Female interrogators said to use sex on Muslims at Guantanamo
Jan 28, 2005 at 3:00 AM
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Female interrogators tried to break Muslim detainees at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by sexual touching, wearing a miniskirt and thong underwear, and in one case smearing a Saudi's face with fake menstrual blood, according to an insider's written account.
A draft manuscript is classified as "Secret" pending a Pentagon review for a book, Inside the Wire, due out this year, that details ways the U.S. military used women as part of physical and psychological tactics to get terror suspects to talk.
It is the most revealing account so far of interrogations at the detention camp.
The author, former Army Sgt. Erik R. Saar, 29, worked as an Arabic translator there from December 2002 to June 2003. He is neither Muslim nor of Arab descent and did not provide the manuscript, but he confirmed the authenticity of nine pages.
The camp was then under the command of Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, who had a mandate to get better intelligence from prisoners, including alleged al-Qaida members caught in Afghanistan. Miller later oversaw prisons in Iraq, where the Abu Ghraib scandal occurred.
Saar said he witnessed about 20 interrogations and saw "disturbing" practices.
A female civilian contractor used an outfit that included a miniskirt, thong underwear and bra during late-night interrogations with prisoners, mostly Muslim men who consider it taboo to have close contact with women who are not their wives.
Some Guantanamo prisoners who have been released say they were tormented by "prostitutes."
In another case, Saar describes a military interrogator questioning a Saudi who allegedly had taken flying lessons in Arizona before the Sept. 11 attacks. She removed her uniform top to expose a tight-fitting T-shirt and began taunting the detainee, touching her breasts, rubbing against him and commenting on his arousal. The detainee spat in her face.
The interrogator left the room to ask a Muslim linguist how she could break the prisoner's reliance on God. The linguist told her to tell the detainee that she was menstruating, touch him, then turn off the water in his cell so he couldn't wash.
Strict interpretation of Islamic law forbids physical contact with women other than a man's wife or family and with any menstruating women.
"The concept was to make the detainee feel that after talking to her he was unclean and was unable to go before his God in prayer and gain strength," says the draft.
The interrogator used ink from a red pen to fool the detainee, Saar wrote. The events resemble earlier reports confirmed by the military.