YATA (Froze to Death in Detention)

Yet Another Torture Allegation: Dana Priest, CIA Avoids Scrutiny of Detainee Treatment.

In November 2002, a newly minted CIA case officer in charge of a secret prison just north of Kabul allegedly ordered guards to strip naked an uncooperative young Afghan detainee, chain him to the concrete floor and leave him there overnight without blankets, according to four U.S. government officials aware of the case.

The Afghan guards — paid by the CIA and working under CIA supervision in an abandoned warehouse code-named the Salt Pit — dragged their captive around on the concrete floor, bruising and scraping his skin, before putting him in his cell, two of the officials said.

As night fell, so, predictably, did the temperature.

By morning, the Afghan man had frozen to death.

The CIA says it's investigating — two years after the fact. Which is an odd claim, since the first reaction was coverup,

[The victim] is on no one's registry of captives, not even as a “ghost detainee,” the term for CIA captives held in military prisons but not registered on the books, they said.

And the second reaction was just as predictable with this crew:

The CIA case officer, meanwhile, has been promoted.

Of course the whole thing was rotten from the start as the CIA took the official view that US rules didn't apply to what it called an Afghan facility. Never mind that the CIA paid for it, paid all the salaries, decided who would be held there, and pretty much ran it. The CIA still claimed it was a “foreign facility”. Deniability and all that (including deniability towards Congress).

The only vaguely good news here is that apparently torture is considered a low-status activity in the CIA.

“A first-tour officer was put in charge because there were not enough senior-level volunteers,” said one intelligence officer familiar with the case. “It's not a job just anyone would want. More senior people said, 'I don't want to do that.'

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One Response to YATA (Froze to Death in Detention)

  1. Richard says:

    There are so many instances of behavior that have violated international legal norms that it is, in the words of a Republican friend of mine, become ‘disgusting’. Although the United States is not part of the ICC, it has signed treaties that prohibit this behavior – behavior which, more than arguably, violates common international law. Someone needs to call the US on this in the ICJ. The more the better. Then, perhaps, although it is extremely doubtful, the MSP will begin to report the outrages committed by what I prefer not to think of as my country any longer.

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