informazione dal medio oriente
    information from middle east
    المعلومات من الشرق الأوسط

[ home page] | [ tutte le notizie/all news ] | [ download banner] | [ ultimo aggiornamento/last update 28/08/2019 00:45 ] 14019

english italiano

  [ Subscribe our newsletter!   -   Iscriviti alla nostra newsletter! ]  


Uruknet on Alexa

End Gaza Siege
End Gaza Siege


:: Segnala Uruknet agli amici. Clicka qui.
:: Invite your friends to Uruknet. Click here.

:: Segnalaci un articolo
:: Tell us of an article

US military exonerated torturers of John Walker Lindh

David Walsh, WSWS


23 July 2005 - The US soldiers responsible for the abuse and torture of John Walker Lindh at an Afghan military base in December 2002—and photographing their handiwork—were cleared of all charges by military investigators more than two years ago on the grounds that their behavior amounted to little more than "barracks humor." The documents revealing this finding were among materials related to detainee treatment released July 19, in heavily censored form, in response to a federal suit by the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act.

Lindh, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2002, is the young American, a convert to Islam, who fought with the Taliban forces in northeastern Afghanistan against the rebel Northern Alliance. In November 2001, after the US had invaded Afghanistan and formed a military alliance with the Northern Alliance against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, Lindh’s unit retreated on foot to Kunduz. There it surrendered to Northern Alliance troops under the command of General Dostum, a notorious warlord.

Lindh and the other prisoners were taken to the Qala-i-Janghi fortress outside Mazar-i-Sharif. The following day, the prisoners were led out of the basement and into the yard and made to sit in rows, their arms bound behind their backs. Guards walked among them, randomly hitting and kicking prisoners. Lindh was struck in the back of the head and almost lost consciousness.

CIA agent Johnny Spann and another agent, working with Dostum’s men, singled out Lindh and questioned him at gunpoint. The episode was captured on videotape and records the Americans saying to Lindh, "The problem is, he needs to decide if he wants to live or die, and die here ... we’re just going to leave him, and he’s going to f—king sit in prison the rest of his f—king short life. It’s his decision, man. We can only help the guys who want to talk to us." Lindh said nothing throughout the questioning.

Later that day, after a prisoner detonated a grenade, Northern Alliance troops and US Special Forces opened fire, mowing down rows of bound prisoners. American planes were brought in to bomb the fortress prison. The CIA agent Spann was killed in the fighting. Lindh was wounded in the leg fleeing the carnage.

As the World Socialist Web Site previously noted: "He [Lindh] lay on the ground for 12 hours, surrounded by corpses and pretending to be dead, while US aircraft bombed the compound, blowing living and dead prisoners to bits. In the middle of the night, Lindh and several other survivors in the yard made their way back into the basement. Wounded, starving and freezing, Lindh was trapped there for the next seven days. Dostum’s troops periodically dropped grenades down air shafts, killing many. One wounded Lindh with shrapnel.

"On the fourth day, Northern Alliance troops poured gasoline into the basement and ignited it, incinerating several men. Then Dostum’s soldiers fired rockets into the areas of the basement where the men had fled to escape the flames, littering the area with body parts.

"On the sixth day, Dostum’s troops flooded the basement with near freezing water. According to government disclosures, an eyewitness said that the water 'was about waist high for one full day. Those who were too injured to stand drowned, and the water was full of blood and waste.’"

Lindh and others were obliged to drink this water to survive. At one point, he tripped over a dead body and was submerged in the freezing water, which resulted in his suffering hypothermia.

After this horrifying experience, Lindh and the other 85 survivors (out of hundreds of prisoners) emerged, "wounded, starved, frozen and exhausted." He was then crammed into a metal shipping container with other wounded and sick prisoners by Dostum’s forces. Next, Lindh was transferred to an open-air truck full of dying prisoners. He was driven to Sheberghan, where he was taken by stretcher into a room about 10 feet by 10 feet, where he was left with some 15 dead or dying prisoners.

It was there that CNN correspondent Robert Pelton, who eventually informed Lindh’s parents of his situation, found him and began questioning him on videotape.

Following the interview, Lindh was interrogated by a member of the US Special Forces at Dostum’s compound. Here ensued the further abuse of the injured young man that US military investigators concluded was nothing more than "barracks humor."

With his hands tied with rope and a hood over his head, Lindh was taken to a schoolhouse in Mazar-i-Sharif, where he was held in a room with the windows covered so that he could not tell the time of day. Armed guards taunted Lindh around the clock with insults like "shitbag" and "shithead."

Lindh was given a little food, but was always left hungry. Interrogations lasted several hours at a time and continued for several days. Lindh was never advised of his legal rights, and when he asked for a lawyer, he was told none was available. His bullet wound was left untreated, "to preserve the chain of custody" of the bullet for its use as evidence at trial.

At one point heavily armed US soldiers blindfolded and handcuffed Lindh, scrawled "shithead" across the blindfold, and posed with him for photos. A soldier told Lindh that he was "going to hang," and then the pictures could be sold and the proceeds donated to a Christian organization. Another told Lindh that he wanted to shoot him then and there. Lindh was cuffed so tightly that his wrists were scarred, and his hands were numb for months.

Lindh was flown to a Marine airbase in the Afghanistan high desert dubbed Camp Rhino. His guards stripped him naked and fastened him to a stretcher with duct tape and placed him in a metal shipping container.

As the WSWS commented: "Conditions inside the container would have tested the endurance of anyone, much less someone in Lindh’s weakened condition. There was no light, heat or insulation. Two small holes provided all the ventilation. Guards taunted Lindh through the holes, threatening to spit in his food. Lindh’s hands were tied together. At first he was fully exposed, but eventually the guards covered him with a blanket and placed one underneath him.

"For two days, Lindh was provided minimal food and medical attention. He was freezing cold and in constant pain because of the wrist restraints that were too tight. The loud noise of an electric generator echoed in the container. He could not move. Lindh was not even released from the stretcher when he needed to urinate. Instead, guards propped him upright."

Eventually, FBI agents arrived and confronted Lindh with a form waiving his constitutional rights. He signed the form and answered their questions. The agents repeated that no attorneys were available, although by this time a lawyer retained by his parents was attempting to reach him, as the military and FBI knew perfectly well. After several days of further interrogation, his conditions improved somewhat and he was eventually transferred to the USS Peleliu, where he was treated for dehydration, hypothermia and frostbite. The bullet was removed from his leg.

The documents released Tuesday include a February 2003 memorandum concerning an investigation into Lindh’s treatment while in US hands. Brig. Gen. David P. Burford wrote that he concurred with the investigators’ findings of no intentional wrongdoing by 5th Special Forces soldiers.

"I would add momentary lapse of 'mature’ good judgment and propose that it was a sophomoric idea that quickly grew unsavory in its own right," Burford wrote, referring to the obscenity on the blindfold.

In April 2002, the Justice Department made it known that it wanted the photograph taken by US military personnel of the stricken Lindh with the obscenity. Burford declared, "There is no evidence to support the allegation that [Special Forces] members or any soldier of the 5th Special Forces Group intentionally or maliciously acted to hide the existence of the photograph."

Another document among the investigation records included the comment: "The photo was taken 'as barracks humor.’" The investigation concluded that 5th Special Forces soldiers treated Lindh humanely and in accordance with US military standards.

When asked by an investigator why the photograph had been taken, an unidentified US soldier replied, "The photograph was taken as a final team picture with an American member of the Al Qaeda Terrorist Organization." Lindh was never a member of Al Qaeda.

Why the obscenity? The soldier replied, "Because we thought it was humorous and we thought he was."

See Also:
US torture of John Walker Lindh exposed as frame-up continues
[25 June 2002];

:: Article nr. 14019 sent on 24-jul-2005 08:26 ECT


Link: www.wsws.org/articles/2005/jul2005/lind-j23.shtml

:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

The section for the comments of our readers has been closed, because of many out-of-topics.
Now you can post your own comments into our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/uruknet

Warning: include(./share/share2.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/content/25/8427425/html/vhosts/uruknet/colonna-centrale-pagina-ansi.php on line 385

Warning: include(): Failed opening './share/share2.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/php5_6/lib/php') in /home/content/25/8427425/html/vhosts/uruknet/colonna-centrale-pagina-ansi.php on line 385

[ Printable version ] | [ Send it to a friend ]

[ Contatto/Contact ] | [ Home Page ] | [Tutte le notizie/All news ]

Uruknet on Twitter

:: RSS updated to 2.0

:: English
:: Italiano

:: Uruknet for your mobile phone:

Uruknet on Facebook

:: Motore di ricerca / Search Engine

the web

:: Immagini / Pictures


The newsletter archive

L'Impero si è fermato a Bahgdad, by Valeria Poletti

Modulo per ordini


:: Newsletter

:: Comments

Haq Agency
Haq Agency - English

Haq Agency - Arabic

AMSI - Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq - English

AMSI - Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq - Arabic

Font size
1 2 3

:: All events


[ home page] | [ tutte le notizie/all news ] | [ download banner] | [ ultimo aggiornamento/last update 28/08/2019 00:45 ]

Uruknet receives daily many hacking attempts. To prevent this, we have 10 websites on 6 servers in different places. So, if the website is slow or it does not answer, you can recall one of the other web sites: www.uruknet.info www.uruknet.de www.uruknet.biz www.uruknet.org.uk www.uruknet.com www.uruknet.org - www.uruknet.it www.uruknet.eu www.uruknet.net www.uruknet.web.at.it

:: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
::  We always mention the author and link the original site and page of every article.
uruknet, uruklink, iraq, uruqlink, iraq, irak, irakeno, iraqui, uruk, uruqlink, saddam hussein, baghdad, mesopotamia, babilonia, uday, qusay, udai, qusai,hussein, feddayn, fedayn saddam, mujaheddin, mojahidin, tarek aziz, chalabi, iraqui, baath, ba'ht, Aljazira, aljazeera, Iraq, Saddam Hussein, Palestina, Sharon, Israele, Nasser, ahram, hayat, sharq awsat, iraqwar,irakwar All pictures

url originale


I nostri partner - Our Partners:

TEV S.r.l.

TEV S.r.l.: hosting


Progetto Niz

niz: news management



digitbrand: ".it" domains


Worlwide Mirror Web-Sites:
www.uruknet.info (Main)
www.uruknet.us (USA)
www.uruknet.su (Soviet Union)
www.uruknet.ru (Russia)
www.uruknet.it (Association)
www.uruknet.mobi (For Mobile Phones)
www.uruknet.org.uk (UK)
www.uruknet.de (Germany)
www.uruknet.ir (Iran)
www.uruknet.eu (Europe)
wap.uruknet.info (For Mobile Phones)
rss.uruknet.info (For Rss Feeds)

Vat Number: IT-97475012153