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Discussion Starter #1
At yesterday’s news conference, I listened to Rumsfeld state that since he’s not a lawyer, he isn’t sure if acts such as sodomizing someone with a broom handle constitutes torture or whether it only amounts to humiliating the prisoner. It must be a hard for Rumsfeld to get up off his knuckles and stand upright for these news conferences.

Here's yet another story from the Toronto Star:

Treated worse than animal by U.S., ex-prisoner says
Canadian files $350,000 lawsuit

Says he was beaten in Iraq jail camp

Hossam Shaltout says that when he entered the American camp in southern Iraq he was given prisoner of war number US9IZ-106653 and a black marker was used to write the word "Canadian" on the front and back of his white shirt.
His citizenship, however, didn't shield him from what he says was five weeks of beatings, threats and humiliation at the hands of his U.S. captors who accused him of being Saddam Hussein's "right-hand man" and speechwriter.
"What the Americans did to us as human beings they wouldn't do to animals," Shaltout, a former Toronto resident, said in a telephone interview yesterday from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
"They were laughing, they were giggling, they enjoying what they were doing."
Egyptian-born Shaltout, who has lived for the last 15 years in Los Angeles, said he was arrested April 9, 2003 outside the Sheraton hotel in Baghdad. Last Friday, he launched a lawsuit against the U.S. Army for $350,000 (U.S.) for wrongful imprisonment and torture.
The suit claims he still suffers flashbacks and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Master Sgt. Lisa Girman is named in the statement of claim and alleged to have led an attack where Shaltout was kneed in the groin after he refused a meal. He said he identified her through her nametag. Girman was one of three Pennsylvania army reservists who were discharged earlier this year under "other-than-honourable conditions," after an investigation alleged she knocked a prisoner to the ground, repeatedly kicking him in the groin, abdomen and head and encouraging her subordinate soldiers to do the same.
In response to the uproar over recent pictures showing U.S. soldiers degrading inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad, U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday called the incidents "totally unacceptable and un-American" and promised a vigorous investigation.
Rumsfeld said he hopes the treatment "(is) an isolated case" — comments that Shaltout scoffed at yesterday.
"They are saying it is only a few people who did it or who are responsible but it was so common (in Iraq camps), everyone did it," Shaltout said. "Every torture session I had there were about six people involved."
Shaltout's American lawyer, Thomas Nelson, said yesterday he hopes the investigation into the circumstances at Abu Ghraib prison will expand to include the treatment of all prisoners in Iraq and cover the allegations levelled by his client.
"I certainly hope Mr. Rumsfeld and those who work under him take this seriously and look for a pattern of practice," he said.
Shaltout said the treatment he endured pales in comparison to that received by other prisoners at Camp Bucca in Umm Qasr in southern Iraq. He alleges some prisoners were sodomized with broomsticks and had electrical cables touched to their genitals. At times, prisoners were hogtied in their cells as scorpions ran over their bodies and if they were bitten, were left for days before being given medical treatment, he said.
One of the Iraqi prisoners he befriended tried unsuccessfully to commit suicide. "He said he could live four years under (Iraqi dictator) Saddam Hussein but couldn't survive the six weeks (in custody)."
Capt. Bruce Frame of the U.S. Central Command said he could not comment on the case because it's before the courts.
Shaltout, an aerospace engineer by training, said he worked in the Middle East selling global positioning units but went to Iraq in January, 2003, mainly as a volunteer with Rights and Freedom International (RFI), an activist group that attempted to get Iraqi leaders to step down to avoid war.
He said he had a personal invitation from Saddam's son Uday, who had learned about him through his RFI Web site, to participate in a peace forum.
His statement of claim also states more than $120,000 (U.S.) from company sales was stolen from his hotel room after his arrest.
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1083708610127&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968705899037
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Labourers claim U.S. held them captive on base
Story comes hard on heels of revelations of prisoner abuse
V.M. THOMAS
ASSOCIATED PRESS

COCHIN, India — Four Indians who claimed to have escaped from a U.S. army camp in Iraq have returned to southern India, telling harrowing tales of their nine-month stay. The U.S. Embassy said it was investigating reports that the men were held against their will.
The four are from the village of Velichakala, some 150 kilometres south of Cochin, the commercial capital of southern Kerala state. They said a recruitment agency had signed them up in August 2003 as kitchen assistants for a catering company in Kuwait.
Aliyarkunj Faisal, Abdul Aziz Shahjehan, Haniffa Mansool and Hameed Abdul Hafiz — all Muslims — said upon reaching Kuwait that they were taken by bus to a U.S. army base near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
"I shudder at the thought that I lived amid missile attacks and gun fighting for months," said Faisal, 26, who along with the three others reached their village Monday.
They said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that a U.S. army soldier ordered the men to board a bus at the Kuwait airport.
"There were some 20 Indians in the bus. Once we knew that we were inside Iraq, we protested," Faisal said. "But the Americans told us that they had paid a Kuwait agency $1,000 (U.S.) for each man and therefore it was a must that we work for them."
The Indian government has demanded an explanation from Washington.
David Kennedy, spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, said that officials were investigating the reports.
"We have seen the reports and are looking into them. We take all reports of abuse seriously and all allegations of mistreatment are investigated," Kennedy said.
The allegations come on top of international condemnation of the treatment of Iraqi prisoners. Dozens of photos allegedly showing U.S. and British military personnel humiliating and abusing Iraqi prisoners have shaken Arab nations and put the U.S. Defence Department on the defensive.
Shahjehan said the camp was some 70 kilometres from Mosul, but he was not sure of the direction. He said the camp — which he could not name — was often the target of missile attacks by Iraqi fighters.
Faisal said 16 Indians got together and escaped from the camp on the night of April 15 by paying $20 US to an Iraqi truck driver, who took them to Baghdad. He said the Indian Embassy there helped them to fly back to Amman, Jordan, and then to Mumbai, India.
He said the four men had paid $1,750 US each to a travel agent in Kerala who arranged the Kuwait job through a recruitment agency in Mumbai.
The Kerala government said it was investigating the agency. The men declined to disclose the name of the recruiting agency, saying they were being bombarded with threats and demands since their return.
India — which opposed the coalition war in Iraq — banned the recruitment of Indians for jobs in Iraq on April 15, after the security situation began deteriorating in the country.
The government has ordered a probe into private agencies that reportedly have illegally sent 1,500 retired Indian soldiers to Iraq.



http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1083751685739&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968705899037
 

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US needs to take quick and decisive action on thje torture matter. It is good that the administration is talking to arab media but they need to make sure that this does not turn into a political football game. Court martial those responsible and publicize it so that no one thinks they are getting the 'soft ' treatment. We cannot let 16 or so soldiers worsen our already poor image (even if it is undeservedly so).
 

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Did you hear the latest? Bush is going to appear on Arab TV. Not sure when exactly. Now this should be interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
keremoner said:
US needs to take quick and decisive action on thje torture matter. It is good that the administration is talking to arab media but they need to make sure that this does not turn into a political football game. Court martial those responsible and publicize it so that no one thinks they are getting the 'soft ' treatment. We cannot let 16 or so soldiers worsen our already poor image (even if it is undeservedly so).
Yes, and Rumsfeld absolutely must be fired. The stupid comment he made yesterday at the news conference regarding the prisoner abuse is reason enough. Better yet - for the good of the war on terrorism - the US must have regime change. The regime now in power is generating too much hatred in the world against the US.

OBL must be jumping for joy. You know he has to be figuring out how he can contribute to GW Bush's re-election campaign. From OB Laden's perspective, it's the least he can do for Bush's invaluable assistance in recruiting more terrorists into his organization.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
neide said:
Did you hear the latest? Bush is going to appear on Arab TV. Not sure when exactly. Now this should be interesting.
He just did a few minutes ago. Heads from those very high up must roll or many in the world will just see any action taking as scapegoating those who are readily expendible.
 

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oceanMDX said:


He just did a few minutes ago. Heads from those very high up must roll or many in the world will just see any action taking as scapegoating those who are readily expendible.
Do you really think that will happen? I, for one am skeptical. So far all we've seen is lower level people in trouble for this.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
neide said:


Do you really think that will happen? I, for one am skeptical. So far all we've seen is lower level people in trouble for this.
I am skeptical too.

This war in Iraq has been a total disaster for the US. The US would be in a better position to just have left Saddam in power and put more UN inspectors in Iraq. The cost to remove Saddam has been far too high - and the costs have just begun.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bush on Arab TV:

Here's a quote "Iraqs are tired of having foreigners (terrorists) in their country... and we will help them (get them out)."

I looks like Bush doens't feel that Americans should be considered as foreigners in Iraq.
 

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A photo from those reservist's college days. linky

...its a hard habit to break.
 

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:D


Great pic zafer. . .
 

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Was the one person that always seems to be pointing like a gun with their hand to the prisoner a male or female?

What on earth were these people thinking?

We should have and must now open up the prisons for family visitation. All prisoners must be well documented and accounted for.

They will need to move to do this for the prisoners they have over here as well. I am surprised the press hasn't pushed that issue yet.

How are we going to win their hearts now?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
XStatic said:
Was the one person that always seems to be pointing like a gun with their hand to the prisoner a male or female?

What on earth were these people thinking?

We should have and must now open up the prisons for family visitation. All prisoners must be well documented and accounted for.

They will need to move to do this for the prisoners they have over here as well. I am surprised the press hasn't pushed that issue yet.

How are we going to win their hearts now?
That was a woman. Try to imagine what the Muslim world thinks about American women now.
 

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neide said:
Did you hear the latest? Bush is going to appear on Arab TV. Not sure when exactly. Now this should be interesting.
When I heard that was going to happen, my only reaction was "please, just read from the script!":D

Frankly, the whole thing is embarrasing and shameful. I must say that I am much more apprehensive about an attack on Americans now that I was 2 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
POINTING crudely at the genitals of a naked, hooded Iraqi, the petite brunette with a cigarette hanging from her lips epitomised America's shame over revelations US soldiers routinely tortured inmates at Abu Ghraib jail near Baghdad.

Lynndie England, 21, a rail worker's daughter, comes from a trailer park in Fort Ashby, West Virginia, which locals proudly call "a backwoods world".

She faces a court martial, but at home she is toasted as a hero.

At the dingy Corner Club Saloon they think she has done nothing wrong.

"A lot of people here think they ought to just blow up the whole of Iraq," Colleen Kesner said.

"To the country boys here, if you're a different nationality, a different race, you're sub-human. That's the way girls like Lynndie are raised.

"Tormenting Iraqis, in her mind, would be no different from shooting a turkey. Every season here you're hunting something. Over there, they're hunting Iraqis."

In Fort Ashby, in the isolated Appalachian mountains 260km west of Washington, the poor, barely-educated and almost all-white population talk openly about an active Ku Klux Klan presence.

There is little understanding of the issues in Iraq and less of why photographs showing soldiers from the 372nd Military Police Company, mostly from around Fort Ashby, abusing prisoners has caused a furore.

Like many, England signed up to make money and see the world. After her tour of duty, she planned to settle down and marry her first love, Charles Graner.

Down a dirt track at the edge of town, in the trailer where England grew up, her mother Terrie dismissed the allegations against her daughter as unfair.

"They were just doing stupid kid things, pranks. And what the Iraqis do to our men and women are just? The rules of the Geneva Convention, do they apply to everybody or just us?" she asked.


Here's a pic link to this story (from an Australian newspaper):

http://smh.com.au/articles/2004/05/06/1083635286181.html
 

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Discussion Starter #17
neide said:
OceanMDX,

Wow. That's all I can say.
It's about to get a lot worse. There are movies of American soldiers raping female Iraqis. What were they thinking? I guess they though that the US invaded Iraq because it didn't want to let Saddam have all the fun.
 

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oceanMDX said:


It's about to get a lot worse. There are movies of American soldiers raping female Iraqis. What were they thinking? I guess they though that the US invaded Iraq because it didn't want to let Saddam have all the fun.
I really hope this isn't true. Talk about playing into the Muslim world's fears.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
neide said:


I really hope this isn't true. Talk about playing into the Muslim world's fears.
They already stated - on US TV - that there are video clips of American soldiers raping Iraqi women.

This explains why both Bush and Rumsfeld did what I thought they would never do - and that was to apologize. We haven't seen the worst yet. There a lots of more photos and even ugly movie clips out there that are genuine. Rumsfeld himself stated that we haven't seen the worst of the photos yet.

Just read this:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20040507.wrums8/BNStory/Front/
 
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