Daily archives: June 19, 2006

‘Wash Post’ Obtains Shocking Memo from U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Details Increasing Danger and Hardship

By Greg Mitchell in Editor and Publisher

NEW YORK The Washington Post has obtained a cable, marked “sensitive,” that it says show that just before President Bush left on a surprise trip last Monday to the Green Zone in Baghdad for an upbeat assessment of the situation there, “the U.S. Embassy in Iraq painted a starkly different portrait of increasing danger and hardship faced by its Iraqi employees.”

This cable outlines, the Post reported Sunday, “the daily-worsening conditions for those who live outside the heavily guarded international zone: harassment, threats and the employees’ constant fears that their neighbors will discover they work for the U.S. government.”

It’s actually far worse than that, as the details published below indicate, which include references to abductions, threats to women’s rights, and “ethnic cleansing.”

A PDF copy of the cable shows that it was sent to the SecState in Washington, D.C. from “AMEmbassy Baghdad” on June 6. The typed name at the very bottom is Khalilzad — the name of the U.S. Ambassador, though it is not known if this means he wrote the memo or merely approved it.


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Guantanamo and Medical Ethics

From The Jurist

The ongoing detention without trial of over 400 individuals in the US base at Guantanamo Bay has rightly been decried as an ongoing human rights scandal by everyone from Amnesty International to the Vatican. The recent hunger strike and now the suicides of three prisoners have however raised the issue of the medical treatment of the Guantanamo detainees.

Dr. David Nicholl, a neurologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, says that the recent hunger strike and now suicides by prisoners held by the US at Guantanamo Bay highlight the need to accord the detainees not just due legal process, but also ethical medical treatment…

Go here to read the full article.

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MPs to press ministers on torture claims

From The Guardian

The government will today come under pressure to disclose all it knows about how Benyam Mohammed, a British resident held in Guant?namo Bay, was seized in Pakistan in 2002, and the likelihood that he would be tortured when he was moved to American custody.

Mr Mohammed, 27, is accused of planning al-Qaida attacks. Following his arrest in Pakistan he was flown on a CIA rendition flight to Morocco, where he was allegedly tortured.

The Council of Europe highlighted his case in a report this month in which the UK is accused not only of allowing the use of British airspace and airports, but of providing information used during his torture. Today, the all-party group on extraordinary rendition will hear there is strong prima facie evidence of British involvement in Mr Mohammed’s seizure in Pakistan in 2002 and his subsequent secret transportation to Morocco and Afghanistan before been flown to the US camp in Cuba.

The former foreign secretary Jack Straw, told the Commons foreign affairs committee last year that while in jail in Karachi, Mr Mohammed was interviewed by a member of MI5. Mr Straw said MI5 had no role in his capture or in his transfer from Pakistan. He denied that the officer had noticed any evidence of torture, and said Mr Mohammed had not complained of ill-treatment. However, MPs say the Foreign Office has refused to cooperate with their requests for further information, according to Andrew Tyrie, Tory chairman of the group.


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