Archive for the ‘prison’ Category

more Burger King food tampering

November 8, 2006

Two American police officers are suing Burger King after they were served hamburgers that had been sprinkled with marijuana.

Mark Landavazo and Henry Gabaldon were in uniform and driving a marked patrol car when they stopped for a meal at a drive-through Burger King restaurant in the state of New Mexico.,20867,20721567-2703,00.html

Alabama Department of Corrections

October 29, 2006

Danny Harold Rolling

October 26, 2006

He blamed the murders on abuse he suffered as a child and his treatment in prison, and claimed he had good and bad multiple personalities, according to the wire service.

He told the AP he had killed one person for every year he was behind bars. He served a total of eight years in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi before the killings.

cheeseburgers in paradise

October 23, 2006

In captured al-Qaida training handbooks, jihadists are told what to expect during interrogation. The U.S. will whip you, use dogs, give you water but not allow you to urinate, isolate you, insult your family.

“Some of them really became fond of some fast food French fries, and cheeseburgers,” Fallon said, noting that the law enforcement agents made frequent visits to a McDonald’s on the U.S. base.

Before the interrogation, they would study. Fallon sought help from a friend from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, chief psychologist Michael Gelles, to develop training that included Arab culture and social networking, tribal origins, al-Qaida camps, the roles of shame, obedience and secrecy.

Carter recalled an Australian detainee “coming in to discuss things, and just loving a pepperoni pizza, which is pork, and him being a good Muslim. He knew it. And smoking his Marlboros.

The scripted scenarios of the intelligence interrogators, such as Rapid Fire – repeatedly asking the same question with slightly different phrasings no matter what the answer – frustrated the criminal investigators as well as the detainees.

“If we had a cooperating detainee,” Carter said, “we would share that information, but then JTF 170 would get him up in the middle of the night to have him tell them the same information. It impeded our process.”

The messages from the Bush administration and the Pentagon had been mixed: The detainees were to be treated humanely, “consistent with” the Geneva Conventions on treatment of prisoners of war. But they also said that the Geneva Conventions did not apply: These were not prisoners of war, but “enemy combatants.”

Guantanamo insider

October 18, 2006

An Army nurse who said he worked at its medical facility for a year until last May wrote in a blog that he wouldn’t hesitate to kill a former detainee if he saw him in his town.

“I can tell you that if I ever saw a detainee face-to-face here in the States, I would immediately assume that I was targeted and do my best to kill them without further warning,” wrote the soldier, who would be identified only by his nickname, Stashiu.

There are about 435 prisoners from about 40 countries at Guantanamo, according to the Pentagon. Military tribunals have concluded that about one-quarter of the prisoners are not a security risk, or are otherwise eligible for release or transfer.

This is an interesting situation. Stashiu could possibly live until year 2085 and might come across someone who looks or acts like one of the prisoners at a family reunion, a church play, or a medical school classroom.

If Stashiu is right, then the military tribunals must be wrong.

Below is some more information from Stashiu and others, via

Stashiu arrived at Guantánamo aboard a plane operated by Delta Airlines. Although military aircraft fly into and out of GTMO, the military also uses Delta to ferry passengers to and from Guantánamo Bay.

Like most deployed personnel, I worked many more than 40 hours a week.

For example, one routinely asked us for an explosive suicide vest so he could assassinate Osama Bin Laden or George Bush for us, whoever he could find first (he was completely serious).

[t]he incidence of true mental illness was exactly the same as stateside correctional facilities, between 16 and 17 percent.

We were told about one female medic who had to have major reconstructive surgery on her face following a detainee assault. She was too close to the beanhole (door opening) and the detainee was able to reach out, grab her head, and pull her face-first into the steel frame of the door, shattering most of the facial bone structure.

Intel and all that was secondary.

They really talk bad about the Army guys who opened the camp. Most say it got better after they left and the Navy took over most things.

Dental care is same-day or next-day (deployed personnel can’t get dental except for emergencies).

GTMO was the first time I ever heard someone claim that they could only eat hamburger buns and not regular bread.

They get to smoke (sometimes 4 or 5 packs at once, uggh!), watch new-release DVDs that have been screened by Intel so they don’t get current events, eat pizza or fast-food, listen to music, smoke a hooka, etc…. The better stuff they give up, the more the interrogators get for them.

That’s also why the Intel folks objected to Colonel Bumgarner’s changes. While it did help settle the camp somewhat, it reduced the motivation to cooperate with interrogators. Just normal give and take between two sides with different objectives. Intel wanted information, Colonel Bumgarner wanted a safe and smooth-running camp.

In war, under the rules of previous conflicts, anyone found to be an unlawful combatant could be executed on the spot by the decision of the ranking officer. There did not have to be a trial or proof beyond a reasonable doubt, just reasonable suspicion

When GTMO was opened, my understanding is that there was no effort made to disguise names either, so he may very well know SGT Foshee by his name, depending on the timeframe he is talking about.

That was from before I got there, but sounds possible. IRF [Immediate Reaction Force] teams were routinely taped and that the tape is missing smells to me.

One of the stories was that a detainee reverse-kicked the first member in line and broke his riot shield in two, then proceeded to lay out the rest of the team.

But it wouldn’t be the first time some inexperienced Lieutenant over-estimated his abilities to set up appropriate training. I would have expected the senior NCOs to keep the LT in line (many NCOs have a lot more practical experience than a new Lieutenant), but I don’t even know if it really happened.

The “news” that Bush had been assassinated brought great joy to the detainees in camp on more than one occasion, although I’m pretty sure that one wasn’t accurate.

No female detainees in Camp Delta at all, as has been reported in the media. Many of the guard force and medical personnel are female though. No special effort [was] made (as far as I know) to prevent or include females in that assignment.

In one of our conversations, Stashiu told me that Guantánamo has Chinese and Canadian prisoners. I admit that this surprised me, as I don’t think most people realize that anyone at Gitmo is anything but an Arab terrorist.

Most people are aware, or have been, of David Hicks from Australia.

While there may have been abuses in the past — as evidenced by the detainees’ talking bad about the Army guys who used to run the place — that is mostly a thing of the past.


October 16, 2006

There are about 435 prisoners from about 40 countries at Guantanamo, according to the Pentagon. Military tribunals have concluded that about one-quarter of the prisoners are not a security risk, or are otherwise eligible for release or transfer.

Many of them say they are farmers or shopkeepers or herdsmen. Others say they were charitable people who traveled to Afghanistan to help those oppressed by the Taliban government. Still others admit they were training with weapons to fight alongside the Taliban but insist they never thought ill of the United States and certainly would not have attacked U.S. soldiers.

Many soldiers at Guantanamo are convinced all the detainees are dangerous men and don’t think twice about whether they deserve to be locked up.

“The reason the detainees are here is they are a threat to the American way of life,” said Army Capt. Dan Byer.

But Marine Lt. Col. Colby Vokey wrote in his request for an investigation that “physical and mental abuse of detainees by the guard force at Guantanamo Bay appears to be a regular and common occurence.”

Abu Ghraib / Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in San Diego

October 13, 2006

She was only 20 when many of the Abu Ghraib photos were taken — so young that her then-boyfriend, Charles Graner, 35, had to buy her drinks for her at an officers’ club where they used to hang out in Fort Lee, VA, before their deployment to Iraq.

At Pilgrim’s, England helped oversee the marinating and packaging of chicken. “Not long after I started working there, I noticed some chicken parts were discolored and diseased-looking, but the workers still sent them down the line at the plant,” she tells me. “I told my supervisors.” They ignored her.

“People were doing bad things. They’d let bad chicken go through the line — chicken that still had blood on it — and look the other way. Management didn’t care.”

She spoke of Abu Ghraib, and how they would “smoke” the detainees — the code word for forcing prisoners to exercise until the point of collapse — as well as making them walking around wearing women’s underwear on their heads and other unusual disciplinary measures.

“She told me their job was to keep them awake: Let them sleep a little bit and then wake them back up. I said, ‘Are you allowed to do that?’ And she said, ‘Oh yeah, that’s what we’re told to do,'” says Hardy. “She told me the officers were involved; they knew what was going on. There were a lot of what she called ‘OGAs.'”

Officially, OGA stands for “other government agency.” But everyone in the army knows it means the CIA. It also means, don’t ask questions.

In fact, if England touches anything her family has handled, she’ll be subjected to a full-body cavity search. As it is, she goes through a strip search after each of our four visits: “If you have your period, and you have a visitor, they make you take your tampon out afterward and squat and cough,” she says. “You think those are mirrors?” England asks me, pointing to a row of reflective glass panes on the side of the room. “Those aren’t mirrors. There are people on the other side, watching us the whole time.”

Not surprisingly, rules are strict: Inmates have to rise at 5 a.m.; they have no choice in what they eat (tonight, macaroni and cheese); and they must perform chores like mowing the lawn, tending vegetable gardens, and folding the American flag. England, however, isn’t allowed to take the flag down at the end of the day, “because I’m high-profile,” she says. “Somebody might be on the golf course [nearby] and see me touching it” — and maybe even snap a picture. She illustrates, clicking an invisible camera in the air.

Prisoners who break the rules — “push buttons,” England calls it — are sent to “DeSeg.” (Button-pushing includes such things as engaging in sexual activity with another prisoner.) “In DeSeg, they make you sit in isolation in a windowless room. You can’t watch TV or read,” she explains. “You have to sit at a desk. You can’t sleep from reveille to nighttime.”

A former civilian prison guard, he’d also been accused in a federal lawsuit of assaulting an inmate at Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Institution-Greene in 1998 and putting a razor blade in the inmate’s mashed potatoes.

“In situations like Iraq, the first thing some young female soldiers look for is a protector — a senior male, let’s say, who’s sitting in a vehicle with her,” says Karpinski.

In another photo, England is standing near a detainee, Hayder Sabbar Abd, a 34-year-old taxi driver, as he is being made to simulate masturbation.

But her military attorney has advised her to grow her hair longer, to try and look more feminine.

When she speaks, she does so carefully — the way she’s been coached.

Clearly, England has confided in her lawyer about things she saw or did that never came up in court, and Hardy wants to protect her from any new charges. So he has counseled her to say, “I heard,” or “There were rumors,” or “I was told,” when she describes things.

Is it true that an American contractor sexually assaulted an Iraqi boy in prison?

“I heard rumors he did things to boys in the cell,” she says.

“Lynndie is away from the flagpole, in Abu Ghraib — the most terrible place. You’re being mortared every night. You are breathing dust and broken concrete. It’s hot. You feel dehumanized. You’re drained of every bit of compassion that you have. She did it because she wanted to come back from this godforsaken war and be able to say, ‘We did this for the government.’ She was made to believe that this was of such importance to national security.,,703130,00.html