Thursday, May 27, 2004
"U.S. officials deny that there is a systematic practice of detaining relatives to pressure Iraqi fugitives into surrendering. "The coalition does not take hostages," said a senior military official who asked not to be named. "Relatives who might have information about wanted persons are sometimes detained for questioning, and then they are released. There is no policy of holding people as bargaining chips."
But Iraqi human rights groups say they have documented dozens of cases similar to Moayad's, in which family members who are not accused of any crimes have been detained for weeks or even months and told that they would be released only when a wanted relative surrenders to U.S. forces.
"We have many cases of Americans going to a house looking for someone, and when they can't find him, they take another family member in his place," said Bassem al-Rubaie, director of the Council of Legal Defense Care, a group of Iraqi lawyers that has been campaigning for prisoner rights. "This has been going on since the early days of the American occupation." The article goes on to detail further examples.
Here's the problem -- I want to trust the Pentagon, but they don't seem to have a very good track record of telling the truth. It seems as though even some of the armed services committee may feel the same way. Amnesty says between 70-90 percent of people in the prison are innocent and the Pentagon doesn't deny it. We don't know what's going on in the prison and the very commensensical question is should we? I tend to think nothing would get done about the abuses being done in our names if we didn't know about it. I also think the moral high ground we have in this fight on terror is quickly being eroded by questionable tactics. McCain is sickened by the abuse; Kerry is sickened by the abuse; I posted about other conservatives and Generals in the Army sickened by the abuse; and guess what they have in common -- the were all in the military or have sons in the military. All the politicians and media types who say this is humiliating prisoners with hoods and masturbation was like taking a shower in high school gym class (thanks Zell Miller) have not been in the military nor have sons or daughter who could be captured by enemy forces at some point. More on the apologists. Jessica Lynch and Soshana Johnson and a number of other ex-POWs were said to have been treated very well by the Iraqis -- I can't believe we were shown up by Shithead Hussein -- cripes even the damn people who are kidnapping workers have been treating them better than the Army is treating the Iraqis.
And remember -- I don't want to see our men and women over there tried for war crimes -- but these are war crimes.