One of the cases that clearly indicated the extent to which prisoner abuse by US forces was rampant in Iraq was the case of Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel, two US whistleblowers who discovered that their employer was bribing troops to obtain arms that were then sold locally. They were held against their will by their employer. When they were rescued by US troops and told US officials of their suspicions, they were themselves imprisoned and tortured in Camp Cropper, one of the notorious US prisons in Iraq. Vance and Ertel are now suing Donald Rumsfeld for authorizing the torture regime to which they were subjected.
An Iraqi blogger pouring over the Wikileaks Iraq War Logs release has found a document that confirms much of Vance and Ertel’s story. Maximilian Forte, at Zero Anthropology has an account. After describing the Vance-Erbil case, he explais the role of the Wikileaks document:
[T]he Wikileaks Iraq War Logs contain a document that lends weight to their claims. That document states that two American civilians were being held captive in a compound and were rescued by coalition forces, and that a large weapons cache had also been found. These two Americans are identified as employees of Shield Group Security, held by SGS against their will. The document also states that the weapons cache belonged to SGS–there is no mention of any suspicion that wrongly connected Vance and Ertel with that stockpile, like their later accusers would allege. SGS is classed in the document by the U.S. Embassy as a “bad employer.”
Forte goes on to conclude:
Perhaps even more shocking and unbelievable is that anyone would dare to argue that the Wikileaks disclosures were a “bad” thing, when such critical information about various crimes–as must be disclosed, and prosecuted–is now receiving attention. Arguing against the leaks is arguing to cover up crimes.
November 14th, 2010