Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Frontline has posted an interview with Spc.Tony Lagouranis (Ret.), a U.S. Army interrogator from 2001 to 2005.

When we were trained in the schoolhouse about what we could and couldn't do, it was very strict and it came from the Geneva Conventions, the law of land warfare based on enemy prisoners of war. And we never expected that we would interrogate anybody who wasn't an enemy prisoner of war.

And it's still unclear to me what the status of the Iraqis that we had were. Well, I know that they weren't being afforded the legal status of enemy prisoners of war. But supposedly, we were treating them as though they were, but we weren't. I mean, there's just no way that what we were doing and what was sanctioned by the Pentagon through the IRE, the interrogation rules of engagement -- there's no way that fit in within the Geneva Conventions. …

What was happening, for example?

Well hypothermia was a widespread technique. I haven't heard a lot of people talking about that, and I never saw anything in writing prohibiting it or making it illegal. But almost everyone was using it when they had a chance, when the weather permitted. Or some people, the Navy SEALs, for instance, were using just ice water to lower the body temperature of the prisoner. They would take his rectal temperature to make sure he didn't die; they would keep him hovering on hypothermia. That was a pretty common technique.

A lot of other, you know, not as common techniques, and certainly not sanctioned, was just beating people or burning them. Not within the prisons, usually. But when the units would go out into people's homes and do these raids, they would just stay in the house and torture them. Because after the scandal, they couldn't trust that, you know, the interrogators were going to do "as good a job," in their words, as they wanted to.

The worst stuff I saw was from the detaining units who would torture people in their homes. They were using things like … burns. They would smash people's feet with the back of an axe-head. They would break bones, ribs, you know. That was serious stuff.



Blogger mikevotes said...

Good find.

11:34 AM  

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