At the following web address, the New York Review of Books has a modified excerpt from Human Rights Watch’s report on torture in Iraq, “Leadership Failure: Firsthand Accounts of Torture of Iraqi Detainees by the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.” Issued on September 25, 2005, the full report is available at hrw.org /reports/2005/us0905.
“On their day off people would show up all the time. Everyone in camp knew if you wanted to work out your frustration you show up at the PUC tent. In a way it was sport. The cooks were all US soldiers. One day a sergeant shows up and tells a PUC to grab a pole. He told him to bend over and broke the guy’s leg with a mini Louisville Slugger that was a metal bat. He was the fucking cook. He shouldn’t be in with no PUCs.”
—82nd Airborne sergeant,describing events at FOB Mercury, Iraq
“If I as an officer think we’re not even following the Geneva Conventions, there’s something wrong. If officers witness all these things happening, and don’t take action, there’s something wrong. If another West Pointer tells me he thinks, ‘Well, hitting somebody might be okay,’ there’s something wrong.”
—82nd Airborne officer, describing confusion in Iraq
concerning allowable interrogation techniques