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    14 May 2004
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    ~More Dirt on the Torture~

    Was the torture at Abu Ghraib prison intended by our government? Who was there? Well one person who was appointed by Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Department of Justice in 2003 to deal with the prison system in Baghdad and Iraq was Lane McCotter. In the announcement they Bio there picks, and have this to say about McCotter:

    “Lane McCotter - Lane McCotter is a retired lieutenant colonel and military police officer with an extensive background in corrections. He was the warden of the U.S. military prison at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan. He is also a former cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Corrections Department. He has a bachelor’s degree in Engineering and a masters degree in Criminology. He is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College.”

    (http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2003/May/03_ag_267.htm)



    At the New Mexico Department of Corrections (1987-91):

    “McCotter's tenure in this state ended with some controversy. In October 1988, a court-appointed prison monitor accused state prison officials of erasing a portion of a videotape of a prison disturbance to cover up acts of brutality against inmates.”

    “McCotter accused the prison monitor of ‘fabricating atrocities.’ He stood by his warden, Robert Tansey, and his staff, saying he believed the tape erasure was accidental.”

    They didn’t mention his work with the Utah Department of Corrections (1992-97):

    “In March 1997 prisoner Michael Valent in Utah State Prison died from a blood clot after being held in a restraint chair for 16 hours: ‘His feet were secured with metal shackles and the seat had a hole to allow him to defecate and urinate without moving.’”

    (www.amnestyusa.org/rightsforall/usasummary.html)


    Dan Frosch of the Nation casts more light on the case in a recent piece:

    “In 1997 a 29-year-old schizophrenic inmate named Michael Valent was stripped naked and strapped to a restraining chair by Utah prison staff because he refused to take a pillowcase off his head. Shortly after he was released some sixteen hours later, Valent collapsed and died from a blood clot that blocked an artery to his heart”

    “The chilling incident made national news not only because it happened to be videotaped but also because Valent's family successfully sued the State of Utah and forced it to stop using the device. Director of the Utah Department of Corrections, Lane McCotter, who was named in the suit and defended use of the chair, resigned in the ensuing firestorm.”

    (http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040524&s=frosch)


    What is a restraint chair?

    It is, according to an Amnesty International report in 1998, a steel-framed restraint chair that “has resulted in some of the most severe abuses of prisoners and in intake areas of jails.” The report describes the process where “[t]he prisoner is immobilized by four-point restraints which secure the arms, legs, shoulders and chest.”

    The report also notes that at this same prison:

    "An inmate with a history of self-mutilation was shackled to a steel board on a cell floor in four-point metal restraints for 12 weeks in 1995. He was removed from the board on average four times a week to shower. At other times he was left to defecate while lying on the board. He was released from the board only following a court order."

    (www.amnestyusa.org/rightsforall/usasummary.html)

    WoW!

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