Military interrogator: 'How can I break the prisoner's reliance on God?'
The prison abuse story just took a dramatic turn, from a story about violating human dignity in general to violating religious conscience in specific. There were reports earlier that prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib were "forced to renounce their religion," but details were sketchy, and it was unclear just what kind of religious intimidation was used.
But now comes an Associated Press report that details at least one case that should make religious liberty watchdogs around the world jump to attention. It's based on a written account by Former Army Sgt. Erik R. Saar, who worked as a translator at the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay from December 2002 to June 2003. The AP's Paisley Dodds writes,
Saar describes a female military interrogator questioning an uncooperative 21-year-old Saudi detainee who allegedly had taken flying lessons in Arizona before the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The man closed his eyes and began to pray, Saar writes.
The female interrogator wanted to "break him," Saar adds, describing how she removed her uniform top to expose a tight-fitting T-shirt and began taunting the detainee, touching her breasts, rubbing them against the prisoner's back and commenting on his apparent erection.
The detainee looked up and spat in her face, the manuscript recounts.
The interrogator left the room to ask a Muslim linguist how she could break the prisoner's reliance on God. The linguist told her to tell the detainee that she was menstruating, touch him, then make sure to turn off the water in his cell so he couldn't wash.
Strict interpretation of Islamic law forbids physical contact with women other than a man's wife or family, and with any menstruating ...