The Face of Torture

Pictures of a dead Iraqi prisoner from Abu Ghraib, packed in ice and bound with duct tape have become infamous. Today, other photos came to light showing an additional victim of US Army interrogations at Abu Ghraib.

The dead man has been tentatively identified. His name is Manadel al-Jamadi. Mr. Jamadi is the second dead prisoner to appear in photographs taken at Abu Ghraib prison. An autopsy has determined that Mr. al-Jamadi was beaten to death.

US officials have declined to confirm his name.

Manadel al-Jamadi was captured in November by US Navy SEALs, an elite commando force. Pentagon sources and the CIA have said that Mr. al-Jamadi was already in poor health when he was turned over to prison authorities on Nov. 4, but the Navy has denied this, claiming that Mr. al-Jamadi was received at the prison in good health. His autopsy revealed that he had been beaten to death.

Seymour M. Hersh reported in The New Yorker that in November, a prisoner was beaten to death while undergoing interrogation. His body was packed in ice overnight. The next day Army medics placed an IV on one arm, and the body was walked out of the interrogation area on a stretcher.

The man on the stretcher was a “ghost prisoner“; he had no prisoner number. So-called ghost prisoners are not entered into the prison’s inmate tracking system — they are non-persons whose disappearance or burial is not to be recorded.

Another picture (also at released by Mr. Hersh on May 9, shows a naked Iraqi prisoner paralyzed with fear about to be attacked by military dogs. Mr. Hersh has written that other photos in his possession indicate that this unnamed man was subsequently attacked by the dogs.

Nothing else in known of this unnamed man’s fate. Cogs in a wheel of torture … perhaps we will some day learn of his name too.