UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

June 1, 2009

BRITISH MILITARY SOURCES: US & BRITISH TROOPS TAUGHT TORTURE

David Leigh, Guardian, UK - The sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison was not an invention of maverick guards, but part of a system of ill-treatment and degradation used by special forces soldiers that is now being disseminated among ordinary troops and contractors who do not know what they are doing, according to British military sources.

The techniques devised in the system, called R2I - resistance to interrogation - match the crude exploitation and abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad.

One former British special forces officer who returned last week from Iraq, said: "It was clear from discussions with US private contractors in Iraq that the prison guards were using R2I techniques, but they didn't know what they were doing."

He said British and US military intelligence soldiers were trained in these techniques, which were taught at the joint services interrogation centre in Ashford, Kent, now transferred to the former US base at Chicksands.

"There is a reservoir of knowledge about these interrogation techniques which is retained by former special forces soldiers who are being rehired as private contractors in Iraq. Contractors are bringing in their old friends".

Using sexual jibes and degradation, along with stripping naked, is one of the methods taught on both sides of the Atlantic under the slogan "prolong the shock of capture", he said.

Female guards were used to taunt male prisoners sexually and at British training sessions when female candidates were undergoing resistance training they would be subject to lesbian jibes.

"Most people just laugh that off during mock training exercises, but the whole experience is horrible. Two of my colleagues couldn't cope with the training at the time. One walked out saying 'I've had enough', and the other had a breakdown. It's exceedingly disturbing," said the former Special Boat Squadron officer, who asked that his identity be withheld for security reasons. . .

The spectrum of R2I techniques includes keeping prisoners naked most of the time. This is what the Abu Ghraib photographs show, along with inmates being forced to crawl on a leash; forced to masturbate in front of a female soldier; mimic oral sex with other male prisoners; and form piles of naked, hooded men.

The full battery of methods includes hooding, sleep deprivation, time disorientation and depriving prisoners not only of dignity, but of fundamental human needs, such as warmth, water and food.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I'm just not finding it that easy to sympathize with mass-murderers who cut off the heads of their hostages, and use women and children as human bombs.

June 5, 2009 5:30 PM  

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