Rumsfeld torture suit dismissed
A US court has dismissed a lawsuit against former US
defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld over claims prisoners were
tortured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
-- - The court accepted that the nine men who sued had been
tortured - and detailed the torture in its ruling.
But Judge Thomas Hogan ruled the five Iraqis and four Afghans
did not have US constitutional rights, and also that Mr Rumsfeld
was immune from such suits.
Two human rights groups brought the suit against him and
Judge Hogan threw out the claims against retired Lt Gen
Ricardo Sanchez, the former commander of US military forces
in Iraq, Col Thomas Pappas and former Brig Gen Janis
Karpinski, both former commanders at Abu Ghraib prison.
In a ruling stretching to nearly 60 pages, the chief
judge of the US district court for the District of Columbia
said the allegations of torture were "horrifying".
Details of abuse
The nine men suffered abuse including being:
- hung upside-down and slapped until they lost
- stabbed with knives
- subjected to electric shocks
- deprived of sleep by loud noises and bright lights
- grabbed by aggressive dogs
They also were subjected to sexual humiliation.
None was ever charged with a crime.
All were released after detentions of one month to one
year. Some were detained multiple times.
The complaint alleged that the three officers knew
torture and abuse were occurring and were present when
officers under their command were committing torture and
The complaint against Mr Rumsfeld - brought by the
American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First -
focused on an order he signed in December 2002 authorising
new methods for interrogating prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
Both groups say he later ignored overwhelming evidence
that the policies resulted in prisoner abuse.
Mr Rumsfeld has apologised for the abuse scandals.
He was removed as defence secretary following the defeat
of President Bush's Republican party in elections last year.
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