Prisoners raped by dogs, the ‘modern’ torture techniques of the US
- Category: Articles
- Written by Kawa Azem
- Published: Tuesday, 23 June 2015
The recent publication of documents by Senator Dianne Feinstein detailing the torture techniques and abuse of prisoners by the CIA, has once again exposed the nasty and criminal nature of the bloodthirsty US government. A brief overview of the documents shows that CIA officers are savage sadists whose lust for inflicting suffering is satisfied by tying up, beating, and killing others. Any person who knows the bloody history of US invasions and interventions knows well that the US-installed military dictators and stooges in every corner of the world use inhumane torture methods as a weapon to intimidate their people and suppress uprisings. What interested me in this regard was a book called ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ by German journalist and politician Juergen Todenhoefer which is a memoir of his trip to Afghanistan and to Bagram prison in particular. Such rare books that expose the policies of imperialist countries are usually buried in the heap of pro-US books and forgotten.
Juergen speaks to Jack in Kabul, a former Canadian soldier and private security contractor. Jack says that the torture methods mentioned in the report released by the US senate is something common they do to all prisoners like chaining a person by their hands on a ceiling, tying up hands and feet, and sleep and food deprivation. But, he says, what happens in Bagram prison is unusual:
“Afghan prisoners were tied face down on small chairs. Then fighting dogs entered the torture chamber. If the prisoners did not say anything useful, each dog got to take a turn on them. After procedure like these, they confessed everything. They would have even said that they killed Kennedy without even knowing who he was.”
With such methods US forces abuse and humiliate Afghans to break their morale. Most Afghan arrested only for physically looking like Taliban. There are no accurate statistics available of the number of prisoners in Bagram prison, but by an estimate there are more than 600 prisoners there and most of them are poor and innocent Afghans. The Afghan government has always stressed on the release of commanders and important figures of the Taliban from Bagram, not innocent Afghans. The government does this to earn points with its ‘angry brothers’.
Jack tells the writer that he could not tolerate to see all this brutality by the Americans against innocent Afghans and left his duty.
American torturers are not the first ones to have used dogs to obtain confessions. This crime has a long history. After the US-backed coup by Pinochet in Chile in 1973, many supporters of Salvador Allende’s democratic government were arrested. Female political prisoners gave accounts of how Americans released dogs on them to rape them and break their morale.
In an interview with Alternet.org (December 15, 2014), Mohammad, an Afghan interpreter in Bagram Airbase stated, “Todenhoefer’s account of dogs being used to rape prisoners in the jail is absolutely realistic.” He continued, “When I translated for them, I often knew that the detainee was anything but a terrorist.”
Mohammad said at the end, “Guantanamo is a paradise if you compare it with Bagram.”
One of the shocking crimes in Bagram prison that also caused an uproar was the death of Dilawar Yaqoubi. Dilawar was a farmer and taxi driver from the eastern Khost province. He was accused of being involved in a rocket attack on the US base and transferred to Bagram prison after being arrested. He was tortured and humiliated for five days after which he died. In the documentary ‘Taxi to the Dark Side’, Thomas Curtis who was a Reserve M.P. sergeant in Bagram confessed that Dilawar had been chained by his wrists for hours and brutally beaten till he died on December 10, 2002.
An American medical examiner, Lt. Col. Elizabeth Rouse, who performed an autopsy on Dilawar said:
“Dilawar’s leg was pummeled so badly that the tissue was falling apart and had basically been pulpified… Torture marks could be seen all over his body… I’ve seen similar injuries in an individual run over by a bus.”
Carolyn Wood was a torturer and head of military intelligence interrogators at Bagram. Dilawar, Habibullah and tens of others were killed under her murderous torture. But the US government awarded her a Bronze Star for ‘exceptional meritorious service’ and she was sent to Abu Ghraib on a new assignment! She is still said to be an instructor on torture methods in one of America’s military intelligence centers.
Six days before Dilawar’s murder, a man named Habibullah was also killed as a result of the US forces’ savage torture. Many people who had worked in Bagram said that Dilawar and Habibullah were both common people; that they were both innocent and that the US army could not produce any evidence to prove that they were terrorists. Despite evidence proving that these two men were killed under torture by US forces, the official report maintains that the two have died of natural causes.
Sher Aqa had spent six days in Bagram prison. He told BBC:
“When I wanted to sleep I started shivering with cold… Nobody could sleep because there was a machine that was making noise.”
Mirwais, another detainee at Bagram said that his jaw had been broken when he was beaten after being arrested. Despite the injury, he spent 24 days in that ‘hell’. He told BBC, “There was a small camera in my cell, and if you were sleeping they'd come in and disturb you.” Mirwais also said he was made to dance to music by American soldiers every time he wanted to use the toilet.
Another victim of Bagram prison recounted that he was stripped naked and left in the cold. Later a water pipe would be inserted in his rectum and water would be released at a high pressure.
Poster of the documentary ‘Taxi to the Dark Side’. You can download this documentary from here.
Military prosecutor Stuart Couch who had seen both Guantanamo and Bagram said:
“In my view, having visited Guantanamo several times, the Bagram facility made Guantánamo look like a nice hotel. The men did not appear to be allowed to move around at will, they mostly sat in rows on the floor. It smelled like the monkey house at the zoo.”
After twelve years, the nightmare of Bagram continues to haunt Afghans. Although today Afghans are in charge of this prison, the mothers, wives, and daughters of Dilawar and Habibullah are still waiting for justice. Bagram prison has apparently been shut down but this does not put an end to US crimes in Afghanistan. American criminals here are not bound by any law or rule and have absolute power. We can be certain that they still have their prisons in their bases. Those prisons may be much more dangerous than Bagram.
US forces will continue to torture and humiliate innocent Afghans to quell their sadistic thirst. The stooge Afghan government has given US forces immunity from prosecution by signing the Security Agreement. Now nobody can hold these soldiers accountable for their viciousness and barbarity.