Torture Not A Policy, Just a Pattern. Right.

The Observer reports that US guards 'filmed beatings' at terror camp:

Dozens of videotapes of American guards allegedly engaged in brutal attacks on Guantanamo Bay detainees have been stored and catalogued at the camp, an investigation by The Observer has revealed.

Later in the article the Observer says:

It is the case of [Tarek] Dergoul [the fifth British prisoner freed last March], however, that is likely to be the most damaging. The 26-year-old, from Mile End in east London, spent 22 months at Guantanamo Bay from May 2002. Today he tells The Observer of repeated assaults by Camp Delta's punishment squad, known as the Extreme Reaction Force or ERF.

Their attacks, he says, would be prompted by minor disciplinary infractions, such as refusing to agree to the third cell search in a day – which he describes as an act of deliberate provocation.

Dergoul tells of one assault by a five-man ERF in shocking terms: 'They pepper-sprayed me in the face, and I started vomiting. They pinned me down and attacked me, poking their fingers in my eyes, and forced my head into the toilet pan and flushed.

'They tied me up like a beast and then they were kneeling on me, kicking and punching. Finally they dragged me out of the cell in chains, into the rec[reation] yard, and shaved my beard, my hair, my eyebrows.'

After their release last March, Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Ruhal Ahmed, the so-called Tipton Three from Staffordshire, told of similar ERF attacks.

Rasul said they led to a new verb being coined by detainees: 'to be ERFed'. That, he said, meant being slammed against a floor by a soldier wielding a riot shield, pinned to the ground and beaten up by five armed men.

However, it is Dergoul who now reveals that every time the ERFs were deployed, a sixth team member recorded on digital video everything that happened.

Lieutenant Colonel Leon Sumpter, the Guantanamo Joint Task Force spokesman, confirmed this last night, saying all ERF actions were filmed so they could be 'reviewed' by senior officers. All the tapes are kept in an archive there, he said

This might be a good time to re-read this important post, Did the Justice Department Lie to the Supreme Court? by Eric Muller, especially if you haven't see the recent updates.

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