US declassified documents reveal human rights violation
By Kim Eun-ji
The dispute over torturing detainees resurfaced in the United States, after documents from George W. Bush administration containing “top secrets” were released online, July 3.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) launched the database online (www.thetorturedatabase.org) “in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention Against Torture.”
In some 5,000 documents, over 100,000 pages, the process of interrogating terrorist suspects is described in detail, said The Torture Database.
“In a prototypical interrogation, the detainee begins his first interrogation sessions stripped of his clothes, shackled, and hooded … as soon as the detainee does anything inconsistent with instructions, the interrogators use an insult slap or abdominal slap,” said a Justice Department Memo on interrogation technique.
The memo included descriptions of specific techniques dietary manipulation, nudity, attention grasp, walling, facial hold, facial slap or insult slap, abdominal slap, cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions, water dousing, sleep deprivation and the “waterboard.”
“Waterboarding” refers to a method of pouring cold water over clothed detainee’s head, producing a sense of drowning, from which the victims “are likely to be psychologically damaged for life,” according to Bryan Walsh of Time magazine.
The memo notes it does not violate the Convention Against Torture, but in one footnote, CIA interrogators thought it necessary to waterboard Abu Zubaydah, after 82 waterboarding sessions, said the New York Times.
“It’s shocking to read that kind of description in a U.S. document. It’s the kind of sentence you’d expect to see in an interrogation from another country without our respect for human rights,” said ACLU’s attorney, Alexander Abdo, in 2004 after the documents were released in October 2003 based on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
President Barack Obama proposed to close Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp within a year in 2009, but with dissenting members in Congress, the camp remains open.