Category Archives: Bagram

America’s secret prisoners in Afghanistan.

Bagram  Prison isn’t a secret, but evidently who is being held there IS a secret. There are, according to the article, secret prisons in Afghanistan. From The Nation:

One quiet, wintry night last year in the eastern Afghan town of Khost, a young government employee named Ismatullah simply vanished. He had last been seen in the town’s bazaar with a group of friends. Family members scoured Khost’s dusty streets for days. Village elders contacted Taliban commanders in the area who were wont to kidnap government workers, but they had never heard of the young man. Even the governor got involved, ordering his police to round up nettlesome criminal gangs that sometimes preyed on young bazaargoers for ransom.
But the hunt turned up nothing. Spring and summer came and went with no sign of Ismatullah. Then one day, long after the police and village elders had abandoned their search, a courier delivered a neat handwritten note on Red Cross stationery to the family. In it, Ismatullah informed them that he was in Bagram, an American prison more than 200 miles away. US forces had picked him up while he was on his way home from the bazaar, the terse letter stated, and he didn’t know when he would be freed.
In the past few years Pashtun villagers in Afghanistan’s rugged heartland have begun to lose faith in the American project. Many of them can point to the precise moment of this transformation, and it usually took place in the dead of night, when most of the country was fast asleep. In its attempt to stamp out the growing Taliban insurgency and Al Qaeda, the US military has been arresting suspects and sending them to one of a number of secret detention areas on military bases, often on the slightest suspicion and without the knowledge of their families. These night raids have become even more feared and hated in Afghanistan than coalition airstrikes. The raids and detentions, little known or understood outside the Pashtun villages, have been turning Afghans against the very forces many of them greeted as liberators just a few years ago.

The Big O™ appears to be continuing the BushCo bullshit once again. Makes me quite heartsick and very angry. The Nation article is very good, and I hope people read the entire piece as it shows us how Obama is keeping intact more of the status quo ideologies held by the last administration.

The more things change..the more they stay the same.

Crossposted at Sirens Chronicles

Will the new Bagram detention facility be humane?

The old detention facility was a nightmare that many referred to as Gitmo II and most enlightened individuals considered worse than Gitmo. From Jurist:

International human rights officials toured the new US detention facility in Parwan, Afghanistan, at the edge of Bagram Air Base on Sunday. The new facility [NYT report], which has room for 1,400 detainees, is part of the Obama administration’s wider efforts to improve its Afghan detainee system and will eventually be controlled by the Afghan government. Officials have promised greater transparency based on a case management system, which will allow detainees to be informed of the charges against them and provide them with the right to challenge government witnesses. Amnesty International, Human Rights First, and Human Rights Watch called on the Obama administration Monday to make sure its detention policy conforms to international law.

Last week, HRF urged the US to reform its detention policy at Bagram in order to combat counterinsurgency. In September, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit [seeking information related to the treatment of prisoners at Bagram, citing fears that is becoming the “new Guantanamo.” Earlier that month, the Obama administration issued new guidelines allowing Bagram detainees to challenge their indefinite incarceration. Detainees will have access to members of the US military who would be able to gather classified evidence and question witnesses on behalf of any detainee challenging his detention. The military officials would not be lawyers, but they are expected to provide detainees, some of whom have been held for more than five years without charges, better representation before military-appointed review boards. The changes come amidst ongoing protests by prisoners. Hundreds of Bagram detainees have been refusing shower and exercise time and have ceased participation in a family visits and teleconferences program set up by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

As for transparency..The Big O hasn’t been doing much to further the cause either, in my humble yet vocal opinion. Only time will tell us how different Obama’s prison is to BushCo’s prison.

"the worst of the worst." my Ass..

Bagram, the prison most folks don’t know about..and Gitmo, the one everyone knows about, have one disgusting thing in common:

Most of the men being held in these illegal prisons are not terrorists. I know, big friggin surprise, but there it is. From Jurist:

McClatchy reporters found that many of the 66 former terror detainees interviewed were ordinary civilians or petty criminals; only 34 had ties to militant groups or activities and of those only seven had connections to al Qaeda leadership. The report also alleges that many of the detainees held at both the Bagram Air Base and Guantanamo Bay prisons are civilians who were either caught up in large-scale sweeps by the Afghan and US armies or were arrested based on unreliable information obtained from relatives or neighbors.(emphasis mine)

The McClatchy report can be seen here. Warning: It will piss you off beyond words. It will piss you off for a plethora of reasons. If it doesn’t piss you the fuck off you quite possibly have a mental disorder. Our Government holds the wrong people for friggin years…years! The ‘real’ insurgents know who is or isn’t a terrorist..but our minions do not. Fuck me running..this is so fucked up beyond words. Take this guys story from the McClatchy writeup who got his brains beat in by the real terrorists whilst at Gitmo:

But Akhtiar was no terrorist. American troops had dragged him out of his Afghanistan home in 2003 and held him in Guantanamo for three years in the belief that he was an insurgent involved in rocket attacks on U.S. forces. The Islamic radicals in Guantanamo’s Camp Four who hissed “infidel” and spat at Akhtiar, however, knew something his captors didn’t: The U.S. government had the wrong guy.

These are the people BushCo doesn’t want to have Due Process, or Habeaus Corpus. These are the people the rightwing nutjobs assume are guilty because some fuckwit says so. These are the people who will never be the same and if they live through their nightmare and make it home with their sanity intact, they can count themselves among the few that did. If you don’t get righteously pissed, well mutha fucka, your not paying attention.

The McClatchy report is a must read. Sure, it will upset you to know the truth. But if you know the truth you are better off..believe me. That our government would imprison men for years and years and fucking years on the word of a friggin neighbor just blows my fucking mind.

Also, if you haven’t a clue what goes on at Bagram, read my archived post about it linked in the first paragraph. A real treat that Bagram Internment Facility..fucking Disneyland.

Gitmo West..Bagram Theater Internment Facility

There is an American Prison for terrorist that isn’t in Cuba. Its called Bagram Theater Internment Facility (btif). There aren’t any congressmen or women touring this facility. You will find very few reporters writing about it. Let me tell you a little about BTIF through the eyes of Eliza Griswold, a reporter with The New Republic:

Btif is currently home to about 650 detainees. Unlike the prison in Guantánamo, there aren’t congressional junkets regularly touring the facility, let alone any reporters. Inside one of the low-slung, pale concrete buildings, on the vast floor of what was once a machine shop, is a scene one former interrogator describes as a dungeon, full of “medieval sounds”–the dragging of leg shackles, shouts from military police. Most of its windows, initially installed by the Soviet army, are broken and boarded up. There are six large 60-foot-long cages ringed in coiled barbed wire where detainees are kept, 15 to 20 prisoners to a cage. Before the prisoners enter or leave these cages, they are transferred temporarily to cages large enough for only one prisoner called “sally ports,” which are encased in coils of concertina wire and reinforced with steel beams. On a level above the machine shop floor, there are isolation rooms walled in plywood with chicken-wire ceilings.

Doesn’t that make you proud to be an American? Come on people, why not? Could it be that you are embarrassed to be a part of such a heinous operation? Is it possible that being a part of such a barbaric institution is plain embarrassing, disgusting and abhorrent?? It is for me. We usually are proud to announce that we are the “gold standard” of internment and we follow the rule of law..only not at BTIF or Gitmo my dear reader. Come along with me and read the words of someone that has been there..someone that could walk out without a guard fucking you over.

Bagram is a 6.5-square-mile plot located on the vast, once-verdant Shomali plain and encircled by the snowy Panjshir mountains. After the Soviet invasion in the late ’70s, the Russians built a two-mile runway and airbase at Bagram. During the decades of civil war, the defunct base repeatedly switched between Taliban and Northern Alliance control. In late 2001, as it trounced the Taliban, the United States took possession of the base and outfitted its cavernous machine shop to detain captured combatants. Former prisoners and interrogators say that there were old Soviet signs written in Cyrillic still on the walls.

Oh Jesus Christ forgive me..don’t that make you feel warm and fuzzy? We, the governmental ‘we’, took over a former Soviet base. God bless those mutha fuckas for making it so complete for airbase and all..did you notice the phrase “once-verdant” you know what that means? Ah hell, lets get the Webster’s version: Etymology: modification of Middle French verdoyant, from present participle of verdoyer to be green, from Old French verdoier, from verd, vert green, from Latin viridis, from virEre to be green
1 a : green in tint or color <verdant grass> b : green with growing plants <verdant fields>
I love with growing plant..nolonger is it growing my dear reader..its dying..along with the inmates. But lets not get overwhelmed with that. Lets see what the place is actually like:

From the start, the processing of prisoners entailed some grisly practices. When Captain Carolyn Wood assumed control of the prison in the summer of 2002–she ran it until taking over Abu Ghraib a year later–interrogation tactics came to include beatings, anal violation with sharp objects, blows to the genitals, and “peroneal” strikes (an incapacitating blow to the leg with a baton, a knee, or a shin). We know about these tactics because an internal Army investigation into two prisoner deaths was obtained by The New York Times. These detainees–a 22-year-old taxi driver and the brother of a Taliban commander–were found dead and hanging from the wrists by shackles. A coroner’s report said the two men died after being subjected to dozens of peroneal strikes. According to the coroner’s report, the “pulpified” legs of one of the corpses looked as if they had “been run over by a bus.”

Ah yes..Carolyn Wood..a female that got medals for her valor..and treatment of terrorists. Wonderful woman..stellar bitch that she this and tell me what a wonderful person she is:

It’s not that Bagram has entirely escaped scrutiny. Army investigators have recommended criminal charges for 27 alleged Bagram-based torturers. But, of these 27, only four soldiers have been sentenced to prison time–for no more than several months. The alleged abusers have evaded punishment largely with the help of, among others, Donald Rumsfeld, who approved a December 2002 memorandum that permitted the use of stripping, dogs, and stress positions in interrogations. In fact, many of the top brass who presided over Bagram have done more than escape punishment. Despite the many accounts of Captain Wood’s encouragement of torture–Amnesty International has called her a “torture architect”–she has received two Bronze Stars.

This woman got Two..count em two Bronze fucking stars. Can you believe it? Is this bullshit even on your radar? Do you think this bitch is touting this crap on a website? Is she proud of her accomplishments? Is she looking for a pat on the back for her heinous bullshit? I don’t know..but read this part of the article:

The secrecy shrouding the prison makes it hard to discern the precise composition of its occupants. But we do know that, last year, its population swelled by about 100 detainees, thanks to new U.S.-nato operations aimed at routing the resurgent Taliban. And even the Pentagon has implicitly conceded that the prison no longer serves its initial short-term purpose, changing its name from Bagram Collection Point to the Bagram Theater Internment Facility.Its GitmoWest else do you partition it? Why is this ok? Why do governments approve of this kind of treatment of ‘prisoners of war’? Where in the blue hell are the rules of engagement? Am I nuts? Am I out there? What makes these people different than all the rest of the individuals that dealt with an enemy of war, besides the fact that we have NO FUCKING CLUE WHO THE ENEMY IS in this new fresh hell? We cannot treat them all like the enemy because we DON’T fucking know for the love of God:

During this transformation, some of the worst abuses at Bagram, such as anal violations and beatings, have been curbed, according to former detainees, the Afghan Human Rights Commission, and Human Rights Watch. The Department of Defense claims that prisoners now gain an average of 15 pounds during their detention. And, several weeks ago, the first Afghan prisoners were transferred from Bagram into Afghan custody in the U.S.-built wing of the infamous Policharki prison. Lieutenant Colonel Todd Vician, a spokesman for the Department of Defense, tells me, “We have no desire to be the world’s jailer.”

But they are the worlds jailer, regardless of how they paint it..they can refute it for all their worth but the fact remains…WE are the worlds jailor..its sick..its friggin pathetic..and I can not give you any more pieces of the The New Republic have to read it for yourself..but will also be complicit..just like I am once you know the truth…and there is so much more, my dear will turn your stomach if you care about human beings that are treated like the scum of the earth, worse than dogs that run loose in a neighborhood..without a trial..without anything to prove their bad people..except the thoughts of someone who knows nothing but “they are ALL the enemy”. The only thing they all have in common: They are Muslim.

While delivering one wanted man into U.S. custody, Shah was himself arrested, hooded, shackled, and stripped. Soldiers taped his mouth shut, refusing to let him spit out the snuff he was chewing. For three days, his jailers in Bagram denied him food. All the while, Shah pleaded his innocence and reminded the Americans of his friendship with “Tony.” And, eventually, the Americans concluded that they had mistakenly identified the man as a Taliban official and released him. Despite all this, the U.S. military has continued to ask Shah for his help. “I have refused,” he told us. “When the Americans came, we thought we would be free. But, on the contrary, we have suffered.” Placing his elbows on the table, he hunched forward and cupped his hands around the now cold tea. “If the Americans don’t change their policies soon, neither we nor they will have a way out.”

Think of the horror that would infiltrate our minds if our soldiers were over-run..if they were treated as “these jailors” have treated other human beings.

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