Saddam ruled the roost.

 

And the militants were always there. The only reason you recognize them now is because they can now come out and rebel. If Saddam is still there they all are still in hiding or dead, just like when he purged them in the early 1990's after the first war.

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What about the millions of things we've done to these people? Would they have happened if we had not invaded? Did we create millions of militants in a relatively secular country because of our invasion?

 

Don't give me your bleeding heart BS. I'd rather have a bleeding heart than not heart at all. None of this s*** would be necessary if people like you didn't support war at all costs.

You cannot seriously propose that the violence or "bad things" is more prevelant now than when Saddam was there. That's just ignorant.

 

Should you need a reminder, notice that a whole generation of Iraqi men is pretty much missing as a result of the little war that Saddam started with Iran.

 

Or keep in mind the fact that 60-80 executions were carried out TWICE A WEEK IN ABU GRAIB when Saddam ruled the roost.

 

And the militants were always there. The only reason you recognize them now is because they can now come out and rebel. If Saddam is still there they all are still in hiding or dead, just like when he purged them in the early 1990's after the first war. How does anything you say justify anything now? Its like the Soviet Union telling Berlin to STFU because things were a lot worse when the Nazis were here.

 

This thing is chaotic and so slightly related to why we did it in the first place. How blind can you be.

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What about the millions of things we've done to these people? Would they have happened if we had not invaded? Did we create millions of militants in a relatively secular country because of our invasion?

 

Don't give me your bleeding heart BS. I'd rather have a bleeding heart than not heart at all. None of this s*** would be necessary if people like you didn't support war at all costs.

You cannot seriously propose that the violence or "bad things" is more prevelant now than when Saddam was there. That's just ignorant.

 

Should you need a reminder, notice that a whole generation of Iraqi men is pretty much missing as a result of the little war that Saddam started with Iran.

 

Or keep in mind the fact that 60-80 executions were carried out TWICE A WEEK IN ABU GRAIB when Saddam ruled the roost.

 

And the militants were always there. The only reason you recognize them now is because they can now come out and rebel. If Saddam is still there they all are still in hiding or dead, just like when he purged them in the early 1990's after the first war. Actually Saddam kept basically everything under control. Granted it was as a dictator who was authoritarian but contrary to popular belief Saddam was one of the better things for the middle east. He was the only secular leader. Therefore he kept the Muslim hotheads under control.

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Wow.

 

People are people regardless of crappy borders and stupid political ideologies. I don't know what Iraq has personally done to America to personally raise Fillet's ire (we invaded them, remember?), but geez.

 

This is sick. What makes American lives more important than anybody elses life?

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Fillet would you rather we just throw out the Geneva Convention altogether when it comes to treatment of prisoners?

"Improving the laws of war and recognizing those laws is like regulating the temperature while boiling someone in oil." - Nobel Peace Prize laureate Baroness Bertha von Suttner (1905)

 

Actually Saddam kept basically everything under control. Granted it was as a dictator who was authoritarian but contrary to popular belief Saddam was one of the better things for the middle east. He was the only secular leader. Therefore he kept the Muslim hotheads under control.

 

That's funny. You can say the exact same thing about Stalin. Granted he was a dictator, but he basically kept everything under control, added stability to Eastern Europe and kept the Muslim hotheads in the baltics under control. Oh, and he killed somewhere between 12 and 20 million people. Nice rationale.

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Fillet would you rather we just throw out the Geneva Convention altogether when it comes to treatment of prisoners?

"Improving the laws of war and recognizing those laws is like regulating the temperature while boiling someone in oil." - Nobel Peace Prize laureate Baroness Bertha von Suttner (1905) so no need to beat around the bush. we should be free to torture prisoners at our whim, if we feel the need is there.

 

nor should we be shocked when our own prisoners are beaten & tortured...

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Fillet would you rather we just throw out the Geneva Convention altogether when it comes to treatment of prisoners?

"Improving the laws of war and recognizing those laws is like regulating the temperature while boiling someone in oil." - Nobel Peace Prize laureate Baroness Bertha von Suttner (1905) so no need to beat around the bush. we should be free to torture prisoners at our whim, if we feel the need is there.

 

nor should we be shocked when our own prisoners are beaten & tortured... Yeah, you're right. I'll take your POV over a nobel peace prize winner everytime.

 

The geneva convention does not do anything, and has been pretty much ignored since it's inception except as a tool to be manipulated by victors to further punish the losers. At the end of the day, it is the individual and collective morality of those fighting that determines just how bad someone is treated. Trying to civilize war is the most absurd thing I've ever heard.

 

As an aside, there is a great article in this week's New Yoker that specifically addresses the whole Geneva convention ideal. Provides alot of insight, which is saying alot from me, a conservative who usually can't stand the liberal piece of garbage that is the New Yorker.

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oh jeez.

 

 

 

so we really shouldnt even be upset over the nick berg situtation.

 

 

its akin to what we do anyway.

 

 

great rationale.

 

 

but yet if iraqis' or any other group did this to one American you would throw this huge stink.

 

Its called a double standard.....thats always something to strive for.

:thumbup

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oh jeez.

 

 

 

so we really shouldnt even be upset over the nick berg situtation.

 

 

its akin to what we do anyway.

 

 

great rationale.

 

 

but yet if iraqis' or any other group did this to one American you would throw this huge stink.

 

Its called a double standard.....thats always something to strive for.

:thumbup

You are making the mistake of trying to apply a rational thought process to the actions which occur in war.

 

Your juxtaposition of Berg -v- Abu Graib is a perfect example that normal rationale just doesn't apply. This intersection of two different incidents also provides a great example as to the origins of jingoism, propaganda and normative irrational behavior.

 

Anyway, show me any onflict that occured anywhere at any time and tell me there wasn't a double standard applied as a tool of motivation, nationalism or propaganda.

 

Not saying it's right, just saying it's there.

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It's not right either way, but of course it's going to happen. Actually, some have argued that it's inevitable.

 

I just find it wildy optimisitic to ask a soldier to not kill a captive, let alone treat him well, when the captive has been trying to kill the soldier.

 

 

Oh, and for you Geneva Convention fans, a little DYK: The Genenva Convention mandates that prisoners receive a daily wage while in captivity. Yep, they are supposed to get paid.

 

What depraved monsters we are, we aren't even passing out paychecks at Gitmo and Abu Graib!!! Shame on us. The media firestorm over this outrage should be coming any minute now. Yep, any minute now........... Any minute now.......... Any minut...........................

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Fish Fillet, you're on track, but I must say, nothing justifies treatment of this type.

 

Whomever is responsible for the mistreatment should be duly punished.

It's all about perspective.

 

Incidents a thousand times more vile occur every day in prisons all across the United States. Where is the media firestorm over that?

 

Perspective, perspective.....Don't let the media tell you what should be important to you all the time.

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I'm guessing this is getting media attention due to the fact that, oh I dunno, that we're in the middle of a war right now?

 

Fillet few would argue that the media hasn't overblown this somewhat. But to respond to the blatant torture of prisoners with "well it's hard" or "it will happen anyway" is just plain weak. Let's not bother trying because it's too hard.

 

"We should kill his whole family if it saves a couple of american casualties" I don't even know how to respond to. Hey what a great idea. For every prisoner we take, the military should round up his family and slowly torture them to death in front of him until he tells us where the nearest cache of guns are stored. How novel.

 

Of course these things will happen inevitably in times of war. You can't stop everything. Odds are just about anything can happen. Soldiers are bound to do a lot of things. Doesn't mean you should just accept it though. And to an extent that's why someone (preferably responsible) is usually in charge.

 

At least put up a good front. Even if it's mostly lip service, if you're talking up the game that Bush is about being the moral leader of the world, and god's chosen freedom police squad or whatever, we shouldn't be satisfied with "hey, at least we're better then Saddam."

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