U.S. abuse of detainees was routine at Afghanistan bases

KABUL, Afghanistan — American soldiers herded the detainees into holding pens of razor-sharp concertina wire, as if they were corralling livestock.

The guards kicked, kneed and punched many of the men until they collapsed in pain. U.S. troops shackled and dragged other detainees to small isolation rooms, then hung them by their wrists from chains dangling from the wire mesh ceiling.

Former guards and detainees whom McClatchy interviewed said Bagram was a center of systematic brutality for at least 20 months, starting in late 2001. Yet the soldiers responsible have escaped serious punishment.

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