Afghanistan: War or Hatred

By Christopher Rogers
September 30, 2004

Ryan Norris

According to a military charge sheet, sergeant James P. Boland, a reserve military police soldier, witnessed the beating of an Afghan prisoner. The alleged victim was identified as Mullah Habibullah, brother of a former Taliban commander. In addition to the severity of such actions, the report concluded that such techniques of aggravated assault have commonly occurred over the course of the war. For instance, Boland was to blame for the beating of a 22-year-old detainee back in 2002. The victim, who, according to his parents never spent the night away from home, was brought to the American air base at Bagram. There, he was chained by the hands, and denied any kind of medical attention. Both Habibullah and Bagram succumbed within a week of each other.

As a result to such malpractice, Sergeant Boland was charged for his actions, along with two dozen other American soldiers. The charges included both aggravated assault and negligent homicide; “The army has charged sergeant Boland with assault and other crimes and investigators are recommending that two dozen other American soldiers face criminal charges, including negligent homicide.”

The charges arose questions as to who authorized such measures against Afghan detainees. When confronted by investigators, American officials reported that the deaths listed above, where synonym to natural occurrences. Further research was conducted, revealing much contradiction during the course of an interview with General McNeill in 2003. He admitted that both deaths were caused by beatings, when back in 2002, had failed to reveal such information.

With this said, the press turned to the Pentagon, that allegedly declared that such measures of conduct where not permitted at Bagram. Nevertheless, a classified portion of an army report showed that such techniques were allowed to take place in areas no other than Guantanamo, Cuba, “A classified portion of an army report into the Abu Grhaib scandal, recently obtained by the New York Times, shows that on Dec. 2, 2002, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had approved such methods for use only at the American detention center at Guantanamo, Cuba.”

Such methods, so gently stated in the report, included techniques such as “removal of clothing, isolating people for long periods of time, use of stress positions, exploiting fear of dogs, and sleep and light deprivation.” Although the reasons as to who allowed such torturous practices to make way into Afghanistan is still unclear, it must first be reported as to why such information is being kept secret.

Posted to the web by Ryan Norris

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Christopher Rogers

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