Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Iraqi Torture Compound, Not Saddam's

Now we have the reports of a compound in Iraq where torture was occurring. Apparently it was mainly Sunni's getting the brunt of the abuse performed by the Iraqi Interior Ministry. This from the news report;

The Iraqi government has ordered an investigation into the alledged abuse and torture of 173 prisoners, most of them Sunni Arabs, in an Interior Ministry cell in Baghdad. The men were discovered during a raid by a US patrol as it was looking for a missing teenage boy. The US troops were stunned by what they found - many of the prisoners appeared to have been brutally beaten and most had been malnourished for wekks. There are also rumors of several dead bodies in the cell that showed signs of severe torture.

The AP reports, however, that the US raid may not have been accidental, and may have been aimed at "scoring points" with Sunni Arabs, whose participation in next month's general election is necessary if the US wants to be able to exit Iraq sometime in the next two years.

The Daily Telegraph also points out that "if true, the allegations could raise questions about the Shiite-led government's commitment to human rights and may prove embarrassing to the US military, which trained many of the Iraqi security forces."

It seems like torture is the news every day. One wonders whether torture begets torture. Saddam Hussein used torture. The US invades Iraq and uses torture (Abu Ghraib). The new Iraqi government uses torture. Torture seems so common now, it seems like all the powers that be in Iraq teach each other how to do it. Or maybe it's just one-upmanship. You torture, I torture, we all torture for torture's sake.

But this new story is actually nothing new for the Iraqi government. I wrote about a report back in August 2004 about an Oregon National Guard unit that spotted torture going on in a compound run by the Interior Ministry. The unit interceded but then was told to back off by higher command.

I've always wondered if that higher command was investigated into why they ordered the unit to back off. Why was the Iraqi Interior Ministry essentially given the green light to torture apparently under our watchful eyes? Was this in essense a rendition torture area?

So after this new report, I have to wonder if that incident from 2004 is in anyway related. The Iraqi Interior Ministry is the government organization that runs the national police. Unofficially, it sounds like they run their version of the FBI or CIA. And very unofficially it appears they run the gulags of torture.

And don't forget, it was the United States that created the different Iraqi Ministries. We advised them. It was the Bush Administration that became the new Iraq's God, we've created them in our likeness.


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