In a new embarrassment to the Bush administration, an FBI probe indicated that detainees at the notorious Guantanamo detention camp were “baptized” and wrapped in Israeli flags. A US interrogator bragged to an FBI agent that he forced a Muslim detainee to listen to “Satanic black metal music” for hours, according to documents turned over as part of an ongoing lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union. Then, the US interrogator dressed as a Catholic priest before “baptizing” the detainee, it added.
The FBI internal probe into abuse accusations at Guantanamo revealed 26 cases of mistreatments of the Muslim detainees.
The documents also showed that US jailers wrapped a Muslim prisoner in an Israeli flag during interrogation sessions to “incense” him. Other aggressive questioning techniques used included subjecting detainees to extreme heat and cold and using strobe lights.
The tactics were allowed under aggressive Pentagon detention policy place at the time, according to the probe.
US interrogators also wrapped a bearded inmate’s head in duct tape “because he would not stop quoting the Qur’an,” according to an FBI agent.
The Pentagon said the issues and facts raised in the documents “are not new”.
Amnesty International has called Guantanamo the “gulag of our time” and said it has become a “symbol of abuse and represents a system of detention that is betraying the best US values and undermines international standards.”
A growing chorus of world dignitaries and politicians, including former US presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and incumbent British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett have pressed for the closure of Guantanamo.