CIA Crucified Prisoner In Abu Ghraib

from Sherwood Ross, June 28, 2009


The Central Intelligence Agency crucified a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, according to a report published in The New Yorker magazine.

“A forensic examiner found that he (the prisoner) had essentially been crucified; he died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs,” the magazine’s Jane Mayer writes in the magazine’s June 22nd issue. “Military pathologists classified the case a homicide.” The date of the murder was not given.

“No criminal charges have ever been brought against any C.I.A. officer involved in the torture program, despite the fact that at least three prisoners interrogated by agency personnel died as a result of mistreatment,” Mayer notes.

An earlier report, by John Hendren in The Los Angeles Times indicted other torture killings. And Human Rights First says nearly 100 detainees have died in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Hendren reported that one Manadel Jamadi died “of blunt-force injuries” complicated by “compromised respiration” at Abu Ghraib prison “while he was with Navy SEALs and other special operations troops.” Another victim, Abdul Jaleel, died while gagged and shackled to a cell door with his hands over his head.” Yet another prisoner, Maj. Gen. Abid Mowhosh, former commander of Iraq’s air defenses, “died of asphyxiation due to smothering and chest compression” in Qaim, Iraq.

“There is no question that U.S. interrogations have resulted in deaths,” says Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU. “High-ranking officials who knew about the torture and sat on their hands and those who created and endorsed these policies must be held accountable. America must stop putting its head in the sand and deal with the torture scandal.” At least scores of detainees in U.S. custody have died and homicide is suspected. As far back as May, 2004, the Pentagon conceded at least 37 deaths of prisoners in its custody in Iraq and Afghanistan had prompted investigations.

Nathaniel Raymond, of Physicians for Human Rights, told The New Yorker, “We still don’t know how many detainees were in the black sites, or who they were. We don’t fully know the White House’s role, or the C.I.A.’s role. We need a full accounting, especially as it relates to health professionals.”

Recently released Justice memos, he noted, contain numerous references to CIA medical personnel participating in coercive interrogation sessions. “They were the designers, the legitimizers, and the implementers,” Raymond said. “This is arguably the single greatest medical-ethics scandal in American history. We need answers.”

The ACLU obtained its information from the Pentagon through a Freedom of Information suit. Documents received included 44 autopsies and death reports as well as a summary of autopsy reports of people seized in Iraq and Afghanistan. An ACLU statement noted, “This covers just a fraction of the total number of Iraqis and Afghanis who have died while in U.S. custody.” (Italics added).

Torture by the CIA has been facilitated by the Agency’s ability to hide prisoners in “black sites” kept secret from the Red Cross, to hold prisoners off the books, and to detain them for years without bringing charges or providing them with lawyers.

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, denounced the Obama administration for considering “prevention detention,” The New Yorker’s Mayer wrote. Roth said this tactic “mimics the Bush Administration’s abusive approach.”

From all indications, CIA Director Panetta has no intention of bringing to justice CIA officials involved in the systematic torture of prisoners. Panetta told Mayer, “I’m going to give people the benefit of the doubt…If they do the job that they’re paid to do, I can’t ask for a hell of a lot more.”

Such sentiments differ markedly from those Panetta wrote in an article published last year in the January Washington Monthly: “We either believe in the dignity of the individual, the rule of law, and the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, or we don’t. There is no middle ground.”

One way to discern who really runs a country is to look to see which individuals, if any, are above the law. In the Obama administration, like its predecessors, they include the employees of the CIA. Crucifixions they execute in the Middle East differ from those reported in the New Testament in at least one important respect: Jesus Christ had a trial.

Sherwood Ross formerly reported for major dailies and wire services. To contact him or contribute to his Anti-War News Service: sherwoodr1@yahoo.com

36 comments

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    • Edger on June 29, 2009 at 12:42 am
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    Mr. Holder? Mr. Obama?

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    No Jesus Christ jokes, eh?

  1. … we don’t want those dangerous prisoners to be released at Gitmo because even though the evidence against them is tainted by torture, they are a threat to our safety.

    And yet there is no danger in letting folks walk freely in our country who have tortured someone, crucified someone.

    Got it.

  2.  That “not safe for work” graph above should have a such disclaimer.

    It`s quite obvious that if one were to extrapolate the graph lines into the future a little, you`d end up with a two-colored dick.

    Just saying.

    • rb137 on June 30, 2009 at 2:48 am

    do qualify as crucifixion. We all think of the horror of being nailed to the cross — because that’s what people talk about, and it’s what’s in the movies, plays, etc. But crucifixion has nothing whatever to do with nails.

    Stress positions are designed to cause body reflexes to fight one another. Many of the hanging ones (crucifixion included) are designed to force one to hold up his own weight to keep from suffocating. As a person gets tired, that struggle becomes more and more brutal.

    In fact, the reason that Jesus Christ died so fast was because he was already so worn down from beatings prior.

    Like waterboarding, this is another unspeakable torture that the W admin sanitized for mainstream consumption.

    Excellent article, Edger.

  3. I was driving my sociopath Mom to a doctor’s appointment.  This was the suburban town I grew up in, that ideal Camelot of post WWII families.  I went to this school and the imprint in my mind did not include the assholianisms of sheeple driving traffic pattern studies of the “new” road.  There was no traffic.  School was out for the summer and there was nobody around save the voice of some 20 something participant of America’s new Stanford Prison Experiment on steroids.  There is a whole book theme surrounding a 30 second incident.  From baseballs fields of happy kids to post Apocalypse depopulation wasteland in one generation.

    Yeah, you did go the wrong way, didn’t ya, asshole.

  4. Rumsfeld! …. errr… I mean Barabus. Crucify Rumsfeld, Cheney …. et. al.

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