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CIA Escapes With Impunity Over Prisoner Deaths: Report

IslamOnline.net

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CAIRO, October23 , 2005 (IslamOnline.net) ľ CIA officers and contract workers have tortured Iraqi and Afghan prisoners to death with seeming impunity as they likely to escape criminal charges in all of the reported deaths, a leading US newspaper revealed on Sunday, October 23 .

Federal prosecutors reviewing cases of possible misconduct by CIA employees in both countries had notified lawyers they did not intend to bring criminal charges in several cases involving the handling of terrorism suspects and Iraqi resistance fighters, The New York Times reported.

Citing current and former intelligence and law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, the Times said that the decision is based on reviews of eight dossiers referred to the Justice Department by the CIA's inspector general, describing possible misconduct by a half-dozen to a dozen CIA employees in the deaths and other cases.

The officials said they had been told the department was not preparing to bring charges against CIA employees in those cases.

Several Cases

The Justice Department has signaled it does not plan to bring charges in several cases, including the hypothermia death of an Afghan at a CIA-run detention center called the Salt Pit in Afghanistan in November2002 .

Another involved a former Iraqi general who died of asphyxiation after being stuffed head-first into a sleeping bag at an American base in Al Asad, in western Iraq, in November 2003 after days of interrogation that involved beatings.

An official told the Times that case was never referred to the Justice Department for prosecution.

One case still technically under review by the Justice Department, the Times said, involved an incident in which a CIA officer was linked to mistreatment involving an Iraqi who died under interrogation in a shower room at the notorious Abu Ghraib.

The sole exception was David Passaro, who while linked to the CIA, was a contract worker, not a CIA officer.

He remains the only person charged in any of the cases. He is awaiting trial in connection with his suspected role in a case involving the death of a prisoner in Afghanistan in June2003 .

The prosecutors' decision regarding CIA culpability for prisoner mistreatment contrast with that of the military, in which dozens of soldiers have been convicted or punished.

Among those convicted in connection with abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were Pvt. Charles Graner Jr. and Pfc. Lynndie England.

Army Reserve Colonel Janis Karpinski, the former US commander of Abu Ghraib, has revealed that abuses of detainees were still going on in US-run jails in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo .

Once calling the prison the "gulag of our time," Amnesty International said in a recent report that Guantanamo has become a "symbol of abuse and represents a system of detention that is betraying the best US values."


:: Article nr. 17068 sent on 23-oct-2005 21:21 ECT

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Link: www.islamonline.org/English/News/2005-10/23/article07.shtml



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