“Stress positions”

Stress positions indeed. A nice fresh tidbit from Abu Ghraib.

One Army guard, Sgt. Jeffery Frost, said the prisoner’s arms were stretched behind him in a way he had never before seen. Frost told investigators he was surprised al-Jamadi’s arms “didn’t pop out of their sockets,” according to a summary of his interview.
Frost and other guards had been summoned to reposition al-Jamadi, who an interrogator said was not cooperating. As the guards released the shackles and lowered al-Jamadi, blood gushed from his mouth “as if a faucet had been turned on,” according to the interview summary.


Dr. Vincent Iacopino, director of research for Physicians for Human Rights, called the hyper-extension of the arms behind the back “clear and simple torture.” The European Court of Human Rights found Turkey guilty of torture in 1996 in a case of Palestinian hanging _ a technique Iacopino said is used worldwide but named for its alleged use by Israel in the Palestinian territories.


There, the interrogator instructed guards to attach shackles from the prisoner’s handcuffs to a barred window. That would let al-Jamadi stand without pain, but if he tried to lower himself, his arms would be stretched above and behind him.
The documents do not make clear what happened after guards left. After about a half-hour, the interrogator called for the guards to reposition the prisoner, who was slouching with his arms stretched behind him.
The interrogator told guards that al-Jamadi was “playing possum” _ faking it _ and then watched as guards struggled to get him on his feet. But the guards realized it was useless.

Um. Wow. A very ancient and popular method of torture even, of course, employed by the Inquisition (just to name drop). I’ve been wondering what the “stress positions” term meant in all the talk about Abu Ghraib. Well, now we know. In Renaissance Rome the victim would be hauled up buy their wrists behind their back to a great height and occasionally dropped, thus ripping the shoulders out of the sockets. But just hanging in this position can dislocate the shoulders, compress the chest and cause suffocation, or “blood [to] gushed from his mouth ‘as if a faucet had been turned on.'”
This is just a small rash caused by dodo apologists who keep maintaining that what happened wasn’t really torture. Ya’ll make me itch.