- The Washington Times - Friday, March 23, 2007

Gitmo detainees sue Rumsfeld

Two former Guantanamo Bay detainees are suing former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other military officials, accusing them of mistreating and imprisoning them for years despite knowing they weren’t enemy combatants.

The men joined three Guantanamo Bay detainees in a federal lawsuit Wednesday against Mr. Rumsfeld, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard B. Myers and several officials at the military prison.

The complaint accuses the government of torturing detainees. Military officials kicked and beat prisoners, suspended them from ceilings, humiliated them and desecrated their Korans, the lawsuit contends.

What is unique about this case, however, is that two of the detainees — identified as Abu Muhammad and Zakirjan Hasam — say they underwent the military’s Combatant Status Review Tribunals and were ruled not to be enemy combatants. Despite that, they said, their mistreatment continued for nearly two years before they were released.

Snow to have surgery Monday

White House spokesman Tony Snow is undergoing surgery Monday to remove a small growth in his lower abdomen, a procedure he said was being done “out of an aggressive sense of caution” because he had colon cancer two years ago.

Mr. Snow said yesterday that cancer tests have been negative since the growth — about the size of the tip of his small finger — was discovered in his lower right pelvic area. He said he feels fine but decided to have it removed rather than having to continue monitoring it.

Mr. Snow, 51, had his colon removed in 2005 and underwent six months of chemotherapy. He and his wife have three young children.

Marines in shootout leaving Afghanistan

Marines accused of shooting and killing civilians after a suicide bombing in Afghanistan are under U.S. investigation, and the entire unit has been ordered to leave the country, officials said yesterday.

Army Maj. Gen. Francis H. Kearney III, head of Special Operations Command Central, responsible for special operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, ordered the unit of about 120 Marines out of Afghanistan and initiated an investigation into the March 4 incident, said Lt. Col. Lou Leto, spokesman at Gen. Kearney’s command headquarters.

A spokesman for the Marine unit, Maj. Cliff Gilmore, said it is in the process of leaving Afghanistan, but he declined to provide details on the timing and new location, citing a need to preserve security.

In the incident in Nangahar province, an explosives-rigged minivan crashed into a convoy of Marines that U.S. officials said also came under fire from gunmen. As many as 10 Afghans were killed and 34 wounded as the convoy made an escape. Injured Afghans said the Americans fired on civilian cars and pedestrians as they sped away.

Man arrested in dog beheading

MINNEAPOLIS — A man accused of cutting the head off his teenage ex-girlfriend’s dog and leaving it at her front door in a gift-wrapped box was charged with animal cruelty and torture yesterday.

The criminal complaint against Anthony Albert Gomez said police found grisly evidence on his cell phone: video clips of a chain saw being used to sever a dog’s head.

Mr. Gomez, 24, of St. Paul, was arrested Thursday; a judge set bail at $20,000 at his first court appearance yesterday afternoon. He is expected to enter a plea at an April 6 court appearance.

The complaint, written by St. Paul police Sgt. Jim Gray, purports that Mr. Gomez acknowledged that the crime happened in his basement but said others were responsible for decapitating the dog and sending it to 17-year-old Crystal Brown. It was not known from the document whether the dog was alive when it was decapitated.

Sex offender arrested in abduction

NEW YORK — Police yesterday arrested a convicted sex offender suspected of abducting a 13-year-old at knifepoint and sexually abusing him before leaving him undressed and handcuffed to a tree.

A tip led police to the 26-year-old man, whose photo was identified by the boy, Lt. Robert Sprague said. Investigators later found the boy’s bracelet and his cell phone at the suspect’s Staten Island home, he said. Charges were pending in the case.

The boy was heard screaming for help by a passer-by early Wednesday and was rescued by authorities.

Black pilot seeks to set record

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. — A 23-year-old aerospace student who built his plane from more than $300,000 in donated parts took off yesterday hoping to become the youngest person and first black pilot to fly around the globe alone.

Barrington Irving plans to arrive back at Opa-Locka Executive Airport on April 30 in his single-engine Lancair Columbia 400.

He had planned to fly last year, but a lack of funding delayed his $1 million project. He still needs about $20,000, but that didn’t stop him from setting out.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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