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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ABU GHRAIB PRISON HORRORS: Feds eye CIA officer in prisoner death - AP sources!

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By ADAM GOLDMAN - Associated Press,MATT APUZZO - Associated Press | AP – 2 hrs 8 mins ago.

FILE - In this undated file photo obtained by ABC news and allegedly taken by Sgt. Charles Frederick, Army Spc. Sabrina Harman, of the 372nd Military Police Company, poses with the body of Iraqi detainee Manadel al-Jamadi who is packed in ice at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq. Al-Jamadi was captured by SEALs during a joint CIA-special operations mission in November 2003. He died a few hours later under CIA interrogation in the shower room at Abu Ghraib. Federal prosecutors investigating the death of a prisoner at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison are scrutinizing a CIA officer who ran the agency's interrogation program and pushed for approval to use increasingly harsh tactics. (AP Photo/ABC News, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A CIA officer who oversaw the agency's interrogation program at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and pushed for approval to use increasingly harsh tactics has come under scrutiny in a federal war crimes investigation involving the death of a prisoner, witnesses told The Associated Press.
Steve Stormoen, who is now retired from the CIA, supervised an unofficial program in which the CIA imprisoned and interrogated men without entering their names in the Army's books.
The so-called "ghosting" program was unsanctioned by CIA headquarters. In fact, in early 2003, CIA lawyers expressly prohibited the agency from running its own interrogations, current and former intelligence officials said. The lawyers said agency officers could be present during military interrogations and add their expertise but, under the laws of war, the military must always have the lead.
Yet, in November 2003, CIA officers brought a prisoner, Manadel al-Jamadi, to Abu Ghraib and, instead of turning him over to the Army, took him to a shower stall. They put a sandbag over his head, handcuffed him behind his back and chained his arms to a barred window. When he leaned forward, his arms stretched painfully behind and above his back.
The CIA interrogated al-Jamadi alone. Within an hour, he was dead.
Now, nearly eight years after a photo of an Army officer grinning over al-Jamadi's body became an indelible image in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, federal prosecutors are investigating whether al-Jamadi's death amounted to a war crime.
The instructions from CIA lawyers could become an important element of that inquiry. Though it's not required for prosecutors to show that someone knew such interrogations were against the rules, it's still valuable evidence, said David Crane, a Syracuse law professor and former war crimes prosecutor. The instructions also undercut the argument that the CIA officers were simply following rules laid out by their superiors.

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