Friday, March 11, 2005

Children at Abu Ghraid

The AP is reporting, “Children as young as 11 years old were held at Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi prison at the centre of the US prisoner abuse scandal, official documents reveal.”
It’s inevitable that the story of more abuse at Abu Ghraib would surface, also that children and being held by an uncaring and apparently abusive government of which we vote for every four years. The AP also reports of abuse to women,
“In one case, witness statements among the released documents allege that four drunken Americans took a 17-year-old female prisoner from her cell and forced her to expose her breasts and kissed her.”
“In another documented incident, troops are alleged to have smeared mud on the detained 17-year-old son of an Iraqi general and forced his father to watch him shiver in the cold.”
Now I am not making this up, as you see above there is a link of reference, the Associated Press as I have said reports this story. The story gets worse and more enraging,
“She said in her interview that she thought one boy "looked like he was eight years old". He told me he was almost 12," she said. "He told me his brother was there with him, but he really wanted to see his mother, could he please call his mother. He was crying."
A twelve-year old child being held at Abu Ghraib that could very well have been tortured. This child like the others held there could be made to watch or do anything obscene.
The story concludes,
"In her interview with Maj Gen George Fay, she also said intelligence officers had worked out an agreement to hold detainees without keeping records.
The Pentagon has acknowledged holding so-called "ghost detainees" on the basis that they were enemy combatants and therefore not entitled to prisoner of war protections.
Brig Gen Karpinski said US commanders were reluctant to release detainees, an attitude she called "releasophobia".
In her interview, she said Maj Gen Walter Wodjakowski, then the second most senior army general in Iraq, told her in the summer of 2003 not to release more prisoners, even if they were innocent.
"I don't care if we're holding 15,000 innocent civilians," she said Maj Gen Wodjakowski told her. "We're winning the war."
Read that last quote a few times. I don’t care, innocent civilians. That is the Bush administration’s view of war. The term war criminal doesn’t really apply here, we may have to think of a brand new term, perhaps war murderer, or war rapist. If you abduct a child and hold him in a cell you will get life in prison and maybe parole eventually. There will be a manhunt and a code Adam will go out. However, if you are in Iraq you can just call this child an enemy combatant and dismiss the charges. What else can we expect Mr. President? Will we see immolations of pregnant women? How about televised interrogations for ESPN with celebrity hosts?

- Chris Mansel

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