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FBI Agents Allege Abuse of Detainees at Guantanamo Bay

"On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water," the FBI agent wrote on Aug. 2, 2004. "Most times they had urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18 to 24 hours or more."

In one case, the agent continued, "the detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his own hair out throughout the night."

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In an e-mail dated Aug. 16, 2004, an agent from the FBI's inspection division reported observing a detainee sitting in an interview room at Guantanamo Bay's Camp Delta "with an Israeli flag draped around him, loud music being played and a strobe light flashing." The same agent said that he or she did not witness any "physical assaults" while at Guantanamo.

A detainee, Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi of Sudan, an alleged paymaster for al Qaeda and accused associate of Osama bin Laden, has claimed similar abuse in documents contesting his imprisonment that were filed in federal court in Washington last month. He alleges Guantanamo Bay interrogators wrapped prisoners in an Israeli flag, showed them pornographic photos and forced them to be present while others had sex. Military officials denied his allegations.

The documents also contain what may be the first witness account of the use of military dogs to intimidate detainees during interrogations at Guantanamo Bay. In an undated and heavily redacted memo, initially classified "Secret," an FBI employee reported that members of the agency's Behavioral Analysis Unit had witnessed the use of "loud music/bright lights/growling dogs" during interviews by U.S. military personnel at the island prison.

The Army was embarrassed by photos of snarling military dogs and cowering detainees in Iraq, which officials acknowledged later had violated the Geneva Conventions protections for military prisoners. But officials have maintained steadfastly that the technique was never used in Guantanamo Bay.

The issue is particularly pertinent to statements by Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, who commanded the Guantanamo Bay prison from October 2002 to March 2004. Miller has acknowledged urging in September 2003 that military dogs be sent to Iraq to help deter prison violence, but he told a team of Defense Department investigators in June -- and many reporters -- that "we never used the dogs for interrogations while I was in command" of Guantanamo Bay.

Miller's statement contradicted other sworn testimony -- by the senior military intelligence officer at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad -- that Miller acknowledged using dogs to intimidate prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and recommended a similar approach in Iraq.

Miller, who took over the Iraq prison operation after the Abu Ghraib abuses became public, recently left that job for an assignment as the Army's chief of installations and could not be reached through Army and Pentagon spokesmen yesterday. Air Force Maj. Michael Shavers, a spokesman on Guantanamo Bay issues, said he had no comment on the allegation of use of dogs.

Staff writer Peter Baker and researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.


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