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  • Americans torture American

    The Article
    A U.S. Navy veteran from Chicago sued former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in federal court Monday, accusing U.S. forces of detaining and torturing him for 97 days at a maximum security military prison in Baghdad.

    Donald Vance, 29, worked in Iraq as a private security contractor when he was kidnapped by his own employer in April, rescued by U.S. forces, and then held without ever being charged with a crime, according to the lawsuit.

    At the U.S. Embassy, Vance told military officials that he was an FBI informant who regularly relayed information via cell phone and e-mail to a federal agent in Chicago about his employer's possible involvement in illegally selling weapons.

    "Within five minutes of my first interrogations I explained to them the relationship [with FBI agent Travis Carlisle] and I was imploring them to do their research," he said. An FBI spokesman confirmed Carlisle is an agent but declined to comment further.

    'Fair and humanely'
    After being interviewed and getting a few hours of sleep at the embassy, Vance and co-worker Nathan Ertel of Virginia were bound, blindfolded and taken to Camp Cropper, the military prison where Saddam Hussein was held.

    During a telephone interview Monday, Vance said he was questioned almost every day, repeatedly asked what connections his employer, Shield Group Security, had with Iraqi political and tribal leaders, what type of work they did, how much he got paid, and contacts in the U.S. State Department, among other things.

    During his imprisonment, Vance was isolated and deprived of sleep and food, he said. He kept track of time by keeping notes in a prison camp-issued Bible and making hash marks on the cinder block walls of his cold cell -- a 9-foot-square room with a thin mattress and a "Turkish toilet" that amounted to a hole in the floor.

    He said he was deprived of blankets and adequate clothes, and got very little sleep because cell lights were never turned off and "intolerably loud" heavy metal and country music was usually playing in the prison. Sometimes he wasn't given food and water for an entire day, the lawsuit states.

    A Pentagon representative told the New York Times that Vance was treated "fair and humanely," and that there is no record Vance complained about how he was being treated.

    On July 20, Vance was released and dropped at Baghdad Airport to find a way home himself.

    Vance, a graduate of Chicago's Taft High School, said "sheer anger" provoked his decision to take the matter to court and help Americans "protect their liberties at home."
    Of course, some people will claim being deprived of sleep, food, and clothing isn't really torture. And I'll also wait for the early-assesment of his guilt, which will somehow make the breach of his civil rights ok.

  • #2
    Re: Americans torture American

    Originally posted by TheFeniX View Post
    Of course, some people will claim being deprived of sleep, food, and clothing isn't really torture. And I'll also wait for the early-assesment of his guilt, which will somehow make the breach of his civil rights ok.
    Ah, but is it mistreatment to someone who hasnt been charged.....
    Im not a cop but im pretty shure they can only hold you for 24 hours without charging you.......course thats in normal situations.

    Thanks to that good ole' Patriot Act they can take you away like the nazi secret police and youll never be heard from again............alll they have to do is accuse you of being a terrorist.

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    • #3
      Re: Americans torture American

      My favorite part:
      A Pentagon representative told the New York Times that Vance was treated "fair and humanely," and that there is no record Vance complained about how he was being treated.
      Remind me if I am ever falsely incarcerated and tortured to leave a letter of complaint with the warden while being marched, blindfolded and bound, back to solitary confinement. I hope they don't charge me for copies and processing.
      In game handle: Steel Scion
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      • #4
        Re: Americans torture American

        Something is definately wrong here. We're probably not getting the whole story, but from this side of the news story it looks like they completely failed to bother doing any research on who he was or what he was involved with.

        Or maybe the FBI denied involvement with him to cover its own rear?

        Either way, I don't know how much blame you can put on Rumsfeld personally.

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        • #5
          Re: Americans torture American

          Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
          Something is definately wrong here. We're probably not getting the whole story, but from this side of the news story it looks like they completely failed to bother doing any research on who he was or what he was involved with.
          His guilt or innocence is not the isssue here. The issue is that a man (and this time, it actually was an American Citizen) was arrested and tortured: nothing more. He could be the next unabomber and it STILL wouldn't be acceptable. He could eat babies, and it still woudn't matter. The fact that he actually was innocent is just a bigger kick in the teeth.

          People seem to (and I'm not targetting this paragraph at you) think that if he was actually a criminal, it suddenly becomes ok to subject him to torture. It doesn't. We don't torture serial killers and serial rapists even after they've been convicted of their crimes. Why is it ok when we add "OMG TERRORSITS!" into the equation?

          Or maybe the FBI denied involvement with him to cover its own rear?
          Possible, but why would they tell the media "he's an FBI agent," but wouldn't tell this to the Armed Forces if they asked?

          Of course, you could argue that the US government is filled with the same inter-office politcal BS most companies are, and you'd be right. But a piss-poor communication setup or "rear-covering" doesn't explain why we jump to terrorzing our own citizens.

          Either way, I don't know how much blame you can put on Rumsfeld personally.
          Who exactly do you sue when you get screwed by the government and they didn't even bother to give you the common decency of a reach-around? I honestly don't know what I'd do in that situation. I guess he figured the (former) SecDef was a good place to start.

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          • #6
            Re: Americans torture American

            I am not sure what Kerostasis was trying to say, but I think I will wait to hear more about this story before I make up my mind. If everyone believes what one person claims about what he experienced in our justice system then I doubt many people would still be incarcerated.

            I for one would like to hear what exactly this company that he worked for did. I also would like to have someone other than himself back up these claims of torture.
            |TG-12th| Sawviper

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            • #7
              Re: Americans torture American

              Having the lights left on, not having your down comforter, refusing to eat hot dogs and broccoli all day, and disliking the same music that the guards enjoy listening to DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE BEING TORTURED. Perhaps I'm jaded because I've been accused of violating people's civil rights and I know exactly how these complaints are worded, but I simply don't believe this guy.

              With the exception of being fed every day (if he's not lying/exaggerating about that), he would be treated exactly the same way at any jail in this country. And he expects to be treated better in a war zone? Give me a break...
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              • #8
                Re: Americans torture American

                Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                Having the lights left on, not having your down comforter, refusing to eat hot dogs and broccoli all day, and disliking the same music that the guards enjoy listening to DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE BEING TORTURED.
                "Of course, some people will claim being deprived of sleep, food, and clothing isn't really torture."

                So, let's downplay what he said to make it sound rediculous to form an arguement.

                Perhaps I'm jaded because I've been accused of violating people's civil rights and I know exactly how these complaints are worded, but I simply don't believe this guy.
                So, a former Navy man and FBI informant isnt good enough for you. He's obiviously lying about the whole deal to downplay his guilt (which doesn't exist). What would it take to convince you Cing?

                That's the great part of lacking any kind of oversight into this whole issue: You can deny all you want and he can't provide any evidence to the contrary.

                With the exception of being fed every day (if he's not lying/exaggerating about that), he would be treated exactly the same way at any jail in this country.
                So, all jails in the US blast music at prisoners and leave the lights on all day? They spend 94 days in jail without charges or being questioned without legal representation?

                And he expects to be treated better in a war zone? Give me a break...
                What war?

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                • #9
                  Re: Americans torture American

                  Give it a rest. You're torturing me.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Americans torture American

                    Originally posted by TheFeniX View Post
                    His guilt or innocence is not the isssue here. The issue is that a man (and this time, it actually was an American Citizen) was arrested and tortured: nothing more. He could be the next unabomber and it STILL wouldn't be acceptable. He could eat babies, and it still woudn't matter. The fact that he actually was innocent is just a bigger kick in the teeth.
                    I disagree. I think his guilt or innocence is THE issue here. Its not like we're talking thumbscrews or anything. Man has developed many, many tortures that are so much worse than this that the word feels cheapened by its use here.

                    In this particular case, it appears they screwed up in their choice of interrogees. We haven't seen the whole story yet, so we don't know how that came to pass, but I will readily agree we need procedures to make sure mistakes like this don't happen. But that shouldn't prevent us from interrogating those who really are out to kill us.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Americans torture American

                      Continued lapses such as these are all the more reason to leave Iraq now.
                      In game handle: Steel Scion
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                      • #12
                        Re: Americans torture American

                        Ack! Stop it! Torture!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Americans torture American

                          This doesn't sound like torture to me. It's an unfortunate incident, but I'd consider this one of the many risks (and less dangerous, at that) of taking a security contractor position in Iraq. Nothing is out of the question. If you're siezed by US forces, this spartan treatment, designed to make you want to cooperate, sounds pretty standard to me.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Americans torture American

                            Originally posted by freekyE View Post
                            Ah, but is it mistreatment to someone who hasnt been charged.....
                            Im not a cop but im pretty shure they can only hold you for 24 hours without charging you.......course thats in normal situations.

                            Thanks to that good ole' Patriot Act they can take you away like the nazi secret police and youll never be heard from again............alll they have to do is accuse you of being a terrorist.

                            oh dear god if only we can stand firm against such proposals to hold "terror" suspects for up to 90 days without charge or access to legal representation.... may sound far fetched.... it was actually debated in British Parlaimant and lost by quite a narrow margin.... the then home secretary Charles clarke said we would re visit the proposal in 2007.... legalised breach of civil liberties.... sounds like a hoot.


                            www.TeamElement.com

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                            • #15
                              Re: Americans torture American

                              Originally posted by AMosely View Post
                              This doesn't sound like torture to me. It's an unfortunate incident, but I'd consider this one of the many risks (and less dangerous, at that) of taking a security contractor position in Iraq. Nothing is out of the question. If you're siezed by US forces, this spartan treatment, designed to make you want to cooperate, sounds pretty standard to me.

                              on the topic, there is one thing for sure, the guys working security jobs in Iraq, do so with the gravest of risks, and they do it largely for the cash i cant imagine muc else.... if he had been taken by malitia or someone else he would almost certainly be dead, and if the practices used by the US forces were standard in inteligence gathering, well his position is misty, just because he is a citizen really should not be taken into consideration when dealing with potential terror suspects. hmmmm dodgy.... lets just stop these activities all together and give that a whirl. im sure someone will complain about their oats being cold in the morning or something... :row__531:


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