Mystery military prisons skirt rules

May 9, 2004 at 6:34 PM

WASHINGTON, May 9 (UPI) -- Some senior members of Congress have known in recent months that U.S. interrogators were not necessarily "going to stick with the Geneva Convention."

Newsweek magazine reports this week that these lawmakers were given highly classified briefings on more stressful techniques were going to be used on detainees captured in Afghanistan and Iraq. The techniques would apparently include some measure of physical discomfort.

The magazine reports that mounting evidence suggests abuses of detainees was not confined to the Abu Ghraib prison nor even to Iraq. Instead, the Geneva Conventions have been flouted routinely because almost no one is held accountable,

Newsweek quoted sources who said that the CIA and other "black" program operatives have set up their own prisons. Describing them as ghost facilities whose existence has never been publicly acknowledged by the Bush administration, Newsweek said top al-Qaida leaders like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaida are believed to be in these facilities.

One American intelligence officer said, "The U.S. government and military capitalizes on the dubious status of Afghanistan, Diego Garcia, Guantanamo Bay, Iraq and aircraft carriers, to avoid certain legal questions about rough interrogations."

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