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Sex As Weapon By Gitmo Guards? - CBS News, USA

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  • Zafar Khan
    Sex As Weapon By Gitmo Guards? SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Jan. 27, 2005 http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/01/27/national/main669845.shtml (AP) Female
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2005
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      Sex As Weapon By Gitmo Guards?
      SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Jan. 27, 2005


      (AP) Female interrogators tried to break Muslim
      detainees at the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay by
      sexual touching, wearing a miniskirt and thong
      underwear and in one case smearing a Saudi man's face
      with fake menstrual blood, according to an insider's
      written account.

      A draft manuscript obtained by The Associated Press is
      classified as secret pending a Pentagon review for a
      planned book that details ways the U.S. military used
      women as part of tougher physical and psychological
      interrogation tactics to get terror suspects to talk.

      It's the most revealing account so far of
      interrogations at the secretive detention camp, where
      officials say they have halted some controversial

      "I have really struggled with this because the
      detainees, their families and much of the world will
      think this is a religious war based on some of the
      techniques used, even though it is not the case," the
      author, former Army Sgt. Erik R. Saar, 29, told AP.

      Saar didn't provide the manuscript or approach AP, but
      confirmed the authenticity of nine draft pages AP
      obtained. He requested his hometown remain private so
      he wouldn't be harassed.

      Saar, who is neither Muslim nor of Arab descent,
      worked as an Arabic translator at the U.S. camp in
      eastern Cuba from December 2002 to June 2003. At the
      time, it was under the command of Maj. Gen. Geoffrey
      Miller, who had a mandate to get better intelligence
      from prisoners, including alleged al Qaeda members
      caught in Afghanistan.

      Saar said he witnessed about 20 interrogations and
      about three months after his arrival at the remote
      U.S. base he started noticing "disturbing" practices.

      One female civilian contractor used a special outfit
      that included a miniskirt, thong underwear and a bra
      during late-night interrogations with prisoners,
      mostly Muslim men who consider it taboo to have close
      contact with women who aren't their wives.

      Beginning in April 2003, "there hung a short skirt and
      thong underwear on the hook on the back of the door"
      of one interrogation team's office, he writes. "Later
      I learned that this outfit was used for interrogations
      by one of the female civilian contractors ... on a
      team which conducted interrogations in the middle of
      the night on Saudi men who were refusing to talk."

      Some Guantanamo prisoners who have been released say
      they were tormented by "prostitutes."

      In another case, Saar describes a female military
      interrogator questioning an uncooperative 21-year-old
      Saudi detainee who allegedly had taken flying lessons
      in Arizona before the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
      Suspected Sept. 11 hijacker Hani Hanjour received
      pilot instruction for three months in 1996 and in
      December 1997 at a flight school in Scottsdale, Ariz.

      "His female interrogator decided that she needed to
      turn up the heat," Saar writes, saying she repeatedly
      asked the detainee who had sent him to Arizona,
      telling him he could "cooperate" or "have no hope
      whatsoever of ever leaving this place or talking to a

      The man closed his eyes and began to pray, Saar

      The female interrogator wanted to "break him," Saar
      adds, describing how she removed her uniform top to
      expose a tight-fitting T-shirt and began taunting the
      detainee, touching her breasts, rubbing them against
      the prisoner's back and commenting on his apparent

      The detainee looked up and spat in her face, the
      manuscript recounts.

      The interrogator left the room to ask a Muslim
      linguist how she could break the prisoner's reliance
      on God. The linguist told her to tell the detainee
      that she was menstruating, touch him, then make sure
      to turn off the water in his cell so he couldn't wash.

      Strict interpretation of Islamic law forbids physical
      contact with women other than a man's wife or family,
      and with any menstruating women, who are considered

      "The concept was to make the detainee feel that after
      talking to her he was unclean and was unable to go
      before his God in prayer and gain strength," says the
      draft, stamped "Secret."

      The interrogator used ink from a red pen to fool the
      detainee, Saar writes.

      "She then started to place her hands in her pants as
      she walked behind the detainee," he says. "As she
      circled around him he could see that she was taking
      her hand out of her pants. When it became visible the
      detainee saw what appeared to be red blood on her
      hand. She said, 'Who sent you to Arizona?' He then
      glared at her with a piercing look of hatred.

      "She then wiped the red ink on his face. He shouted at
      the top of his lungs, spat at her and lunged forward"
      — so fiercely that he broke loose from one ankle

      "He began to cry like a baby," the draft says, noting
      the interrogator left saying, "Have a fun night in
      your cell without any water to clean yourself."

      Events Saar describes resemble two previous reports of
      abusive female interrogation tactics, although it
      wasn't possible to independently verify his account.

      In November, in response to an AP request, the
      military described an April 2003 incident in which a
      female interrogator took off her uniform top, exposed
      her brown T-shirt, ran her fingers through a
      detainee's hair and sat on his lap. That session was
      immediately ended by a supervisor and that
      interrogator received a written reprimand and
      additional training, the military said.

      In another incident, the military reported that in
      early 2003 a different female interrogator "wiped dye
      from red magic marker on detainees' shirt after
      detainee spit (cq) on her," telling the detainee it
      was blood. She was verbally reprimanded, the military

      Sexual tactics used by female interrogators have been
      criticized by the FBI, which complained in a letter
      obtained by AP last month that U.S. defense officials
      hadn't acted on complaints by FBI observers of "highly
      aggressive" interrogation techniques, including one in
      which a female interrogator grabbed a detainee's

      About 20 percent of the guards at Guantanamo are
      women, said Lt. Col. James Marshall, a spokesman for
      U.S. Southern Command. He wouldn't say how many of the
      interrogators were female.

      Marshall wouldn't address whether the U.S. military
      had a specific strategy to use women.

      "U.S. forces treat all detainees and conduct all
      interrogations, wherever they may occur, humanely and
      consistent with U.S. legal obligations, and in
      particular with legal obligations prohibiting
      torture," Marshall said Thursday.

      But some officials at the U.S. Southern Command have
      questioned the formation of an all-female team as one
      of Guantanamo's "Immediate Reaction Force" units that
      subdue troublesome male prisoners in their cells,
      according to a document classified as secret and
      obtained by AP.

      In one incident, dated June 19, 2004, "The detainee
      appears to be genuinely traumatized by a female escort
      securing the detainee's leg irons," according to the
      document, a U.S. Southern Command summary of
      videotapes shot when the teams were used.

      The summary warned that anyone outside Department of
      Defense channels should be prepared to address
      allegations that women were used intentionally with
      Muslim men.

      At Guantanamo, Saar said, "Interrogators were given a
      lot of latitude under Miller," the commander who went
      from the prison in Cuba to overseeing prisons in Iraq,
      where the Abu Ghraib scandal shocked the world with
      pictures revealing sexual humiliation of naked

      Several female troops have been charged in the Abu
      Ghraib scandal.

      Saar said he volunteered to go to Guantanamo because
      "I really believed in the mission," but then he became
      disillusioned during his six months at the prison.

      After leaving the Army with more than four years
      service, Saar worked as a contractor briefly for the

      The Department of Defense has censored parts of his
      draft, mainly blacking out people's names, Saar said.
      He needed permission to publish because he signed a
      disclosure statement before going to Guantanamo.

      The book, which Saar titled "Inside the Wire," is due
      out this year with Penguin Press.

      Guantanamo has about 545 prisoners from some 40
      countries, many held more than three years without
      charge or access to lawyers and many suspected of
      links to al Qaeda or Afghanistan's ousted Taliban
      regime, which harbored the terrorist network.

      ©MMV, The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This
      material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten,
      or redistributed.

      Prostitute used in Habib torture: lawyer
      January 27, 2005


      Mamdouh Habib was the victim of atrocities fit for a
      concentration camp, including being tied to the ground
      while a prostitute menstruated on him, his lawyer said

      Interrogators at the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay
      had also told the Sydney man they had killed his
      family and superimposed animal heads on photos of his
      wife and children, Steven Hopper said.

      At an Australia Day forum in Sydney, Mr Hopper gave
      more details of atrocities allegedly endured by his
      client while held at the US base in Cuba.

      The Federal Government said it was aware of similar
      allegations of torture made by former British
      detainees at Guantanamo Bay but it was the first time
      the Government had heard the claims involving Mr

      Mr Habib is due back in Sydney within a fortnight
      after the US said it would release him without charge
      despite holding him for more than three years on
      suspicion he knew about the September 11 attacks and
      had trained with al-Qaeda.

      Mr Hopper said yesterday: "The Americans used
      prostitutes as tools in their interrogations. They'd
      say to detainees 'If you co-operate with us, we'll let
      you at this woman for the night'. And if they wouldn't
      agree they'd use them in other ways."

      He said detainees held at the base with Mr Habib
      reported that a prostitute was told to stand over him
      and menstruate on him.

      "[We believe] one of the prostitutes stood over him
      naked while he was strapped to the floor and
      menstruated on him," he said.

      Mr Hopper said officials at the base also defaced
      photos of Mr Habib's wife, Maha, and their four

      "The Americans in their wisdom have taken the heads
      off the pictures, enlarged them and superimposed them
      with the heads of animals and then strung them up all
      over the walls of the interrogation room," he said.

      "As they sat there talking to Mamdouh asking him about
      his terrorist activities, they held up a picture of
      Maha and said, 'It's a shame we had to kill your
      family, it's a shame you will never see these people

      He said Mr Habib was also subjected to the same
      interrogation techniques used on prisoners at the
      infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

      "Make no doubt about it, Guantanamo Bay wasn't a
      prisoner-of-war camp," Mr Hopper said. "It was a
      facility designed to interrogate people. It was
      nothing more than a vulgar concentration camp and it
      has marked a new high in the rise of American

      Mr Habib was detained in Pakistan in late 2001 and
      sent to Egypt before being flown to Guantanamo Bay in

      Mr Hopper also detailed abuses against Mr Habib while
      in Egypt, saying he was suspended from the ceiling
      with only an electrified barrel to stand on.

      "He would stand and get a shock or hang painfully by
      his arms until he'd collapse," he said.

      He was blindfolded and locked in rooms that were
      flooded with water and charged with electricity, Mr
      Hopper said.

      "On other occasions they used German shepherd guard
      dogs and [interrogators] told him they train dogs to
      sexually assault people," the lawyer said.

      "Mamdouh has said he wasn't sexually assaulted by
      these dogs but really we don't know.

      "Who would admit to it, particularly an Arab Muslim

      The forum Mr Hopper spoke at focused on Australia's
      political relationship with the US.

      A spokesman for the Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock,
      said last night that it was the first time the
      Government had heard the claims involving Mr Habib.

      "We haven't heard those sorts of allegations from Mr
      Habib but we're aware that allegations of that nature
      were made by other detainees released last year," Mr
      Ruddock's spokesman said.

      "But if he's got any evidence to support those sorts
      of claims we'd pass them on."

      More about War Crimes by Americans at:

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