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Some of you may have read Susan Hu's request for help in reading the thousands of pages of ACLU and AP documents released under FOIA.  What I think most of you do not quite realize is how enormous the document set is.  Fortunately,

Booman Tribune http://www.boomantribune.com/?op=displaystory;sid=2005/5/26/114948/486

organized a web site so volunteers can organize. Their main links are to the ACLU Web Site
http://action.aclu.org/site/PageServer?pagename=torturefoia
and to the Associated Press Web Site
http://wid.ap.org/documents/detainees/list.html

The ACLU Web Location has three dozen web links, most to a  Collection of Papers .  
Each ACLU Collection of Papers  has a list of  Group Entries, some with many Parts.
Each Part is a large pdf, sometimes containing many actual documents.
For one of those dozens of Collections of Papers, I first reproduce below the fold a sample part of a Group Entry

(Aside: This is a second try at posting. The first tryvanished. If both show, be patient. I will delete one.)

Army CID Record of Investigation
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3     6/13/03 -- 6/13/04     1. Various, Iraq
2. CID Office, Fort Hood, TX     Public Affairs Officer found DVD of "Ramadi Madness", an edited composite of many video clips of B Company operations. It depicted: 1. wounded EPW flexicuffed lying on ground, soldiers filmed entry and exit wounds while EPW moaned in pain, one soldier kicked prisoner in face. SFC watching video said he "thought the dude eventually died. We weren't in any hurry to call the medics."SFC admitted to being the person in the video kicking soldier (8616). 2. Flexicuffed person on ground being interrogated, at one point soldier holding prisoner strikes him in head with rifle butt. 3. Dead person in video, videographer asks soldier in video to "make the dead guy say hello", at which point soldier grabs dead body by the hair and wrist, turns to the camera and waves the dead body's hand. 4. Scenes including soldiers confiscating a van from an enemy prisoner and joyriding around town yelling profanities at Iraqi Civilians. Captain stated that he would address the matter with LTC [redacted] "as to our policy and step to minimize the risk of this and other videos that may end up in the media" (8664). SGT admitted to compiling the video in January 2004. He stated that he destroyed both CDs containing the video (allegedly to avoid the video being released to the media) once he found out the matter was under investigation (8684). Numerous copies of the CD were made by "everyone who could" (8668). Captain and Colonel determined that there was not sufficient probable cause or evidence to believe SFC committed the offense of assault ... video contained "inappropriate rather than criminal behavior."Colonel [redacted] stated that "he believed that much of the Company level leadership would be likely to destroy any existing copies of the video if it were known the matter was under investigation" (8610). Investigation terminated on grounds that furtherance "would be of little or no value or leads remaining to be developed are not significant."

Note the demarked Part 1, Part 2, Part 3  .  Those are the actual pdfs, some extremely large, usually of large sets of actual documents.

Here from the ACLU pages at

http://action.aclu.org/site/PageServer?pagename=torturefoia

entitled Government Documents on Torture
Freedom of Information Act
is the actual list of Collections of Papers:


The ACLU filed a request on Oct. 7, 2003 under the Freedom of Information Act demanding the release of information about detainees held overseas by the United States. A lawsuit was filed in June 2004 demanding that the government comply with the October 2003 FOIA request.

Below are documents the government did not want the general public to read -- including an FBI memo (pdf) stating that Defense Department interrogators impersonated FBI agents and used "torture techniques" against a detainee at Guantanamo.

The public has a right to know.

(These documents can be viewed using Acrobat Reader)
  FBI Documents (5/26/05) | Press
  FBI Documents (5/25/05) | Press
  Army Documents (5/18/05) | Press
  Department of Defense (5/6/05)
  Army Investigative Files (4/21/05)
  Defense Intelligence Agency (4/20/05)
  Department of Defense (4/19/05) | Press
  Department of Defense (4/14/05)
  The September and October Sanchez memos (3/29/05) | Press
  Department of Defense (3/25/05) | Press
  Department of Defense, agencies agree on "ghost" detainees (3/9/05) | Press
  Army and Navy records, investigations of detainee abuse in Iraq (3/7/05) | Press
   For the contents of this, see below:

  Defense Department Documents (2/18/05) | Press
  Army records (1/24/05) | Press
  FBI, e-mails of McCraw inquiry into detainee abuse in Guantanamo (1/5/05) | Press
  Army, investigations of detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan (12/21/04) | Press
  FBI, e-mails of FBI agents witnessing the use of "torture techniques" in Guantanamo (12/20/04) | Press
  Navy, investigations of detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan (12/14/04) | Press
  Defense Intelligence Agency, State Department and FBI, detainee abuse by Task Force 626 in Iraq is reported, e-mails express concern about interrogation methods. (12/7/04) | Press
  Defense Department, Taguba report (10/19/04) | Press
  Office of Information and Privacy, Defense Department, Army and FBI, the Ryder Report (10/15/04) | Press

Careful review of these documents demonstrates that many other critical records have not been released. We will continue to fight for the public's right to know what the government's policies were, why these abuses were allowed to take place, and who was ultimately responsible, and encourage you to join the alliance to get these records released.

The Associated Press indepth site

http://wid.ap.org/documents/detainees/list.html

tells us


 The Associated Press - Washington in Depth
      A list of detainees at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, and home countries where available, whose cases before U.S. military tribunals are detailed in records in a federal court.  Click on a name to see related court documents:

     (There follows a list of 58 names, each linked to a file.)

Finally, I give the first few entries of one of those Collections of papers, which has already been scanned at some depth by the ACLU.  Again, each of these either is a PDF or each Part is a PDF,

Army and Navy records, investigations of detainee abuse in Iraq (3/7/05) | Press

Army CID Record of Investigation     4/6/05 - 5/1/04     Baghdad International Airport (BIAP) Temporary Holding Facility     Investigation initiated after an Interrogator associated with the 22nd MP Battalion reported that he knew of abuse that had occurred at the Temporary Holding Facility at Baghdad International Airport (BIAP). The interrogator said that "he was reporting this conduct because he felt the actions were inhumane even though every harsh interrogation was approved by the J2 of the TF [Task Force 6-26] and the medical personnel prior to its execution" (9119). The abuse included sleep deprivation, 20-hour interrogation sessions, and a guard's providing a prisoner with urine to drink. The CID investigation appears to have been terminated because "the subject of this investigation is a member of TF 6-26 and the Special Agent in Charge, SOTF [Security Operations Training Facility], has accepted investigative jurisdiction in this matter" (9118). SOTF's case number is 0016-04-CID343. (The SOTF file is posted below.)

Army CID Record of Investigation     5/24/04     Abu Ghraib     Investigation into death of Ibrahim Hamadan Sudhail in custody. Sudhail was allegedly involved in attack against elements of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Fallujah and was brought to Abu Ghraib on or about April 29th, 2004. He died in custody on May 21st. Cause of death was determined to be "peritonitis as a consequence of a gunshot wound to the abdomen" (9112). The file has been closed.

Army CID Record of Investigation Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8     3/1/03 - 7/12/03     Unknown locations     Investigation initiated after Playboy Magazine published an article in May 2004, titled "Death and Dishonor,"alleging that soldiers of the 1/15th Infantry Battalion, 3d Brigade, 3d Infantry Division (Ft. Benning, GA), committed numerous war crimes. Soldiers quoted in the article alleged that soldiers assigned to the 1/15th Infantry Battalion had, among other things, raped Iraqi women while on patrol and while guarding a mall in Baghdad, shot an unarmed Iraqi while he was fleeing, hog-tied him and physically assaulted him, "dug inside wounds of EPWs [enemy prisoners of war] while they were incapacitated"; indiscriminately shot unarmed civilian women and children; and shot wounded Iraqi soldiers (8347). In a signed statement, one member of the battalion said that another had had sex with Iraqis but that he didn't "know if they were raped or were prostitutes or just wanted sex."The same soldier states that he "overheard a conversation that [redacted] stuck his fingers in an open wound of a POW" (8352). Another soldier states that "POW treatment in most cases was very good"but notes one exception in which another soldier hit detainees, burned them with cigarettes, and "stepped on the balls of the POWs" (8372). The soldier who abused the detainees also "stuck his fingers"in the wound of an Iraqi whose arm had been shot (8372). Another soldier states that he saw "a bus that he suspected contained dead women and children, but [that] it had occurred prior to his unit coming to that area" (8386). The soldier who had sex with an Iraqi woman stated that the sex was consensual and that he had paid the woman $10 (8387). The investigation determined that "there are indications that the allegation of abuse of an EPW while in custody could have occurred; however, there were no direct witnesses and the suspect is deceased. There was no credible information developed sufficient enough to substantiate the allegation" (8474-75). The investigation was closed on or about July 26, 2004.

Army CID Record of Investigation Part 1, Part 2    4/15/03 - 7/1/03     Samarra     Investigation initiated after SGT reported that he witnessed several counter-intelligence agents (all associated with the 223rd MI Detachment) "strike, pull the hair, and force into asphyxiation numerous Iraqi detainees."The SGT also stated that "some of the CI agents would point a loaded weapon at the detainees' heads and tell them they would kill them if they did not talk" (8809). The SGT stated that "it was a chamber of horrors up in Samarra" (8837). In a signed statement, the soldier says that he also "observed staged executions."The soldier states that he "went to CPT [redacted]'s office, who is my company commander. I told him I was requesting an investigation into interrogation brutality used by my three team members. CPT [redacted] accused me of lying and said I had no integrity. He said I had 30 seconds to withdraw the request or he was going to send me forcibly to go see a psychiatrist."The CPT later told the soldier that he had been appointed the AR 15-6 investigating officer. Soldier: "I questioned him on the validity of him being the AR 15-6 officer when in fact he was the THT67 former OIC and the conflict of interest it posed."The next evening, the soldier was flown to Germany (8845). Unnamed civilian interviewee recounts conversation in which SGT told him, after conversation with CPT, that "This is what I saw and they think I'm crazy but they're wrong."The civilian states that he heard female CPT [presumably the psychiatrist] state: "There's nothing I saw or heard that leads me to think SGT [redacted] is mentally imbalanced."In response, CPT [redacted] states: "I don't care what you saw or heard, he is imbalanced, and I want him out of here."Civilian then "observed [female] CPT flinch and he could see the pressure in her eyes, like she had never had that kind of pressure put on her previously. Mr. [redacted] stated the next day CPT [redacted] went back and changed her diagnosis" (8917). E-mail notes that "Dr. [redacted] stated that CPT [redacted] went to her commander to influence her decision to send SGT [redacted] back to the US. As a result, her chain of command put `undue pressure' on her which did influence her decision" (8972). The investigation "established that there was insufficient evidence to determine whether the offenses . . . occurred" (8809). There is no indication that the commander was investigated or held accountable for retaliating against the soldier who alleged the abuse.

It goes on a bit, as you can see.

Originally posted to phillies on Mon May 30, 2005 at 05:58 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not surprised, but appalled (4.00)
    this is despicable stuff.  The accusation of mental illness against the sergeant reminds me of an article posted many months ago on Salon by an army NCO who talked of similar accusations when he reported abuse.  He said he was eventually tied down to a gurney and flown to Germany, where he was pronounced sane.

    Anyway, highly recommended.  Susan needs help from as many hands as possible.

    •  Same sergeant? (4.00)
      Smintheus,
      This reads like the official version of exactly the same event.
      George
      •  The AAAS has a bunch of good documents on (none)
        making databases out of human rights accounts at

        http://shr.aaas.org

        Its not the exact same situation, but the issues are similar and relevant....

      •  It sure sounds like the same case (none)
        to me, though I don't remember the author saying some of the things that appear in the official version.  By my recollection, he said that a doctor or psychologist at his base initially refused to find him insane, then under pressure backed down and allowed him to be evacuated to Germany for evaluation.  But once he got to Germany, the doctors there found him to be mentally fit.  I think the author was a sergeant, but my memory of the article is fuzzy.
        •  I recall the reading the article too (none)
          What I remember was that the psychiatrist was placed under intense pressure to declare the sergeant insane, but she refused. She finally did, not because of the pressure, but because she became convinced that his life was in danger and getting him out of the country was the only solution.
    •  PHILLIES! (4.00)
      Wow.  Thank you so much.  I just wrote this to you in an e-mail:

      A couple things have occurred to me:

      1. We need to make this as clear, and as simple, as we can for people.

      2. We need to emphasize that the reports should be narrative -- like a typical news story in The Guardian or the A.P. about these detainees.  We don't want to get buried in lots of extended entries from PDF files.

      We're talking about people's lives here.... and we want to tell their stories, not just add another report full of jargon.  We want to translate the jargon into newspaper-level narrative reading.  That's what makes these people come alive.

      P.S. My usual caveat: I know some of these detainees are bad characters. Many are accidental catches.  

      I personally do NOT believe a lot of the stories about traveling to Afghanistan for humanitarian work.  

      But that's all beside the point.  I.e., their guilt or innocence is beside the point here.  We have (or had) LAWS in this country and we were a part of the world of nations that honor human rights laws.  Our laws include due process, the right to an attorney -- did you read today's NYTimes that only 1/3 of the Guantanamo detainees have attorneys? -- the right of habeas corpus, and more and more ...

      Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

      by SusanHu on Mon May 30, 2005 at 08:59:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What really needs to be pointed out... (none)
      is that the authorized abuse was redacted. The most horrofic torture is always blocked out by the government. What the interrogator said was inhumane was redacted so we do not know what that was.

      The government always leaves in minor unauthorized abuses so to dumb down the perception of the extent to which people were tortured.

  •  Thanks you, Susan Hu and valiant volunteers (4.00)
    This takes the ePluribus Media concept and extends it.  I'm grateful to all the volunteers willing to slog through these documents for the truth.

    "The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract." Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

    by pontificator on Mon May 30, 2005 at 07:14:18 PM PDT

  •  However it's handled (none)
    Soldiers who happen to give notice of war crimes are isolated, accused of wrongoing and, when deemed necessary, removed.  Then George & the Have-mores' officialdom sees no evil worth noticing about all that.
  •  sounds like we will need to index names... (none)
    ...so that if Sgt. X is an abuser, this can be tracked across documents.

    When the Republicans stop lying about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. --Adlai Stevenson

    by seesdifferent on Mon May 30, 2005 at 08:14:36 PM PDT

  •  Once upon a time (4.00)
    I wrote a book on a problem of this sort.  It was sort of in the range where I could keep all the threads in my own mind, and writing it was still a bear.  Furthermore, I knew many of the people and groups involved, so it was easy to put things in their proper order.

    This is a far more difficult task.

    There is a real need for a serious data structure to track what is being done here.  Susan is doing a wonderful job, but we are in the range where real intelligence analysis becomes needed.

    The 'track names' suggestion above is entirely on point, if only to see where documents interrelate.

    (The book: Funding Liberty http://3mpub.com/phillies )

  •  I will try to do some next week (none)
    but reading this sample is absolutely sickening. And we are going to be letting these sicko officers back in the US?  Once they have had the freedom to behave this way aren't we all less safe?

    oh god oh god oh god this is truely worse than Viet Nam.

    aka First IED of Warm Humanitarianism

    by samddobermann on Mon May 30, 2005 at 08:29:20 PM PDT

  •  Care please (none)
    I urge it on Susan Hu and all of you in accusing specific soldiers of any wrongdoing.

    If you don't understand the character of the document, or the phrasing or any similar aspect, then say so. Don't pretend to know what you don't.

    I don't say this as discouragement, but as a question of care. These are serious charges.

    The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

    by Armando on Tue May 31, 2005 at 05:49:34 AM PDT

  •  Before this diary disappears (none)
    I would like to thank everyone who recommended it.

    Please do contribute time if you can.  While some documents are huge, the AP prisoner files are much more modest in size.

  •  Is it too paranoid to suggest... (none)
    ...that you choose your help wisely? Innocent research mistakes that gum up the works can happen, but I'd also hate to see troll volunteers offer bad "help." It's about 97-percent likely I'm dreaming up stuff that won't happen, but I thought I'd get it on the table so it can be considered, fwiw.

    Keep up the good fight, btw (selling my house is kind of killing free time here, just to explain my lack of volunteerism at the moment). :)

  •  Susan's an American hero (none)
    That's all I can say.

    If you still need help next week, I can give a few hours. This week is hellacious.

  •  IMPORTANT (none)
    At this point -- while I'm still assigning new volunteers with tasks -- please don't send me your findings.  Sadly, I don't have time to read them.

    Instead, for now, post your findings here -- this is the discussion diary for all volunteers.

    Another tip:  If you're working on one section of a large document, consider contacting those who are working on sections immediately BEFORE or AFTER yours.  You may have much to share with each other -- before you post your findings.

    ALSO: Another team is working up a clear format for you to use to submit your findings.  So, you can keep your notes for now, and continue studying your document.  Consider searching the 'net for any corroborating evidence and/or news stories.

    And use the experts who've volunteered to help with any teriminology or acronyms.

    Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

    by SusanHu on Tue May 31, 2005 at 09:53:23 AM PDT

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