I was kidnapped; abducted, forced imprisoned, tortured, threatened with further torture, without charge. Without trial.Even many soldiers had said to me afterwards…if you weren’t a terrorist when you came in here, by the time you leave, I’m sure you would be because of the way you’ve been treated.
–Bagram detainee Moazzam BeggFlying in the face of statements members of the Bush Administration have made denying the use, and advocacy, of torture in their war effort, evidence of brutal treatment of captives continues to accumulate.
PBS’ Bill Moyers delves into Oscar-nominated documentary “Taxi to the Dark Side,” highlighting an Afghan taxi driver who was detained and beaten to death by American forces.
“Go see it,” says Moyers. “Not in a while has the truth hit so hard.”
In 2002, Dilawar, 22, and his passengers were stopped at Bagram Air Base and held under suspicion of involvement in a rocket attack. Five days later, his death from blunt force trauma would be ruled a homicide, as written on the death certificate, in English, given to Dilawar’s family with his body.
Captain Carolyn Wood, overseeing interrogation at Bagram, would be awarded a Bronze Star for “valor” and tapped to begin similar operations at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison.
Prisoners were assigned numbers, which were written on sheets of paper hung outside the airlocks in which they were kept, and directly on their bodies.
“Detainees were actually chained with their hands above their heads in these airlocks,” says Moazzam Begg. “His number, 421, was something that I could see often, because his back was towards me.”
“There were always officers coming and going through the facility,” says Eric Lahammer. “We kind of joked about it as being the ‘greatest show on earth’; everyone wanted to come and look at the ‘terrorists.'”
“[Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld’s office called our office frequently,” adds Pfc. Damien Corsetti. Very high commanders would want to be kept up to date, on a daily basis, on certain prisoners there.”
“The brass knew,” Corsetti continues. “They saw ’em shackled. They saw ’em hooded, and they said ‘Right on. Y’all are doin’ a great job.'”
The documentary was broadcast on PBS’ Bill Moyers Journal on February 8, 2008 and can be seen here.