Report Specifies 'Black Room' of Abuse in Iraq

Sunday, March 19, 2006

A New York Times report tells of a shadowy military unit named Task Force 6-26 which, in early 2004, used a former Iraqi military base near Baghdad as a top-secret detention center. Inside, American soldiers made one of the former Iraqi government's torture chambers into one of their own, dubbing it the Black Room.

The Black Room was a garage-sized room, painted jet-black and with no windows. Inside, soldiers beat prisoners and abused them verbally. They used them for target practice with paintball guns in a nearby area. The intention was to gain information from the detainees as to the whereabouts of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Salafi Islamist militant, a guerrilla leader, and the putative leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The temporary detention site was part of Camp Narma, the headquarters of Task Force 6-26, and was the first stop for many insurgents before going to the Abu Ghraib prison, which was a few miles away.