Tuesday, March 29, 2005

fwd: THE NATION; Afghan Detainee's Leg Was 'Pulpified,' Witness Says;

This report is just beyond understanding. This is so heinous that I wonder of
the American people would believe it. Is that why it is not being reported in
the media? RLC

Subject: THE NATION; Afghan Detainee's Leg Was 'Pulpified,' Witness Says;
Date: Mar 23, 2005

> Los Angeles Times
> March 23, 2005
> THE NATION; Afghan Detainee's Leg Was 'Pulpified,' Witness Says;
> The testimony comes at a hearing for an MP who delivered beatings.
> The inmate later died.
> by Lianne Hart
> An Afghan detainee in U.S. custody was so brutalized before his death
> that his thigh tissue was "pulpified," a forensic pathologist
> testified Tuesday at a preliminary hearing for a military police
> officer charged in the 2002 assault.
> "It was similar to injuries of a person run over by a bus," said Lt.
> Col. Elizabeth Rouse, who performed an autopsy on the detainee,
> identified only as Dilawar.
> Rouse's telephone testimony came on the second day of an Article 32
> hearing -- the military equivalent of a grand jury proceeding -- to
> determine whether Army Pfc. Willie V. Brand, 26, should be court-
> martialed.
> In addition to facing an involuntary manslaughter charge in the
> Dilawar case, Brand also is charged with assault for allegedly
> striking a second detainee, Mullah Habibullah, who also died in U.S.
> custody.
> Brand is one of two soldiers charged so far in the assaults that took
> place at the Bagram Control Point, a temporary holding center for
> detainees in Afghanistan, about 40 miles north of Kabul. A hearing
> for the other soldier, Sgt. James P. Boland, is pending. Both
> soldiers are members of the 377th Military Police Company, an Army
> Reserve unit based in Cincinnati.
> Army investigators testified that Brand acknowledged that he
> delivered more than 30 consecutive knee strikes to Dilawar as he
> stood in shackles, his arms chained to a ceiling. But Brand defended
> his actions, telling investigators that his superiors were aware that
> the blows were routinely delivered to force detainees to comply with
> the guards' orders.
> "I did what everybody else did. It was not according to doctrine, but
> that was standard practice. That was how things were done," Brand
> said in a statement.
> Investigators described the Afghan holding center as a two story,
> hangar-style building of interview rooms and isolation cells fitted
> with ceilings of concertina wire. The night before Dilawar's death,
> Brand said in a Jan. 24, 2004, statement, he went to Dilawar's
> isolation cell to help another guard give the man water. The guards
> then attempted to place a hood on Dilawar's head, a practice reserved
> for unruly detainees or those being escorted from a cell to an
> interrogation room. Dilawar -- in chains, his wrists shackled above
> his head -- resisted, and Brand said he struck him twice with his
> bent knee.
> In a Feb. 3, 2004, statement, Brand acknowledged that at another
> time, he delivered more than 30 knee strikes to Dilawar. Asked what
> provoked the punishment, Brand told investigators he couldn't
> remember.
> Brand also admitted striking Habibullah in the thighs when he
> resisted efforts to put a hood on his head. "Allah, Allah, Allah,"
> Brand recalled Habibullah crying.
> Dilawar died from "blunt force trauma to the lower extremities
> complicating coronary artery disease," Rouse said. Habibullah died of
> a pulmonary embolism apparently formed in his legs from the beatings.
> Army investigator Angela Birt said that delivering knee strikes was
> so routine for Brand that "the two [detainees] didn't stick out in
> his mind because he couldn't remember how many he had struck."
> Brand's lawyer, John Galligan, said outside the courtroom
> that "everything that was done was done in order to perform his
> mission.... I'm greatly disturbed a young soldier like Brand who,
> responding to his country's call, does what he thinks is right and we
> turn around and place him on the criminal docket."
> Brand, the father of four, sat expressionless at the defense table as
> autopsy photographs of Dilawar were entered into evidence.
> When investigators had asked him during a 2004 interview if the knee
> blows were wrong, he replied: "No, not wrong wrong but necessary to
> achieve what you wanted them to do."
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