Wednesday, June 09, 2004


A California National Guardsman says three fellow soldiers brazenly abused detainees during interrogation sessions in an Iraqi police station, threatening them with guns, sticking lit cigarettes in their ears and choking them until they collapsed.

Sgt. Greg Ford said he repeatedly had to revive prisoners who had passed out, and once saw a soldier stand on the back of a handcuffed detainee's neck and pull his arms until they popped out of their sockets....

Ford told The Associated Press that when he reported the problems last June to his commanding officers, they pressured him to drop his claims.

"Immediately, within the same conversation, the command said, `Nope, you're delusional, you're crazy, it never happened.' They gave me 30 seconds to withdraw my request for an investigation," Ford said. "I stood my ground."

When he insisted on an official investigation, they ordered him to see combat stress counselors, who sent him out of Iraq, he said....

The abuse Ford said he witnessed took place from April to June in a small interrogation room. Whenever a prisoner collapsed, his team's leader would emerge and say, "Greg, I think we've got another accident," said Ford....


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