Saturday, June 12, 2004

Even Dirtier Sanchez It just keeps getting better doesn't it? Last month, Lt. General Richard Sanchez, testified that the ONLY time he ever gave orders for special treatment it was to extent isolation orders. Well, as if an actual member of the Bush Administration, that was a lie. Is Sanchez the fall guy for Rummy, or, as is likely is it even higher, and is Sanchez going to just take it? It was reported at about the time of the outbreak of the Abu Ghraib scandal that the US had also been playing "hide the detainee" from the Red Cross. This article from US News & World Report adds more details to that, a move that by its nature had to require higher up involvement. It went at least to Sanchez, but probably higher.
The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, issued a classified order last November directing military guards to hide a prisoner, later dubbed "Triple X" by soldiers, from Red Cross inspectors and keep his name off official rosters. The disclosure, by military sources, is the first indication that Sanchez was directly involved in efforts to hide prisoners from the Red Cross, a practice that was sharply criticized by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba in a report describing abuses of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. … Sanchez, in his directive to the 800th MP Brigade--Fragmentary Order (FRAGO) No. 1099--identified the man by name, said he was a terrorist, and told the brigade not to put his name in any electronic roster of detainees. He instructed the brigade not to disclose his whereabouts to the Red Cross pending further notice, military sources say. When the brigade objected, Sanchez's staff lawyers directed the MP s to implement the order, according to a 25-page report sent to the Senate Armed Services Committee by Capt. Lisa Weidenbush, operations officer for the 800th MP Brigade (box). She included only bare-bones information about the FRAGO in arguing that the brigade was not involved in a scheme to hide detainees. She declined comment when reached last week. Beginning last November, the military sources say, Triple X was kept alone, under guard in his own room, at the High Value Detention facility near the Baghdad airport. When Red Cross inspectors visited the facility, the military sources recall, they had no reason to know Triple X was there, and they were not shown him. Even today, not much is known about the man--he is said to be Middle Eastern, short, slightly built, and in his 40s.
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