Gitmo “Suicides” Should Be The Final Straw For Firing McChrystal
By Jim White | January 22, 2010
Stanley McChrystal’s career is characterized by torture, murder, secret prison camps and cover-ups. It should come as no surprise, then, that this week’s exposé by Scott Horton on the Guantanamo “suicides” in 2006 implicates McChrystal and another secret prison camp:
One of the most intriguing aspects of this case concerns the use of Camp No. Under George W. Bush, the CIA created an archipelago of secret detention centers that spanned the globe, and authorities at these sites deployed an array of Justice Department sanctioned torture techniques—including waterboarding, which often entails inserting cloth into the subject’s mouth—on prisoners they deemed to be involved in terrorism. The presence of a black site at Guantánamo has long been a subject of speculation among lawyers and human-rights activists, and the experience of Sergeant Hickman and other Guantánamo guards compels us to ask whether the three prisoners who died on June 9 were being interrogated by the CIA, and whether their deaths resulted from the grueling techniques the Justice Department had approved for the agency’s use—or from other tortures lacking that sanction.
Complicating these questions is the fact that Camp No might have been controlled by another authority, the Joint Special Operations Command, which Bush’s defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, had hoped to transform into a Pentagon version of the CIA. Under Rumsfeld’s direction, JSOC began to take on many tasks traditionally handled by the CIA, including the housing and interrogation of prisoners at black sites around the world. The Pentagon recently acknowledged the existence of one such JSOC black site, located at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, and other suspected sites, such as Camp Nama in Baghdad, have been carefully documented by human-rights researchers.
In a Senate Armed Services Committee report on torture released last year, the sections about Guantánamo were significantly redacted. The position and circumstances of these deletions point to a significant JSOC interrogation program at the base. (It should be noted that Obama’s order last year to close other secret detention camps was narrowly worded to apply only to the CIA.)
To review, here’s a snippet from the Andrew Sullivan piece linked above on McChrystal’s history:
That last sentence suggests that McChrystal disagrees with the customary “respect for human life” demanded of the US military. McChrystal’s past is mysterious but there is little doubt that he was deeply involved in one of the worst torture outfits in Iraq, Camp “Nama”, an acronym for “Nasty Ass Military Area”. … Two prisoners were tortured to death in this place. It was extremely closely monitored, with records of all sorts of torture and abuse, and yet there are also extensive stories of abuse that went well outside even the torture techniques approved by Cheney and Rumsfeld. Remember also that Iraq was, even by the standards of the Bush administration, supposed to be under the Geneva Conventions. The camp’s record has been shrouded in secrecy from the beginning.
The Guantanamo “suicides” took place on the night of June 9, 2006. If Camp No was a JSOC operation, who was in charge of JSOC at that time? Stanley McChrystal. According to this biography of McChrystal published by the Council on Foreign Relations, McChrystal assumed command of JSOC in February, 2006, only four months prior to the “suicides”. (h/t kgb999 for pointing out the timing of McChrystal’s involvement)
How many torture deaths and cover-ups does it take to get a General fired?