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The next morning, Sergeant Yonushonis went to the noncommissioned officer in charge of the interrogators, Sergeant Loring. to report the incident. Mr, Dilawar, however, was already dead.
The findings of Mr. Dilawar's autopsy were succinct. He had had some coronary artery disease, the medical examiner reported, but what caused his heart to fail was "blunt force injuries to the lower extremities." Similar injuries contributed to Mr. Habibullah's death.
One of the coroners later translated the assessment at a pre-trial hearing for Specialist Brand, saying the tingue in the young man's legs "had basically been pulpified."
I've seen similar injuries in an individual run over by a bus," added Lt. Col. Elizabeth Rouse, the coroner, and a major at that time.
After the second death, several of the 519th Battalion's interrogators were temporarily removed from their posts. A medic was assigned to the detention center to work night shifts. On orders from the Bagram intelligence chief, interrogators were prohibited from any physical contact with the detainees. Chaining prisoners to any fixed object was also banned, and the use of stress positions was curtailed.
In February. an American military official disclosed that the Afghan guerrilla commander whose men had arrested Mr. Dilawar and his passengers had himself been detained. The commander, Jan Baz Khan, was suspected of attacking Camp Salerno himself and then turning over innocent "suspects" to the Americans in a ploy to win their trust, the military official said.
The three passengers in Mr. Dilawar's taxi were sent home from Guantanamo in March 2004, :5 months after their capture, with letters saying they posed "no threat" to American forces.
They were later visited by Mr. Dilawar's parents, who begged them to explain what had happened to their son. But the men said they could not bring themselves to recount the details.
"I told them he had a bed," said Mr. Parkhudin. "I said the Americans were very nice because he had a heart problem.
In late August of last year, shortly before the Army completed its inquiry into the deaths, Sergeant Yonushonis, who was stationed in Germany. went at his own initiative to see an agent of the Criminal Investigation Command. Until then, he had never been interviewed.
"I expected to be contacted at some point by investigators in this case," he said. "I was living a few doors down from the interrogation room, and I had been one of the last to see this detainee alive.
Sergeant Yonushonis described what he had witnessed of the detainee's last interrogation. "I remember being so mad that I had trouble speaking," he said.
He also added a detail that had been overlooked in the investigative file. By the time Mr. Dilawar was taken into his final interrogations, he said, "most of us were convinced that the detainee was innocent."
Photos: Dilawar, at left, was an Afghan farmer and taxi driver who died while in custody of American troops. Below, a sketch by Thomas V. Curtis, a former Reserve M.P. sergeant, showing how Dilawar was chained to the ceiling of his cell. (pg. Al); Shahpoor visiting the grave of his brother Dilawar, who died in 2002 after mistreatment by soldiers at the Bagram detention facility. Most of his interrogators were said to believe he was innocent of any insurgent activity. (Photographs by Keith Bedford for the New York Times) (pg. A12); Asaldin holding Bibi Rashida, 3, daughter of his son Dilawar, at home in Yakubi. Army coroners ruled Dilawar's death a homicide.; Troops at the American base in Bagram, which houses a prison for suspected Taliban and Qaeda fighters. Photo directly above shows part of a copy of the death certificate for Dilawar, the 22-year-old farmer and part-time taxi driver who died there. (pg. A131
Chart: "Along the Chain of Command, Confusion and Contradiction"
Gen. Daniel K. McNeill
INTERVIEW WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES, FEB. 7, 2003
*We are not chaining people to the ceilings .. I will say that our interrogation techniques are adapted, they are in accordance with what is generally accepted as interrogation techniques."
Col. Theodore C. Nicholas II
STATEMENT TO ARMY INVESTIGATORS, JUNE 11, 2004
"I did not put pressure on the interrogation cell to violate standards to gain information. I would rather not receive the information than harm an individual to produce it."
Capt. Britton T. Hopper
There was a lot of pressure to get more intelligence .. coming from top down, and probably the perception, on occasion, was that we weren't being as aggressive as we should have been."
Capt. Carolyn A. Wood Operations officer in charge of interrogations at Bagram Control Point, July 2002-Jan. 2003
STATEMENT IN COMMANDERS CLASSIFIED INVESTIGATION, JAN. 17, 2004
*would like to get additional legal guidance. We would like to know what our left and right limits are in respect to stress positions and sleep adjustment, for instance."
Poriner Sgt. James A. (Alex) Leahy
STATEMENT TO ARMY INVESTIGATORS, JAN. 15, 2004
*Due to the lack of clear policy concerning the legality of safety positions and the sleep adjustment schedules, we did not keep records of it." (pg. 12)
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OTHER INDEXING: (Golden, Tim) (377TH; 377TH MILITARY POLICE CO; ALLAH; ARMY; ARMY FIELD; COMMANDERS; CONVENTIONS; GENEVA CONVENTIONS; INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE; MILITARY INTELLIGENCE BATTALION; NEW YORK TIMES; PASHTO; PENTAGON; RED CROSS, SAUDI; SHY DETAINEE; TALIBAN; TESTOSTERONE GANG; UTAH; UTAH NATIONAL GUARD) (A1; Abdul Ahad Wardak.; Abdur Rahim; Afghan; Ahmad Ahmadzai; Ahmadzai; Al Qaeda; Alan J. Driver Jr.; Ali M. Baryalai; Anthony M. Morden; Atwell; Bacha Khel; Baerde; Baryalai; Beiring; Betty J. Jones; Bibi Rashida; Bobby R. Atwell; Boland; Brian E. Cammack, Britton T. Hopper; Built: Bush;
Callaway; Cammack; Camp Salerno; Carolyn A. Wood; Christopher M. Beiring; Corey E. Jones;
ARTICLE, TIM GOLDEN, “THE BAGRAM FILE: ARMY FALTERED IN INVESTIGATING DE
TAINEE ABUSE,” NEW YORK TIMES, MAY 22, 2005, AVAILABLE ON WESTLAW AT 2005 WLNR 8112977
New York Times (NY)
May 22, 2005
THE BAGRAM FILE: Second of two articles.
Despite autopsy findings of homicide and statements by soldiers that two prisoners died after being struck by guards at an American military detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan, Army investigators initially recommended closing the case without bringing any criminal charges, documents and interviews show.
Within days after the two deaths in December 2002, military coroners determined that both had been caused by "blunt force trauma" to the legs. Soon after, soldiers and others at Bagram told the investigators that military guards had repeatedly struck both men in the tbaghs while they were shackled and that one had also been mistreated by military interrogators.
Nonetheless, agents of the Army's Criminal Investigation Conmand reported to their superiors that they could not clearly determine who was responsible for the detainees' injuries, military officials said. Military lawyers at Bagram took the same position, according to confidential documents from the investigation obtained by The New York Times.
"I could never see any criminal intent on the part of the M.P.'s to cause the detainee to die," one of the lawyers, Maj. Jeff A. Bovarnick, later told investigators, referring to one of the deaths. "We believed the M.P.'s story, that this was the most combative detainee ever,"
The investigators' move to close the case was among a series of apparent missteps in an Army inquiry that ultimately took almost two years to complete and has so far resulted in criminal charges against seven soldiers. Early on, the documents show, crucial witnesses were not interviewed, documents disappeared, and at least a few pieces of evidence were mishandled.
While senior military intelligence officers at Bagram quickly heard reports of abuse by several interrogators, documents show they also failed to file reports that are mandatory when any intelligence personnel are suspected of misconduct, including mistreatment of detainees. Those reports would have alerted military intelligence officials in the United