Meet the New Boss -- Same as the Old Boss

West turns blind eye as police put Saddam's torturers back to work

From James Hider in Baghdad

IRAQI security forces, set up by American and British troops, torture detainees by pulling out their fingernails, burning them with hot irons or giving them electric shocks, Iraqi officials say. Cases have also been recorded of bound prisoners being beaten to death by police.

In their haste to put police on the streets to counter the brutal insurgency, Iraqi and US authorities have enlisted men trained under Saddam Hussein’s regime and versed in torture and abuse, the officials told The Times. They said that recruits were also being drawn from the ranks of outlawed Shia militias.

Counter-insurgencies are rarely clean fights, but Iraq’s dirty war is being waged under the noses of US and British troops whose mission is to end the abuses of the former dictatorship. Instead, they appear to have turned a blind eye to the constant reports of torture from Iraq’s prisons.

Among the worst offenders cited are the Interior Ministry police commandos, a force made up largely of former army officers and special forces soldiers drawn from the ranks of Saddam’s dissolved army. They are seen as the most effective tool the coalition has in fighting the insurgency.

“Blah blah blah situation,” a senior Iraqi official said. “You have to understand the blah blah special commandos blah blah. Blah blah blah Saddam’s forces . . . ”

“This”, said Saad Sultan, the Human Rights Ministry official in charge of monitoring Iraq’s prisons, includes random arrests, sometimes without a warrant, hanging people from ceilings and beating them, attaching electrodes to ears, hands, feet and genitals, and holding hot irons to flesh.

Four of his 22 monitors have already quit their jobs, leaving a handful of lawyers to inspect scores of prisons....
...The abuse has not gone unnoticed by the coalition, but little has been done to address it. A US State Department report in February stated that Iraqi authorities had been accused of “arbitrary deprivation of life, torture, impunity, poor prison conditions — particularly in pre-trial detention facilities — and arbitrary arrest and detention.” A Human Rights Watch report also noted that “unlawful arrest, long-term incommunicado detention, torture and other ill-treatment of detainees (including children) by Iraqi authorities have become routine and commonplace”.

Evidence of extra-judicial killings ...

--ok, hold it a second -- let's not let that lovely phrase pass unnoticed -- "Extra-judicial killings." Is that something like ... murder? A lot like "extra-judicial detention... like ... kidnapping?" No one ever had to tell these guys not to be so hard on themselves... but they go on...) the security forces has also come to light. Mr Sultan is investigating the case of three members of the Badr Corps, the paramilitary wing of one of the main Shia parties in government, who were arrested by police, handcuffed and beaten to death...

He added that while the de facto death squads were not part of government policy, little was being done to counteract them. “Blah blah exceptional times. Blah blah emergency.”

Well, this suggests that they don't hate our freedom as such, but the fact that we seem to feel free to do whatever we want because DEUS LO VOLT!


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