Military documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union after a lengthy lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act provide important new evidence of American war crimes. The documents include autopsy reports and investigative reports on the deaths of 190 prisoners held by the US military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The more than 2,600 pages of documents were turned over to the ACLU on January 14 and made public on the organization’s web site five days later.
An ACLU statement said that 25 to 30 cases were “unjustified homicides.” US military investigators themselves identified many of the deaths as homicides, although there were very few trials or convictions of the soldiers involved.
The ACLU issued a statement declaring: “So far, the documents released by the government raise more questions than they answer, but they do confirm one troubling fact: that no senior officials have been held to account for the widespread abuse of detainees. Without real accountability for these abuses, we risk inviting more abuse in the future.”
Some of the deaths are well known cases of atrocities committed by American soldiers, such as the killing of four prisoners who were shot and then thrown into a Baghdad canal in 2007. Others are previously unknown or not widely reported.