Former Detainee Describes ‘Water Treatment’

By | May 21, 2008

Murat Kurnaz told members of Congress today he was subjected to “water treatment,” electric shocks and other abuse during the almost five years he spent in U.S. custody, putting a face to the Justice Department’s inspector general report released today, detailing abuses witnessed by FBI agents overseas at detention facilities run by the military and CIA.

Kurnaz, a Turkish citizen, was arrested in Pakistan in late 2001 after the 9/11 attacks while he traveled with a religious tourism group, and was eventually handed over to U.S. forces. He was held in U.S. facilities in Afghanistan and then at Guantanamo Bay.

Speaking to the House Foreign Affairs Committee via video link from Germany with his lawyer at his side, Kurnaz described how he was abused while he was held at a U.S. base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and described how he was subjected to “water treatment” while in custody.

“They stuck my head into a bucket of water and punched me in the stomach,” he said. “I inhaled the water. … It was a strong punch.”

Kurnaz testified that, although he had no links to al Qaeda, and German intelligence services told U.S. officials in 2002 that he was not a terrorist, he languished at Guantanamo until August 2006.

While he was detained in Kandahar, Kurnaz testified, he was chained by his arms to the ceiling with his feet dangling and subjected to electric shocks. Kurnaz also alleges U.S. interrogators tried to force him to sign papers admitting his guilt.

Kurnaz, 26, who was born in Germany, also alleged the abuse continued at Guantanamo Bay.

“I didn’t think this could happen in the 21st century. … I could never have imagined that this place was created by the United States,” he said.

While the CIA has admitted to waterboarding three al Qaeda detainees, the Justice Department inspector general’s report, released today, details other instances of detainees having water forced down their throats.

The report noted an instance from a 2004 interrogation of a detainee in Iraq.

“[An FBI Agent] recalled that, at some point during the interrogation, the military officer ‘put water down’ a seated detainee’s throat,” the report said. “He said he guessed that the purpose of the water was to give the detainee the sensation that he was drowning, so that he would provide the information that the interrogator wanted. [The agent] stated that the detainee was gagging and spitting out water. He said that the detainee appeared to be uncomfortable, and assumed that he had trouble breathing.” – abcnews

I believe there is physical torture and human experimentation going on at Gitmo, Iraq, and in secret prisons around the world…  but the mainstream news makes it sound like there is only “simulated drownings” of Al Qaeda members and psychological techniques such as not permitting prisoners to read the Koran every day. BS. According to US soldier whistle blowers people are being raped, killed and mutilated in US custody and that includes men, women and children.

I’ve been saying IMPEACH for years now. If you want this to stop, do that. Throw the current administration and everyone who has participated in human rights violations in jail for this crap.

2 thoughts on “Former Detainee Describes ‘Water Treatment’

  1. TheAdlerian

    If that’s true, then it’s real torture.

    However, it’s a fact that Muslims and Jews are allowed to lie to an infidel, or about them. That’s because all infidels are offered the “holy word” but reject it, I suppose mystically at birth. Beyond that, propaganda is a political tool which involves lying and twisting the truth as a form of mental warfare. So, it’s hard to trust.

    Meanwhile, when I think of Turkey I think of the various American superhero movies they’ve made where people like Spiderman are rapists and whatnot.

  2. Ann

    TheAdlerian – factual generalizations? Isn’t that called stereotyping or some circles profiling?

    Consider if you will there are different points of view within Islam. There are different cultural orientations within those different points of view. Would you belief me if I told you that some Muslims don’t quite grasp the religious practices of even their neighboring Muslim country? This is what a male Muslim, who was by no means a recluse, told me.

    Although it is for sure there are some Muslims who will say that practice and beliefs of Islam are wherever the same, just as there are some Christians who will proudly say the way their particular denomination is practiced is the same everywhere. And, perhaps superficially it is, but when you start talking about beliefs, such as who or what is an “infidel” and their ideas, thoughts and feelings about an “infidel” and about the interpretations of the “Holy Book” or “Word” you run into a lot of trouble trying to find universals.

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