What is Obama Doing at Bagram? (Part 1) Torture and the "Black Prison
By Andy Worthington
For eight and a half years, the US prison at Bagram airbase has been the site of a disturbing number of experiments in detention and interrogation, where murders have taken place, the Geneva Conventions have been shredded and the encroachment of the US courts — unlike at Guantánamo — has been thoroughly resisted.
In the last few months, there have been a few improvements — hearings, releases, even the promise of imminent trials — but behind this veneer of respectability, the US government’s unilateral reworking of the Geneva Conventions continues unabated, and evidence has recently surfaced of a secret prison within Bagram, where a torture program that could have been lifted straight from the Bush administration’s rule book is still underway.
From December 2001 to November 2003, the US prison at Bagram airbase was used by the US military to process prisoners for Guantánamo, and in those early days it played host to a murderous regime that, in the last half of 2002, led to the deaths of at least two — and possibly as many as five — prisoners. Throughout this period, and after the transfer of regular prisoners to Guantánamo came to an end, Bagram — or, in some cases, a facility within Bagram — was where prisoners regarded as more significant than the general population, who had mostly passed through a number of other secret prisons run by the CIA, were also held, and for the last six and a half years Bagram has, in addition, been the US military’s frontline prison in the Afghan war zone.
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