The American Propsect excerpts a bit from Tara McKelvey’s new book Monstering: Inside America’s Policy of Secret Interrogations and Torture in the Terror War. Here’s an excerpt of the excerpt:
Seventy to ninety percent of the detainees at Abu Ghraib, according to an October 2003 International Committee of the Red Cross report and sworn statements made by members of the 470th Military Intelligence Group, the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, and the 304th Military Intelligence Battalion, were arrested by mistake or had no intelligence value.
Provance met one of the prisoners who seemed to be there for the wrong reason. "They got him to the point where he was naked, shivering, and covered in mud and then showed him to his father. That’s what broke [General Zabar] down after a 14-hour interrogation," says Provance. "He said, ‘I’ll tell you anything.’"
"It struck me as morally reprehensible," Provance says.
In November, he says, he overheard a conversation in the dining hall at Camp Victory. One soldier told his friends at a cafeteria table how detainees were being treated in Abu Ghraib. "They would hit the detainees as practice shots…The detainees would plead for mercy," according to Provance’s sworn statement in Major General Antonio Taguba’s March 2004 report on military abuse, "Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade."
"The whole table was howling with laughing," Provance tells me.
You can buy the book here.