Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Why the Pentagon Doesn’t Want Me to Testify About Abu Ghraib

An article by a soldier who served in Abu Ghraib.

Why the Pentagon Doesn’t Want Me to Testify About Abu Ghraib

By Sam Provance, AlterNet. Posted August 31, 2007.

As an Army intelligence analyst, my job at Abu Ghraib was systems administrator ("the computer guy"). But I had the bad luck to be on the night shift. And so I saw the detainees dragged in for interrogation, heard the screams, and saw many of them dragged out.

When I heard that the officer in charge of the interrogation/torture operation at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 was being court-martialed, my first thought was: "Finally an officer is being held accountable."

But since my own attempts to stop the torture and identify those responsible were repeatedly rebuffed, you will perhaps excuse my skepticism that justice will be done.


An extract from his testimony:

"I also befriended SPC XXXXX XXXXXXXX, who was with the first MP units that set up Abu Ghraib after the war. Menesini told me that she had witnessed abuses of Iraqi people and even seen some of them murdered. She said she documented these things in diaries that she sent home to her family in case someone killed her before she made it home to do something about it. She particularly mentioned fearing her chain of command. Her view, that anyone disclosing these incidents of abuse would face swift and severe retaliation, was widespread among soldiers at Abu Ghraib."

Link to Provance's testimony to Congress

The XXXXX XXXXXXXXX above hides the name of the person he is talking about. I did this out of politeness. You can extract the text of the redacted (blacked out) parts of the document with very little effort.