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FishForLunch
05-03-2004, 04:34 PM
How long before the Hollywood and the Left start blaming Bush for these abuses. Why should we believe these ARABS interviewed, they are not known for truth telling aka Al-Jazeera.
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Angry ex-detainees
tell of abuse
Iraqis say they endured physical, psychological hardship in U.S. custody

By Scott Wilson

Updated: 12:19 a.m. ET May 03, 2004BAGHDAD, May 2 - Day and night lost meaning shortly after Muwafaq Sami Abbas, a lawyer by training, arrived at Baghdad International Airport for an unexpected stay. In March, he was seized from his bed by U.S. troops in the middle of the night, he said, along with the rest of the men in his house, and taken to a prison on the airport grounds.

The black sack the troops placed over his head was removed only briefly during the next nine days of interrogation, conducted by U.S. officials in civilian and military clothes, he said. He was forced to do knee bends until he collapsed, he recalled, and black marks still ring his wrists from the pinch of plastic handcuffs. Rest was made impossible by loudspeakers blaring, over and over, the Beastie Boys' rap anthem, "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn."

The forced exercise was even harder for his 57-year-old father, a former army general who held a signed certificate from the U.S. occupation authority vouching for his "high level of cooperation and assistance" in the days after the war.


Father and son are now free and angry about what they endured in a suddenly notorious U.S.-run prison system in Iraq. But months later, Abbas's three brothers are still inside Abu Ghraib prison, he said. He is their only legal advocate, trying to refute written charges that they are members of the Iraqi insurgency.

"The savagery the Americans have practiced against the Iraqis, well, now we have seen it, touched it and felt it," Abbas said. "These types of actions will grow more hostile forces against the coalition, and this is the reason for the resistance."

The photographs of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib images that reached Iraqi newspapers on Sunday, following a three-day holiday have reinforced the long-held view here that the U.S. occupation is intent on humiliating the Iraqi people. The system has been rife with complaints for months, but now the testimony of former Iraqi prisoners claiming abuse at the hands of U.S. jailers has gained new credibility while further damaging the reputation of the U.S. occupation authority.

Interviews with former Iraqi prisoners and human-rights advocates present a picture of the U.S. prison system here as a vast wartime effort to extract information from the enemy rather than to punish criminals. Former prisoners say lengthy interrogation sessions, employing sleep depravation, severe isolation, fear, humiliation and physical duress, were regular features of their daily regimen and remain so for the estimated 2,500 to 7,000 people inside the jails.

'It is not human'
The system comprises 16 prisons, four of which hold prisoners accused of being part of the anti-occupation insurgency. But there are countless other holding cells on U.S. bases, many once used by former president Saddam Hussein's government, where young Iraqis spend their first fearful hours in captivity.

"We have to get to the bottom of it," coalition spokesman Daniel Senor said on CNN's "Late Edition." "We have to engage in a robust investigation, which we are doing. . . . But let's not express frustration with the entire military in the process."

Abdullah Mohammed Abdulrazzaq, an unemployed 19-year-old, was held for six months in several prisons around Iraq. "How can we not hate the Americans after the treatment we have received?" he said. "It is not human."

Four Humvees arrived for Abdulrazzaq at 2:30 a.m. one day in September, he said. He was awake when troops crashed through his apartment door. The electricity had cut out hours before in Adhamiya, a comfortable northwest Baghdad neighborhood where he lives with his widowed mother, and the heat was stifling.

The troops held a picture of the wiry teenager holding a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, he recalled. In hood and handcuffs, Abdulrazzaq was taken to Adhamiya Palace, a compound once used by the former president's eldest son, Uday Hussein. It is now a U.S. Army base, and one of the sitting rooms became the venue for long, intense interrogation sessions.

His interrogators first U.S. soldiers, then a man who he said wore the uniform of a Kuwaiti army captain sought information on the location of weapons of mass destruction, Hussein and the insurgents in his neighborhood. For the next three days, he said, the Kuwaiti man tortured him using electricity.

U.S. soldiers came in and out of the room where he was tied naked to a chair, he said, adding that he saw their boots from beneath his blindfold and heard them speaking English. He collapsed because of the physical stress and lack of food and water. He was eventually taken to Baghdad International Airport on a stretcher.

"I told the American soldier when I arrived to do something for me, and punish this Kuwait soldier," he said. "He told me, 'I can't do anything against him. And you are going to find the same treatment here.' "

After a few days of interrogation, Abdulrazzaq said he was taken to Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad. There he lived in a tent with 40 other prisoners. Showers were available once a week when Army water tankers pulled up in front of portable bathrooms. A liter of water was expected to last each prisoner a week, he said, and a weekly Army MRE augmented their one meal a day.

Unruly prisoners were placed in shipping containers used to house the prison dogs, he said. The smell inside was horrible, and detention there would last days.

He was interrogated every two weeks. He was taken to a room with his hands and feet tied together, he said, then thrown on the floor. In that position, he would endure hours of questioning, much of it designed to elicit a confession that he was part of the insurgency or inform on his neighbors many of whom, he said, were already tent mates.

Then one day he was informed at 5 a.m. that he was being released. He never saw a lawyer or any evidence against him, beyond the photograph that he claims is a fake.

"I told him Allah released me, not you," he said.

Release papers
Saif Mahmoud Shakir, a 26-year-old taxi driver, always carries the papers he received on his March release from Abu Ghraib. He said he was taken from his house in July, accused of participating in the insurgency and threatening to kill a translator working for the Americans. The man owed him $60, he said, and was trying to avoid repaying the loan by lying about him to U.S. troops eager to hunt down the insurgents.

He said he served most of his time in Umm Qasr, Iraq's southern port, where the occupation authority assembled a vast prison camp out of tents. His twin brother, Ali, was taken with him, and the two moved from prison to prison together for months.

His first stop was another U.S. base in Adhamiya. There, he said, he was beaten by his interrogators before being taken to a special section of the airport prison where he said he was held along with senior members of Hussein's government.

"I arrived there and I was urinating blood because my kidney had been injured by the beatings," he said. "The doctor was very sympathetic and gave me medicine, and fruit."

Shakir, whose gaunt cheeks are covered by a thin beard, said U.S. interrogators used his relationship with his brother to try and extract a confession. On three occasions following extended sessions, he said, they were taken in Humvees into the desert north of the port. There, he said, they were buried up to their necks in the sand.

"I couldn't see my brother," he said. "Then I heard shots fired. They came back and told me my brother was dead."

But his brother had not been killed, and the interrogators sometimes fired near his head to frighten him. The only time he was shot, Shakir said, was by rubber bullets used by guards if prisoners were outside the tent after 9 p.m., even to use the bathroom. He has two dark, dime-size scars on his right bicep.

The brothers were separated in March when Shakir was released from Abu Ghraib, where he spent his final months in captivity, and his brother remained inside. At 5 the morning after his release, U.S. soldiers came looking for him.

"My father showed them my release papers, and they threw them back at him," Shakir said. "They just kept asking, 'Where is Saif?' So I don't sleep there anymore."

FishForLunch
05-03-2004, 08:15 PM
A one-time Iraqi prisoner who spent time in jail under both Saddam Hussein and the U.S. backed provisonal authority said Sunday that he'd rather be shot-to-death by Saddam's torturers than be subjected again to the atrocity of being strip searched by American military personnel.

Dhia Al-Shweiri, a devoted follower of terrorist cleric Muqtada al Sadr, told the Associated Press that Saddam's jailers electrocuted him, beat him and hung him from the ceiling with his hands tied behind his back.

"But that's better than the humiliation of being stripped naked" by American guards, he proclaimed with a straight face.

Al-Shweiri detailed the excruciating torture he was subjected to while in U.S. custody, saying he'd rather his American jailers had executed him on the spot.

"I thought they wanted me to change into the red prison uniform, so I took off my clothes, down to my underwear. Then he asked me to take off my underwear. I started arguing with him but in the end he made me take off my underwear."

"Shoot me here," the Iraqi prisoner said he begged his captors, pointing between his eyes, "but don't do this to us."

Al-Shweiri said he was strip-searched just once, in an episode that lasted 15 minutes.

Prisoners are routinely strip-searched throughout the world, though for those in Iraqi jails before the U.S liberation, that was merely beginning of a process that often ended in death.

Iraqi torture techniques included rape, beatings and mutilation of live prisoners. Even after jailers extracted whatever confession they sought, it wasn't unusual for prisoners to be fed feet first into wood-chippers, dipped in acid baths or eaten alive by wild animals as senior Iraqi officials watched.

Prison corpses were frequently delivered to loved ones in Hefty bags, chopped into pieces by Saddam's torturers.

Seven GIs captured along with Pfc. Jessica Lynch in April 2003 were executed by their Iraqi jailers, their corpses mutilated and photographed for broadcast on Al Jazeera.

Still, Al-Shweiri insisted that his American jailers were far more brutal.

"They were trying to humiliate us, break our pride. We are men. It's OK if they beat me. Beatings don't hurt us, it's just a blow. But no one would want their manhood to be shattered," he said.

Somehow AP reporter Scheherezade Faramarzi managed to keep from breaking into convulsive laughter as Al-Shweiri complained about U.S. mistreatment.

FishForLunch
05-04-2004, 09:55 AM
Just watch the Main Stream Media get carried away and destroy and wreck our effort in Iraq. Vultures

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Rules of Engagement
Videotape Shows U.S. Helicopter Crew Firing on Suspected Iraqi Insurgents
By Martha Raddatz
ABCNEWS.com
Jan. 9 Graphic video footage from the gun camera of a U.S. Apache helicopter provides a window into the rules of engagement that often determine life and death in Iraq.

http://a.abcnews.com/media/WNT/images/abc_wnt_apache_040109_nh.jpg

The video, obtained by ABCNEWS, shows grainy images of three Iraqis on the ground handling a long cylindrical object that the helicopter pilots believe is a weapon.
The pilots, from the Army's 4th Infantry Division, ask their commanders for permission to engage, then take the three men out one by one, using the Apache's devastating 30 mm cannons.

Nighttime Scene

The video opens with the helicopter tracking a man in a pickup truck north of Baghdad on Dec. 1, one day after the 4th Infantry Division engaged in the bloodiest battles with Iraqi insurgents since the end of major combat.

The pilots watch as the man pulls over and gets out to talk to another man waiting by a larger truck.

"Uh, big truck over here," one of the pilots is heard saying. "He's having a little powwow."

The pickup driver looks around, then reaches into his vehicle, takes out a tube-shaped object that appears to be about 4 or 5 feet long, and runs away from the road into a field. He drops the object in the field and heads back to the trucks.

"I got a guy running throwing a weapon," one of the pilots says. Retired Gen. Jack Keane, an ABCNEWS consultant who viewed the tape, said the object looked like a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, "or something larger than a rifle."

The pilots check in with their operational commander, who is monitoring the situation. When they tell him they are sure the man was carrying a weapon, he tells them: "Engage. Smoke him."

The pilots wait as a tractor arrives on the scene, near the spot where the pickup driver dropped the object. One of the Iraqis approaches the tractor driver.

Then, within minutes, the Apache pilots open fire with the heavy 30 mm cannon, killing first the Iraqi in the field, then the tractor driver. The pilots then fire at the large truck and wait to see if they hit the last of three men.

When he rolls out from under the truck, one of the pilots says, "He's wounded."

The other pilot says, "Hit him," and the Apache opens fire again, killing the man.

The Apache fires nearly 100 30 mm cannon rounds in all.


Engagement Called Justified

A senior Army official who viewed the tape said the pilots had the legal right to kill the men because they were carrying a weapon. He said there were no ground troops in the area and if the Apache pilots had let the three Iraqis go, the men might have gone on to kill American troops.

Keane agreed. "Those weapons were obviously not being pointed at them in particular, but they [the three Iraqis] are using those weapons in their minds for lethal means and they [the Apache pilots] have a right to interfere with that," he said.

Anthony Cordesman, an ABCNEWS defense consultant who also viewed the tape, said the Apache pilots would have had a much clearer picture of the scene than what was recorded on the videotape. He also said they would have had intelligence about the identity of the men in the vehicles. "They're not getting a sort of blurred picture. They have a combination of intelligence and much better imagery than we can see."

As to whether the Apache pilots could have called in ground troops to apprehend the men, Cordesman said: "In this kind of war, wherever you find organized resistance among the insurgents, you have to act immediately. If you wait to send in ground troops almost invariably your enemy is going to be gone."

Army officials acknowledged that the 30 mm cannons used by the Apache gunners were far bigger than what was needed to kill the men, but said it is the smallest weapon the Apaches have.

madape
05-04-2004, 10:05 AM
Here's the motto of the liberal media: Mourn the deaths of our enemies and ridicule the deaths of our soldiers.

Maybe we should aim one of those hellfire missles at Ted Koppel's enormous head. It's clear which side of the war ABC news is on. I say it's high time to update our "rules of engagement" to include strategic strikes against dissonent US media outlets who attempt to undermine our war efforts.

FishForLunch
05-04-2004, 11:31 AM
The Media is having a good time with this abuse theme. They will not stop until the US pulls out od Iraq.

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US probes claims of Indians being ill-treated in Iraq
Tue May 04 2004 10:09:08 ET

American officials in India said Tuesday they were looking into allegations that Indian civilians working for the US military in Iraq were being ill-treated by their employers.

A US embassy spokesman in New Delhi said the allegations were being checked following an expression of concern by the Indian government over media reports Indians were being made to work like "slaves" in US military camps.

"We take all reports of abuse seriously and all allegations of mistreatment are investigated. We are committed to treating all persons under coalition authority with dignity, respect and humanity," the spokesman told AFP.

Reports published in leading national dailies on Tuesday quoted two Indian brothers, employed in American military camps in Iraq, as saying US troops abused them and made them work long hours with little food.

"We were slaves in American kitchens. We barely got two hours of sleep," one of the brothers, Hameed, told the Hindustan Times paper in Kollam in southern Kerala state.

His brother Shahjahan was quoted as saying, "Once I told the kitchen in-charge that as I was a devout Muslim I could not cook pork. I was beaten up with rifle butts."

The two brothers, who were identified in the report by their first names only, were among 25 Indians recruited in August by private agencies in Kerala, the report said.

They had been expecting to work in Kuwait but were transported across the border into Iraq, where they ended up in US military camps.

Once they realised they had been duped, the brothers managed to leave, returning to India on April 28.

Shahjahan said there were at least 70 other Indians in US camps in Iraq.

END

FishForLunch
05-04-2004, 11:35 AM
The theme of this week is US Miltary abuse, I guess all Media outlets got their memo

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Iraqi cameraman recounts ordeal in US detention
Tue May 04 2004 08:56:14 ET

The US interrogater yanked the 24-year-old Iraqi male's hair and peeled back his eyelids.

"'Do not ever imagine you will manage to get out of this. Forget about your Jazeera; forget about your future; the only future you will enjoy is in Guantanamo,'" the American shouted, according to Al-Jazeera television cameraman Suhaib Badraddin Baz who spent two-months in US custody.

Baz's story is just one of many told by Iraqis about beatings at the hands of US prison guards, allegations which sparked international outrage last week when images of abuse were published in the US media.

The coalition has vowed to bring all offenders to justice and has already suspended 17 US military personnel from their duties.

But Baz, who was detained twice last year by US forces, said he no longer believed in America's commitment to human rights or freedom.

"It was night, 10:00 pm (1800 GMT). The American officer came and said to me 'Maybe there are some guys who respect the media, I respect no one'," Baz recalled of his first night in US costody after his second arrest.

"It was only after three hours I spent standing hooded that I was admitted to a room and they started interrogating me."

He said the interrogator accused him of collaborating with insurgents fighting US forces and demanded to know why Al-Jazeera, an Arab station which is heavily criticised by US officials, appeared to know about attacks before they occurred.

Baz said he asked for time to pray, but the guards refused. He also claimed to have been beaten and spat on during his two days in US custody at Samarra, north of Baghdad.

"Guards kept beating me and calling me names... It seemed to me that everyone ... coming into the room wished me dead. I was kicked and spat on over and over," he claimed.

Baz, whose story could not be immediately confirmed, said he was then flown to the Baghdad airport where he spent two more days before being hooded and transfered again.

"During that time ... there was someone who tried to terrify me by pointing a machine gun at my back and many times the guy tried to make me feel as if he or she was about to shoot," he said.

"Whenever I made even a slight movement, I had someone beating me for it."

At one point, a soldier bashed his head against a wall until he fell unconscious, he said.

"I was still hooded, and because of the pain in my forehead I thought I would lose my eyesight. The guy keep doing this for some time till I fainted," he said.

Finally, Baz was moved to his last destination, the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. He said he was stripped naked against his will, and beaten when he refused to take off his clothes.

Baz said he heard people cry out in pain at all hours. His cell had no light or bedding, except for a torn blanket. He went weeks without a shower or bath.

"Because it was in winter, it was damp and cold and I spent many nights shivering. My feet started to swell as I was not allowed to wear slippers," he said.

"It was only after 35 days that at around 4:00 am some of the guards came and told me it was my turn to take a bath. I thought it would be a nice warm one, but ... I was shocked to find out that it was harshly cold."

He said the guards taunted him with false news about the killing or arrest of some of his colleagues in Baghdad. Other prisoners were also humiliated.

"A man and his son were brought in. They were both hooded. Then they were stripped naked and after that they were allowed to see each other. It was so hard for both of them. Then the son was given female underwear. I saw it for myself," he said.

Later he was moved to a large tent, home to about 40 detainees, where Baz said one sick man died without receiving medical care.

Released after about two months, Baz returned to his job at Jazeera but he admits that he is now fiercely anti-American.

"Before the war, I had a bright idea about the Americans. I thought they were people who believe deeply in democracy and respect freedom," he said.

"Now I believe that the Americans are far removed from anything related to democracy and freedom."

END

FishForLunch
05-04-2004, 11:53 AM
Is the Media trying to hide certain facts about Prisioner abuse.

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NBC: Worst Abuse at Al Ghraib Done by Iraqi Recruits

Some of the worst abuse in the Al Ghraib prison scandal was reportedly perpetrated by Iraqi guards recruited by the U.S. military and brought into to the jail to help maintain control of the growing population of Iraqi detainees.

And while most of the allegations against U.S. military police involve harassment and intimidation tactics that did not cause physical harm, the Iraqi recruits allegedly raped several detainees.

"The Iraqi guards apparently engaged in rape of female prisoners and perhaps some young boys," reported NBC Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski on Tuesday.

Miklaszewski told radio host Don Imus that the Iraqi guards had been recruited "in an effort to control the Iraqis inside the prison. The American military invited Iraqis - they trained them up ever so briefly and put them into the prison."

Miklaszewski described another case where "one of these Iraqi guards smuggled in knives and a gun to one of the prisoners and there was a shoot-out in the cell. He was shot to death, an MP was wounded."

Until now, press reports have made no mention of the role played by Iraqi guards in some of worst aspects of the prison abuse scandal. Extensive quotes by the New Yorker Magazine and the Los Angeles Times from a preliminary military report on the abuse scandal failed to note any involvement by Iraqi guards.

Previously, the worst allegation to emerge from the prison abuse scandal was the charge that one of the detainees had been sodomized with a light bulb or a broomstick. But the military report as excerpted by the Los Angeles Times did not specifically identify the perpetrator as American.