Investigative Action, Whidbey Island – Navy Hospital Oak Harbor Alleged Assault of Iraqi Prisoners of War. 10/07/03 11/23/04 USN Summaries of interviews with USN medical employees re knowledge of abuse of EPWs while deployed to Iraq. Reports that when an Iraqi was deemed an EPW, he would be taken to an empty swimming pool, handcuffed, leg cuffed and have a burlap bag placed over his head. He would remain in the kneeling position “no longer than 24 hours” while awaiting interrogation. EPWs would be yelled at or jerked into an upright position if misbehaving. Despite this description, interviewee stated that he “never saw any instances of physical abuse”. Since returning to NHOH, all corpsman “experienced some form of problem from what they observed in Iraq.”
This is just one small snippet of an incident of abuse as contained in the documents released under the FOIA to the ACLU.
I want you to kneel on a hard stone floor with your hands behind your back with a burlap sack over your head. I want you to see how long you can hold that position. Can you do it for 24 hours? Are your knees aching yet? Are you breaking out in a rash from the combination of sweat and itchy burlap against your skin? Do you have to take a shit? Have you wet your pants? Is someone yelling at you in a language you can't understand? Do you think you've been physically abused? You do? Your captors don't, and yet, they report that they have trouble since they've come home. Some images stay with you. You torture a man, it stays on your conscience.
There will be more to come on this. I'm gathering my thoughts.
In the meantime, be proud to be an American.