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Author Topic: Photos show jail abuse by US troops
pogge
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posted 30 April 2004 02:46 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Photos show jail abuse by US troops

quote:
United States soldiers at a prison outside Baghdad have been accused of forcing Iraqi prisoners into acts of sexual humiliation and other abuses.

The charges, first announced by the military in March, were documented by photographs taken by guards in the prison.

Some of the photographs, and descriptions of others, were broadcast in the US on Wednesday by a CBS television news program and were verified by military officials.

Of the six people reported in March to be facing preliminary charges, three have been recommended for courts martial.

The program reported that poorly trained US reservists were forcing Iraqis to conduct simulated sexual acts in order to break down their will before they were turned over to others for interrogation.

In one photograph naked Iraq prisoners stand in a human pyramid, one with a slur written on his skin in English.

In another, a prisoner stands on a box, his head covered, wires attached to his body. The news show said that, according to the army, he had been told that if he fell off the box he would be electrocuted. Other photographs show male prisoners positioned to simulate sex with each other.

"The pictures show Americans, men and women, in military uniforms, posing with naked Iraqi prisoners," a transcript said.

"And in most of the pictures, the Americans are laughing, posing, pointing or giving the camera a thumbs-up."


Apologies if this has already been posted, but I didn't see it in the likely places.

Whiskey Bar has commentary.

And Just a Bump in the Beltway has news on what the media is, and isn't, saying.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Doug
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posted 30 April 2004 03:17 PM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here are the photos, in case you feel like being massively disgusted.
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paxamillion
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posted 30 April 2004 03:21 PM      Profile for paxamillion   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Aren't these people putting coalition lives at risk by engaging in this sort of behaviour? I mean, isn't this like tossing gasoline on the fire of Iraqi resistence?
From: the process of recovery | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 30 April 2004 04:24 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Use of private contractors in Iraqi jail interrogations highlighted by inquiry into abuse of prisoners

quote:
Graphic photographs showing the torture and sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners in a US-run prison outside Baghdad emerged yesterday from a military inquiry which has left six soldiers facing a possible court martial and a general under investigation.

The scandal has also brought to light the growing and largely unregulated role of private contractors in the interrogation of detainees.

According to lawyers for some of the soldiers, they claimed to be acting in part under the instruction of mercenary interrogators hired by the Pentagon.

[snip]

Lawyers for the soldiers argue they are being made scapegoats for a rogue military prison system in which mercenaries give orders without legal accountability.

A military report into the Abu Ghraib case - parts of which were made available to the Guardian - makes it clear that private contractors were supervising interrogations in the prison, which was notorious for torture and executions under Saddam Hussein.

One civilian contractor was accused of raping a young male prisoner but has not been charged because military law has no jurisdiction over him.



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evenflow
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posted 30 April 2004 05:05 PM      Profile for evenflow        Edit/Delete Post
It's great that the US removed Saddam from power and all his secret torture chambers and rape rooms, and replaced them with...uhhh...secret torture chambers and rape rooms....

"insert abrupt U.S.A. chant here"

I hope that this problem gets looked at all the way to its source and doesn't end simply with the court martial of these 6 military personnel.

[ 30 April 2004: Message edited by: evenflow ]

[ 30 April 2004: Message edited by: evenflow ]


From: learning land | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 30 April 2004 05:11 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I dont think that will happen. They took the general in charge of this and courtmartialled her as well as 15 out of the 17 personnel involved in the prison. Its a ongoing trial though, that started 2 months ago
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Mr. Magoo
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posted 30 April 2004 05:21 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Lawyers for the soldiers argue they are being made scapegoats for a rogue military prison system in which mercenaries give orders without legal accountability.

"Private! Light up a butt, then point at that man's penis while smiling, double time! When you're done with that I want these humans stacked like firewood, do you understand?"


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 30 April 2004 05:33 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Orders aren't that specific. They're general. And when orders often run to "don't handle these people with any particular respect; they're scum", the more sadistic and creative people in charge of the care of these prisoners often use them as an outlet for their... frustrations? boredom? Whatever.

[ 30 April 2004: Message edited by: DrConway ]


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 30 April 2004 05:46 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm mocking the lawyers. I don't believe the soldiers who did this were "victims" of anything. If private mercs are involved, then by all means get their asses in a sling too, but lets not have any of this "but they made me" crap.

I'm not certain if we're both on the same page with this or not, but I suspect we might in fact be. Or if not then it'll be over who's at the bottom of this, and not whether or not this is mucho fucked up.


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Michelle
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posted 30 April 2004 05:49 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm with Magoo on this one.
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Willowdale Wizard
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posted 30 April 2004 06:33 PM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
(sipping tea) thank goodness only US soldiers do that sort of thing ... hold on, what, british soldiers are doing it too?


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DrConway
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posted 30 April 2004 06:44 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ok. Now that you've clarified, Mr. Magoo, I do believe we are on the same page.
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Rand McNally
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posted 30 April 2004 08:24 PM      Profile for Rand McNally     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
While I didn't support the invasion of Iraq, I think it is worth noting that this investigation started before the pictures went public. Things like this are not US policy, while it, and worse were part former government's policy.
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No Yards
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posted 30 April 2004 08:41 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't think anyone is claiming this is US "written policy", but if even you look at how they treat their own "children" in their own prisons, I can't see how this can be considered as unusual or unexpected practice for the USA.
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josh
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posted 30 April 2004 08:45 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's not the first time, and I'm sure it won't be the last, that I am ashamed of my country. And let's be clear, this needless war and the hysterical mentality in the country and in the media since 9/11 gave these individuals the belief that what they were doing was permissible.
From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 30 April 2004 08:54 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
You don't have to be ashamed of anything, Josh. You didn't do this.
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SHH
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posted 01 May 2004 08:28 AM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I feel the same shame and disgust as josh. Anger too. Dare I mention the ills of Affirmative Action?
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WingNut
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posted 01 May 2004 09:02 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Affirmative action? As an apologist, SSH, you have achieved a low as yet unreached on babble.

You should be ashamed of yourself.


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skdadl
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posted 01 May 2004 09:07 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't even understand what SHH means. What does he mean?
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DownTheRoad
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posted 01 May 2004 09:29 AM      Profile for DownTheRoad     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think what he means is that part of why these incidents happened is that those in charge had been promoted beyond their ability in order to bump up the numbers of women and minorities in leadership positions. Evidence, SHH?
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DownTheRoad
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posted 01 May 2004 09:35 AM      Profile for DownTheRoad     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Though it has been alleged that some unqualified people have been put in military policing roles due to a shortage real MP's.
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josh
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posted 01 May 2004 10:00 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, SHH this is an all-time low for you. Since the only servicepeople I've seen in the pictures are white, I assume you're talking about the woman. Yet this is not the type of "stunt" that one would expect a woman to take part in.
From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 01 May 2004 10:24 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I was going to try to write something thoughtful and fair to Americans about how sadly common sadistic behaviour is in every army, every war, especially right after battle. But if that is what SHH means, I think I'm speechless for a while.
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WingNut
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posted 01 May 2004 11:04 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Maybe we are all wrong.
Maybe he means the affirmative action enjoyed by George W. Bush by virtue of being rich and white and part of the establishment elite. It is very unlikely George would have gotten into any ivy league college on the basis of merit. It is unlikely he would have enjoyed any political or finanicial success on the basis merit. Rather, his family connections have provided an affirmative action for him where while be a dolt, he has managed to attend an ivy league school, become filty rich and even president, by appointment.

And look at the results of this affirmative action? War, death, dishonour.


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DownTheRoad
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posted 01 May 2004 11:58 AM      Profile for DownTheRoad     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Since the only servicepeople I've seen in the pictures are white, I assume you're talking about the woman.

I suspect that SHH was thinking not of the woman in the photos, but the one in charge of the prison, General Janice Kapinski.

Skdadl, SHH's comments notwithstanding, the general feeling about this on this side of the border is no different than elsewhere. Disgust and anger.


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Jingles
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posted 01 May 2004 12:51 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Some reaction to the 60 minutes story.

quote:
At one time I would have condemned the way they were treated, but after recently seeing them burning Americans there, I say they should give those troops medals. An eye for an eye.

and

quote:
We've just lost the goal of helping anyone over there because of this show, and God help us. You are no better then those who did these horrible acts. Your reports are bringing down this country.

See, it's the media's fault for reporting the crimes, not the soldier's for perpetrating it. At least those who identify themselves as former or serving military condemn the acts. It's the racist, ignorant, bloodthirsty fuckwads on the homefront that excuse it.


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Hinterland
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posted 01 May 2004 01:44 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I feel the same shame and disgust as josh. Anger too. Dare I mention the ills of Affirmative Action?

Eh? Oh, well, it's not like he would have anything helpful to say in any case. It's always the smug dismissal of everything, isn't it, SHH?


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SHH
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posted 01 May 2004 02:16 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I think what he means is that part of why these incidents happened is that those in charge had been promoted beyond their ability in order to bump up the numbers of women and minorities in leadership positions.
Exactly. I know a little something of this as my brother was a high level military officer. As an academy grad he was fast tracked to the big time but it wasn’t long before he became dismayed with the barefaced preferences given to females. (He had orders to achieve certain numbers no matter what. Racial quotas were also present but the pressure to promote females was much more intense according to him). After fighting with his command for almost two decades over the issue, he gave up a fabulous career/pension and bailed.

I don’t know anything about General Janice Kapinski and I agree with Magoo’s comment above regarding the responsibility spectrum. But when I read the soldier’s lawyer’s statements (zero training) and took note of the General’s gender, I couldn’t help but to wonder. It irritates me that these thoughts even occur. If there never was anything called ‘Affirmative Action’ not only would these ideas never have reason to live, I’d probably be thinking just the opposite.

If that offends, I apologize. I’ll just keep these things to myself in the future.


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Cueball
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posted 01 May 2004 03:12 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I just think its amazing that this thread is being side-tracked into a discussion about the ills of affirmative action -- truly stunning, and stupid, just because there is a woman being a perverted asshole. Women can be perverted assholes too. Sooner or later a woman was going to be caught being a sick fuck. So what?

Men statistically commit the most war crimes. Perhaps men should be banned from the military entirely.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 01 May 2004 03:17 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There weren't any women at My Lai. Well, not shooting, anyway.
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Cueball
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posted 01 May 2004 03:44 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Bottom line is that this has nothing to do with training. This has to do with psychological problems. Psychological problems are not resolved by "training." They are resolved through therapy.
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Briguy
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posted 01 May 2004 04:15 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'd ignore SHH. He's just trying to deflect from the real crimes committed by soldiers here, by posting something completely unbased in any fact. Don't feed him. Don't ask him to clarify. That's what he wants.

Hearts and minds

quote:
Arab countries were more strident, with the Arab League calling the mistreatment "savage acts" and Arab broadcast networks describing the incidents in similar terms. Arab newspapers and students and even a member of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council said the images could be pivotal in turning Iraqis against the United States.

"This is the logic and modus operandi of imperialist conquest and colonial occupation," the Tehran Times wrote. "The pictures of torture, brutality and sexual sadism are representative of the entire criminal operation being conducted in Iraq."



From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 01 May 2004 04:21 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Bottom line is that this has nothing to do with training.
I strongly disagree. Take any group of people – corporate white boys, soldiers, Teamster thugs, or girl scouts – and tell them, in a class room like environment, that THIS you will not do, and THAT will get you big-time trouble and IF WE EVER SEE YOU DOING THIS OR THAT YOU ARE TOAST!...and you will get results. Even the psychos learn to check their compulsions for fear of reprisal. Training is paramount. People have to be told the rules.

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Cueball
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posted 01 May 2004 04:28 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I do not think even one military psycholgist would agree with you. This is why the psychological exam is required upon entry into the US forces -- it is to weed these sick fuckers out before they get power over people.

The idea is not to induct them and then paddle there ass when they get out of hand. If that were the case the military would spend all of its time paddling peoples asses (think how many sick fucks want to join the military just so they can GET POWER OVER PEOPLE.) No they don't want them in at all.

Unfortunately it is not possible to do in all cases.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 01 May 2004 04:36 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Besides, the US military, although they will not tell you, will sometimes inculcate a culture of on the surface creating rules that soldiers should not break, but in actual practice turning a blind eye to many practices that would, in theory, violate said regulations.

A classic example of this was the Vietnam war. Soldiers routinely did what Calley did, only Calley was unlucky enough to get busted for My Lai (or Son My - I've heard some people say the city name in Vietnamese was mistransliterated).

The whole US high command likely knew in generalities that US soldiers were committing atrocities in Vietnam and did nothing to discourage those acts, because they believed that taming "the savages" would help win the war. (although no formal declaration was ever made, obviously)

It's happening again. Soldiers are being nudgewinked that if they do these sorts of things and get results, the generals and admirals at the top will not issue a formal order halting the activities.

Furthermore, a goodish chunk of the US forces in Iraq are mercenary troops. These people often operate in no-holds-barred environments where anything goes in the corporate-military culture they're in. Just as in many large corporations, if you have the right cojones and the take-no-prisoners attitude, the testosterone contingent thinks you're cool and you get promoted.

Same dealie in the mercs.

So, y'know, training or no training, it all depends on what the people at the top will tolerate and how they telegraph this to the rank and file.

SHH is correct that if the US high command said under absolutely no circumstances would the torture and humiliation of any Iraqi person be tolerated, these activities would stop tomorrow. But I suspect the truth is that they've chosen to ignore the less egregious examples, hoping that breaking the populace's morale, as in colonial times of old, will cement US rule over Iraq.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 01 May 2004 04:45 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You’re hilarious, Cueball. How long have you been managing large organizations? My guess is never. But on your word alone I’ll be sure to ask all those HR directors if they were just wasting my time with all those labor and sexual harassment classes. And the Safety Guys are just probably taking me for a ride, too. EPA, regulations! What do they know? I kinda like the florescent vests, though. Brings out my blue eyes one of the gals said.
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verbatim
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posted 01 May 2004 04:47 PM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I would have thought the most effective strategy would be for the US military to issue a new regulation making it a court-martial offence for soldiers to possess a camera for personal use within the Iraq theatre. That way they don't have to stop pissing on the Iraqis at all.
From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 01 May 2004 04:47 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
See what happens when you don't ignore SHH, Cueball? It's a never-ending funfest.
From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 01 May 2004 04:58 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You wouldn’t happen to be a Teamster, woudja Hinter? Cuz that would be wrong.

[small]just kidding[/small]


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 01 May 2004 05:09 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
By the way, SHH, that "affirmative action" broadside was just idiotic. I expect better from a man of your intelligence than to blame this sorry-assed example of human behavior on affirmative action, especially when it has been repeatedly pointed out that quotas are illegal in about half the circuits of the USA, and that oftentimes AA means merely actively seeking out candidates for employment among sectors not previously generally considered.

Your attitude is also dangerously close to being openly sexist and racist by implying that women and ethnic minorities are not competent to be military officers due to alleged "natural stupidity".


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
charlessumner
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posted 01 May 2004 05:38 PM      Profile for charlessumner     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You have to wonder if the abusive soldiers wouldn't have felt what permission permission to do all this if Bush and Blair hadn't characterized this all so strongly as a war of "good" against "evil."
From: closer everyday | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 01 May 2004 06:23 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Dear Doc, I was hoping to just let this go, but... my AA reference was just a note to the fact that it causes things and thoughts that would not otherwise be there. And that might be contrary to the ‘movement’. That’s all. I hire and fire people on a regular basis and it might shock you to learn that I prefer females as employees and managers. That’s me discriminating against white males! Don’t tell anybody!

Why just this week I’m interviewing for a $35K spot and I already know who I’m going to hire. It’s a critical position. She currently has another job with me in an other department. All the rest is dressing. I’m all about getting the job done.


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 01 May 2004 07:24 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Seymour Hersh has written an article about Abu Ghraib, much of it based on an investigative report written for the army by Major General Antonio M. Taguba. While Gen. Karpinski comes in for harsh criticism:

quote:
General Taguba saved his harshest words for the military-intelligence officers and private contractors. He recommended that Colonel Thomas Pappas, the commander of one of the M.I. brigades, be reprimanded and receive non-judicial punishment, and that Lieutenant Colonel Steven Jordan, the former director of the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center, be relieved of duty and reprimanded. He further urged that a civilian contractor, Steven Stephanowicz, of CACI International, be fired from his Army job, reprimanded, and denied his security clearances for lying to the investigating team and allowing or ordering military policemen “who were not trained in interrogation techniques to facilitate interrogations by ‘setting conditions’ which were neither authorized” nor in accordance with Army regulations. “He clearly knew his instructions equated to physical abuse,” Taguba wrote. He also recommended disciplinary action against a second CACI employee, John Israel. (A spokeswoman for CACI said that the company had “received no formal communication” from the Army about the matter.)

“I suspect,” Taguba concluded, that Pappas, Jordan, Stephanowicz, and Israel “were either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuse at Abu Ghraib,” and strongly recommended immediate disciplinary action.


The abuse wasn't just the result of untrained MPs having some fun with the prisoners. It was encouraged, and some of the methods specified, by military intelligence to make the prisoners more talkative.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 01 May 2004 09:16 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What'd I tell ya? They got busted, which is the only reason the military command is now cracking down.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 01 May 2004 10:17 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
General Suggests Abuses at Iraq Jail Were Encouraged

quote:
An Army Reserve general whose soldiers were photographed as they abused Iraqi prisoners said Saturday that she knew nothing about the abuse until weeks after it occurred and that she was "sickened" by the pictures. She said the prison cellblock where the abuse occurred was under the tight control of Army military intelligence officers who may have encouraged the abuse.

The suggestion by Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski that the reservists acted at the behest of military intelligence officers could be supported in a still-classified Army report on prison conditions in Iraq that documented many of the worst abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad, including the sexual humiliation of prisoners.

[snip]

In a phone interview from her home in South Carolina in which she offered her first public comments about the growing international furor over the abuse of the Iraq detainees, General Karpinski, who is still the commanding officer of the 800th Military Police Brigade, said the special high-security cellblock at Abu Ghraib had been under the direct control of Army intelligence officers, not the reservists under her command.

She said that while the reservists involved in the abuses were "bad people" who deserved punishment, she suspected that they were acting with the encouragement, if not at the direction, of military intelligence units that ran the special cellblock used for interrogation. She said that C.I.A. employees often joined in the interrogations at the prison, although she said she did not know if they had unrestricted access to the cellblock.

She said she was speaking out because she believed that military commanders were trying to shift the blame exclusively to her and other reservists and away from intelligence officers still at work in Iraq.



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 01 May 2004 10:43 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
SHH: I'm totally disgusted by your little "joke". I'm suspending you for a week, so I can sleep better.
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
beluga2
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posted 01 May 2004 10:45 PM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Good call, audra.

Which branch of the US military/intelligence establishment did or did not encourage this sickening shit is really quite beside the point. The big-picture implications are that, in the eyes of the Muslim world, the Americans are now irreversibly confirmed as the uncivilized, perverted barbarians that bin Laden has always accused them of being. There's nothing the US can do about that now. It's over.

A few days ago I speculated that George Bush's recent actions were designed to eliminate the last couple percentage points of approval for the US in the region, and get down to a nice flat zero. I'd say these pictures have now completed that process.


From: vancouvergrad, BCSSR | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 01 May 2004 11:39 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by SHH:
I strongly disagree. Take any group of people – corporate white boys, soldiers, Teamster thugs, or girl scouts – and tell them, in a class room like environment, that THIS you will not do, and THAT will get you big-time trouble and IF WE EVER SEE YOU DOING THIS OR THAT YOU ARE TOAST!...and you will get results. Even the psychos learn to check their compulsions for fear of reprisal. Training is paramount. People have to be told the rules.

Yes, and the obscene underside to all this law-making in militaries has been the extreme law-breaking that soldiers engage in - i.e. random shootings, gang raping, massacres and slaughters of various kinds. Regardless of the protestations (spin, really) of various Marine Generals (whose asses are in a sling at the moment) this kind of behaviour is NORMAL in warfare. It is as common as warfare. It IS one of the responses that human beings have to the violence and brutality of the war-making process, technological or primitive.

As someone pointed out, there is a much bigger problem of human psychology at work here. It doesn't take Jacques Lacan or Freud to see how the of the brutalisation/excessive paranaoic control used in military training can lead to its paradoxical obverse - i.e. the excessive flouting of authority and morality in fits of erotic jouissance. The pictures with the soldiers standing with the victims look like tourist pictures. There is a kind of obscene erotic enjoyment for the soldiers in engaging in this activity that seems to our usual social values, but all for a cause.

Remember how the concentration camps worked? Same principle.

Simply put, perhaps the problem is not training vs. outrages but training = outrages.

Military training is violent. It's the imposition of an intimidating violence on to people with the goal of training them to react out of fear. "Unless you want to die, and your friends to die, you will follow these orders..."

But human beings love nothing more than to taunt mortality/morality, or the authority that uses morality/mortality as it's cudgel. This is much older than the U.S. Marine Corps and I don't suspect that particular bunch of cleverly homicidal apes to find ways to change that any time soon. Their goals and the system that they have developed to legitimize and economise killing are just not built for it. By the virtue of how militaries exist, and what they DO, they need to employ a kind of controlling violence in their training.

[ 04 May 2004: Message edited by: Courage ]


From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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Babbler # 1292

posted 02 May 2004 12:02 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Take any group of people – corporate white boys, soldiers, Teamster thugs, or girl scouts – and tell them, in a class room like environment, that THIS you will not do, and THAT will get you big-time trouble and IF WE EVER SEE YOU DOING THIS OR THAT YOU ARE TOAST!

Exactly! Exactly! Exactly!
And that is why there is no crime.

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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Babbler # 4790

posted 02 May 2004 11:37 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
lol

quote:
Why just this week I’m interviewing for a $35K spot and I already know who I’m going to hire. It’s a critical position. She currently has another job with me in an other department. All the rest is dressing. I’m all about getting the job done.

Nice way to establish your class, as a manner of authorizing your POV. When in doubt delegitimize.

Also, your I'm going to hire a 'chick' (whoopdeedo!) line sounds like so much "some of my best friends are N...gers." Good luck with the new appointment, I'm sure she's looking forward to working under you -- must be thrilled.

You may not have noticed that there are no bios in the profiles, so I guess you can just shove your elitist crap up your ass, because you have no idea who I am, what I have done, whom I have worked for or what kind of organizational, skills and expierence I may or may not have.

[ 02 May 2004: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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Babbler # 478

posted 02 May 2004 11:51 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by SHH:
You wouldn’t happen to be a Teamster, woudja Hinter? Cuz that would be wrong.

[small]just kidding[/small]


Is this SHH's little joke? I hate to be a bore, but again, I don't get it. Could someone please explain it to me?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 02 May 2004 12:17 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Seymour Hersh, investigative reporter for The New Yorker, said that Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederick, one of six US military policemen accused of humiliating Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Gharib prison outside Baghdad, wrote home in January that he had "questioned some of the things" he saw inside the prison, but that "the answer I got was, 'This is how military intelligence wants it done'."

Of course its all about AA.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic
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Babbler # 3278

posted 02 May 2004 12:38 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
See, it's the media's fault for reporting the crimes, not the soldier's for perpetrating it.
When in doubt, bring in the pros or "how to torture people without getting caught".
quote:
The US authorities are trying to repair the damage. The commander of Camp X-ray at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba ­ another US military prison where the treatment of detainees has drawn fierce controversy ­ will take charge of the various detention centres in Iraq.
The most surprising aspects of this whole torture story are:
1) That these revelations have surfaced at the beginning of the war. How many years did it take for My Lai to break and court-martials to happen.
2) That the private contractors are running the torture chambers with the CIA.
3) That anyone believes Bush and Blair's crocodile tears.

[ 02 May 2004: Message edited by: Non-partisan partisan ]


From: middle of nowhere | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 03 May 2004 04:51 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I do not think even one military psycholgist would agree with you. This is why the psychological exam is required upon entry into the US forces -- it is to weed these sick fuckers out before they get power over people.

The idea is not to induct them and then paddle there ass when they get out of hand. If that were the case the military would spend all of its time paddling peoples asses (think how many sick fucks want to join the military just so they can GET POWER OVER PEOPLE.) No they don't want them in at all.

Unfortunately it is not possible to do in all cases.


I think both you and SHH are missing something. It's not just 'training' that is in question here - it's the feeling of omnipotence and power over the victim. You can't 'weed' this out by testing (except in extreme cases of sadism), nor can you 'train' it out of people because it is not a function of that part of the psyche that would implement training regimens: in simplistic Freudian terms, the superego. Frankly, I doubt any of these soldiers ever got the specific idea that it was okay to torture people from their social upbringing. Sure, a few may be sadists of a sort (aren't we all, a little bit) but for the most part the soldiers who do this kind of thing are 'normal' by all accounts. The banality of Evil?

So this is not a failure of training as there exists a social taboo on torture already that training would only reinforce not augment.

This behaviour may be a response to being held within a tightly controlled power structure (military ranks) and to being in a position of omnipotence based on the authority and conditions that present themselves. In other words, until you put people in that position, you have no idea what you will get - though as all military history shows, you more often than not get these 'outrages'. The excessive curbing of libidinal energy into the regimented and paranaoic military worldview results in these 'leaks' and 'explosions' - what manifests as acts of gratuitous violence and depravity. Look at the photos; they are a kind of 'play' - the kind of 'play' that one engages in to release tension, to flout social constraints - like being on vacation in a Third World country...oh wait... As I said above, I don't think we can discount how the extreme training used in the military creates these outrages. The more stringent the rules, the more excessive the outrages.


Another key condition in this relationship is the prisoners' position as homo sacer - a person below and outside the law. The prisoners are not part of the social web that maintains the taboo against torture. Many of these men who are being incarcerated were never formally charged, never afforded civil legal process and are essentially devoid of that status we call 'humanity' - or at least that part of the definition of humanity that confers some ethical/legal protection on them. They are functionally less than human.

Moreover, for all the protestations that this is not 'systemic' within the U.S. military, I add the example of Camp X-ray - where hundreds more 'suspects' are also held without charge, without council, and without an assumption of innocence. Rather, like the Iraqi prisoners, they are 'suspected terrorists' - or even no-thing at all - which seems to amount to a form of guilt. They are 'unlawful combattants' - suggesting that they are outside and below the protection of law. Compare this to a 'war criminal' or some other kind of prisoner of war. They never lose their legal position. That is, they never are outside or below the law.

Putting people in a position of power over someone who has otherwise been turned into a less-than-human often results in these kinds of abuses. The lifting of the sanction against treating them poorly (begun by the act of denying them full human status) is simply continued to it's logical end. The homo sacer can be beaten, kicked, tortured, and used as a prop in those sadistic erotic tourist photos.

In some ways, these photos are a rather accurate portrayal - a sort of distilled 'truth' if-you-will - of colonialism/imperialism. Here we have the Occidental occupier playing in the conquered Third World setting. The population of this place having become even less than a captured 'native', but in fact having become nothing but the scenery in a strange sadistic play. The portraits portray in simple form the political power relationship of the occupier and occupied.

And surely the Marines will 'investigate' these outrages. But when do Iraqis themselves - the victims - get to investigate the occupiers? They won't. We not only will torture them, and hold them like cattle without explanation, but we too will decide upon and mete out what we consider 'justice' when some (purely predictable) 'outrage' casts doubt on the Truth, Rightness, and Morality of the Benevolent Occupiers. Even the 'investigation' reinforces the primacy of The Imperial Throne....

And concerning all else, I am of the opinion that the Occupations must be destroyed.

(Thanks to Dr. Conway for editing help... )

[ 04 May 2004: Message edited by: Courage ]


From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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Babbler # 2440

posted 03 May 2004 11:15 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
On Bill O'Reilly's show tonight, Seymour Hersh says...

quote:
the Iraq abuse photos that we've seen so far are just the tip of the iceberg. He says that he has talked to sources within the last 24 hours that lead him to believe that even worse evidence is to come.

Some summary from the interview:

  • Things were going on in the prison that cannot be mentioned on TV. Hersch says that there was a women's wing of the prison ... and that there was an abuse of young boys detained in the facility.

  • Not only are there more photos out there, there is also extensive video tape of interrogations and prisoner abuse, including the abuse of minors mentioned above.

  • He is aware of CD-ROMs of images floating around and says that it is only a matter of time before someone sells some of these to a "European newspaper out there."



Via Daily Kos.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
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posted 03 May 2004 11:40 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
2) That the private contractors are running the torture chambers with the CIA.

Did anyone hear the item on "As It Happens" tonight?

They interviewed the relative of a U.S. soldier based in Iraq who works in one of these prisons. Apparently out of concern that phones and e-mail are tapped, he used the good old-fashioned postal service to get his message out.

Apparently the soldier who is a reservist normally works as a prison guard in (I think it was) Virginia. He'd received a commendation from the state for talking a prisoner out of committing suicide along with some other commendations. So sounds like a fairly reputable guy with a conscience.

He claims that most of the torture of Iraqi prisoners was being done by the private contractors who are working for the CIA and the CID.

So there you go...we've got privatization of torture! How much bloody lower can the Bush administration stoop.


From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 04 May 2004 03:29 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Frederick claims he never had the opportunity to read the Geneva Convention, which prohibits the infliction of physical or mental torture, or any other form of coercion, on prisoners of war to secure information from them. Military intelligence officers, wrote Frederick, "encouraged us, and told us, ‘great job,’ that they were now getting positive results and information." Frederick claims he questioned the harsh treatment of Iraqis, but "the answer I got was this is how military intelligence wants it done." Yet Frederick referred to Iraqi men as "animals," according to a witness in an April military court hearing in Iraq.

Frederick will not likely prevail by arguing that he was just following orders, which Lt. William Calley claimed unsuccessfully in his murder trial. Calley was prosecuted for his part in the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War, where hundreds of unarmed old men, women and children were killed by American soldiers. He was convicted of premeditated murder. Calley’s superior officers, however, were never charged. Many think Calley was scapegoated to save senior officers from prosecution. But he was paroled after serving only three years of his life sentence.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 04 May 2004 05:24 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by radiorahim:

So there you go...we've got privatization of torture! How much bloody lower can the Bush administration stoop.


Everything is for sale. The Market IS NOT (as some 'conservative' idealists would allege) a moral panacea.


From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic
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posted 04 May 2004 05:38 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Anyone with the right qualifications can start a new career - as a private torturer.I posted this as a separate thread but think it probably belongs here instead.
From: middle of nowhere | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 25 July 2004 12:42 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
As an update, I might add that it looks like Abu Ghraib will be the Kolyma or the Buchenwald of the 21st century: Symbolic of the brutality towards people who did nothing to deserve that brutality, and the heartlessness with which the government in power allowed or even encouraged such things to happen.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
shannifromregina
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posted 25 July 2004 03:32 PM      Profile for shannifromregina     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just have a question, If the Iraq's did the exact same thing to American prisoners what would have happened? I think ( and it is only my opionion) that Bush would have went in their and started a big whoopla about the way prisoners would have been treated. It would have been brought up at the UN and so forth. All I know is that the Americans look like nothing but a big bully and sooner or later something will happen perhaps another 9/11. Really what have the americans proven over there? They still don't have peace, they are not respected, the Iraq's don't want them there and american soldiers are dying, all for what? Because Bush had to pick on someone to boost their economy.
From: regina | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
beluga2
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Babbler # 3838

posted 25 July 2004 03:44 PM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Just have a question, If the Iraq's did the exact same thing to American prisoners what would have happened?

That question's on my mind too, shanni. I just saw that documentary The Control Room, about al-Jazeera's coverage of the war, and it featured prominently that massive hullabaloo and uproar over... (gasp).... the fact that al-Jazeera showed footage of dead & captured Americans. Remember that? I'd almost forgotten about it.

It showed Rumsfeld, Bush & all the rest of them, jowls aquiver, spittle flying in all directions, livid with fury over this outrageous violation of the Geneva Conventions, blah-blah-blah. At one point an angry Bush implored the Iraqis to treat captured Americans "with the dignity we show to captured Iraqis", or some such shit. Oh my Lord, the irony.

All that for showing pictures on TV. If those pictures had showed Iraqis smearing captured Americans with feces, dragging them around naked on dog leashes, or forcing them to perform sexual acts on each other, I am absolutely, 100% certain that Iraq would be a smoking radioactive wasteland today.


From: vancouvergrad, BCSSR | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Malek
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posted 25 July 2004 04:57 PM      Profile for Malek     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The most disturbing thing about all of this is that we live next to a country where aproximately 50% of the electorate still support the politicians who engineered this banality.
From: Upper Canada | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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Babbler # 3308

posted 26 July 2004 02:17 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Let's not forget that for most of the ones who don't support the invasion any more, the problem isn't torture or death of Iraqis but death of US soldiers and the general feeling that nothing much is being "accomplished"--that is, they're upset that they thought they won and now it seems like maybe they didn't. If the US was ruling Iraq with an iron fist, killing and torturing, but they were clearly in control and no US soldiers were dying, most USians would consider it a resounding success. Well, especially since they'd probably never hear much about the dead people . . .
From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged

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