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Document a Day: Abuse as Standard Operation Procedure

Larry Siems,
The Torture Report
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June 3, 2010

These two pages are from a Department of Defense investigation into an incident in which a 17 year-old Iraqi youth suffered a broken jaw during interrogations in Iraq in December 2003. The boy wasn’t even suspected of wrongdoing; he’d been picked up as a “sub-target,” defined then as “male Iraqi citizens found inside a target’s home.” As the file makes clear, detainees at this facility at the time were being “routinely and systematically abused,” bombarded with heavy metal music, deprived of sleep, doused with cold water, hooded, and beaten.

Calling the broken jaw, “an intentional act,” the investigating officer found “evidence that suggests the 311th [Military Intelligence] personnel and/or translators engaged in physical torture of detainees.” The investigator recommended that the company commander and “anyone else that was involved” face consequences for “allowing abuse of detainees as standard operating procedure,” but there is no evidence that anyone was ever disciplined.


To read more about and see documentary evidence of the Bush administration’s torture program, go to

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