October 3, 2009

We can certainly come to our own conclusions, since we're not hearing any official explanation. But it would be nice to know why the last administration (you remember, from the Party of Personal Responsibility?) covered this up - and why the Obama administration isn't doing anything about it:

WASHINGTON—The military lawyer that represents an Afghan youth who spent roughly seven years in U.S. custody says the Defense Department has repeatedly ignored his requests for a war crimes investigation into the detainee’s treatment.

Air Force Maj. David Frakt, the attorney for former detainee Mohammed Jawad, says over the past 16 months he sent multiple memos to Defense Department and military leaders asking them to account for what a military judge called “abusive conduct and cruel and inhuman treatment” of his client. Jawad, who was arrested when he says he was 12 years old for allegedly tossing a grenade at U.S. military, was moved from cell to cell 112 times during a 14-day period to disrupt his sleep patterns, according to military documents. Frakt said he believes the treatment constituted torture, violated the Geneva Convention, war crime laws and Defense Department regulations.

“Why has no one – no one has been held remotely accountable for this,” Frakt said in an interview with Raw Story. “This is a mandatory investigation. It’s not optional, you can’t just sweep it under the rug… but they did as far as I can tell.”

As first reported in The Washington Independent, Frakt wrote in memos to Defense Department officials: “Accordingly, I believe I have an affirmative obligation to report the incident to my chain of command,” listing military rules that mandate reporting possible war crimes to a superior.

Both a federal district court judge and a U.S. military commission judge have questioned the use of sleep deprivation, also called the “frequent flyer” program, on Jawad.

When military officials changed Jawad’s cell 112 times between May 7 and May 20, 2004, roughly once every three hours, military Judge Stephen Henley, a U.S. Army colonel ruled “the scheme was calculated to profoundly disrupt his mental senses.” Although officials were allowed to use such tactics during interrogation, Jawad’s attorney Frakt said he was not interrogated months before or months after the sleep deprivation occurred.

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