Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Twenty months after Saddam Hussein's government was toppled and its torture chambers unlocked, Iraqis are again being routinely beaten, hung by their wrists and shocked with electrical wires, according to a report by a human rights organization.
The human rights organization is Human Rights Watch; and the report, released today, reveals that Iraqi security personnel -- many of whom worked for Saddam Hussein's regime in similar capacities -- are routinely and systematically brutalizing political opponents and others they consider threats to Iraq's interim government.

Ayad Allawi, Iraq's interim vice-president, a former CIA agent who was hand-picked by the Bush administration to head Iraq until elections, is deeply implicated in these human rights violations. There is strong evidence that the government is "actively taking part" in the torture, or at least knows about it.

The Pentagon has not only failed to condemn or stop the abuse; they have tacitly approved it by telling military personnel (in the one incident on record where U.S. forces tried to help Iraqi prisoners) to lay off and mind their own business. In this incident, members of the Oregon Army National Guard came across several Iraqi prisoners very tightly bound, in extreme pain, prostrate in the hot Iraqi sun, begging for water. The Guardsmen moved the prisoners out of the sun, gave them water, and then contacted superior officers via radio to find out what to do next. They were told to "return the prisoners to the Iraqi authorities and leave the detention yard."

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