Sunday, July 27, 2003


Read them both, please, then make up your own mind.

The first story is published by Reuters on July 25th (please keep that date in mind when you see dates mentioned in the story...not only can they not substantiate their accusations, they can't even find accusations that are less than a month old.)

The second story is a Blog (like this one) kept by a warrant officer in Iraq who is responsible to operate a prison facility for the POWs and captured criminals in Iraq.

And keep in mind that Saddam simply opened the gates to all prisons as his army melted away. So every murderer and rapist in Iraq is on the streets...or was when we took over.

Anyway - please read both and then ask yourself which rings true in your ear.
Story 1. BAGHDAD - Iraqis detained by U.S. troops have complained of torture and degrading treatment, Amnesty International said Wednesday.

There were also reports of troops shooting detainees, the London-based human rights watchdog said in a report based on interviews with former prisoners of the Americans across Iraq...

"Detainees continue to report suffering extreme heat while housed in tents; insufficient water; inadequate washing facilities; open trenches for toilets; no change of clothes, even after two months' detention," Amnesty said.

Amnesty has said thousands are held in prisons run by U.S. troops. They include Abu Ghraib, one the most feared jails under Saddam, and Camp Cropper near Baghdad's airport.

The human rights group said it had received several reports of cases of detainees who have died in custody, "mostly as a result of shooting by members of the coalition forces."

Amnesty said 22-year-old Alaa Jassem was killed when soldiers fired on detainees during a riot on June 13 at Abu Ghraib. Demonstrators threw bricks and poles at the soldiers.

And now the other piece.

Story 2: Yes they live in extremely hot conditions, where the mean temperature inside the tent is over 120 degrees. Well welcome to our world. Hello, we live in there country right along side them, where the mean temperature outside is over 130 degrees, what do you expect. We all live in the same kind of tents under the same conditions with out air conditioning. Why isn’t someone complaining about our conditions?

Yes we have thousands of prisoners, there was a war here you know and now we have criminals running around out of control. Most of the military personnel have been released (except a handful of generals) leaving only the criminals who have been out murdering, stealing, and committing crimes against humanity like rape. What should we do just let them out to run through the streets committing additional crimes. Hello, we still have Americans being killed, give me a break. Whose side are these people on?

Even so, regardless of their crimes, we feed the prisoners plenty of food twice a day, food prepared right next to where my food is prepared. We make every effort to provide them with food of their own liking, ethnic food as close to their own as possible. Prepared by people from this region of the world. We buy food right off of the economy in this region.

We give them new t-shirts, new jump suites, additional clothing when ever needed, slippers, flip flops, socks and on and on. They get plenty of supplies, so much that many of the prisoners save the additional items for their families. They have soap, shampoo, towels and all the other stuff necessary for their needs. Many of the prisoners have had huge boxes of saved up supplies they would like given to their families when they come to visit. We provide them with cots to sleep on, blankets when necessary, and cot mattresses if wanted. The medics come by every morning to see if they have any ailments. They have showers, plenty of water, soccer balls, and many other items for their comfort.

This is a prisoner of war camp, now transitioning over to being a prison. If you were to look at a list of why these men are being detained you would see that most of them are here because they have either committed some violent crime or have attempted to attack or kill an American. Regardless of their crimes we continue to believe in their human rights and make every effort to consider their needs. How many people in the world would believe in the rights of a criminal who has just been arrested for trying to kill one of their own? I have seen interrogation teams from all over the world conduct interrogations, witnessed first hand their approaches and techniques, which has only reconfirmed by belief that we are the only nation following the Geneva Convention, and with out a doubt we treat our prisoners better than anyone else in the world. Go be a prisoner in somebody else’s camp. Even the Iraqi generals have commented in amazement for the treatment they have received from us.

When are we going to get true and honest reporting that doesn’t have some twist to it put on by some self-promoting special interest group. Why do we have to put up with the inaccuracies of these myopic self-proclaimed voices of the people?

Even in our interrogations I have yet to see any abuse of the prisoners. We do not and have never used torture as means to acquire information, unless you call taking away a prisoners cigarettes as cruel and unusual punishment. Lets see, I did make a prisoner sit out in the sun once for an hour. All of our approach techniques involve psychological methods of extracting information, seeing torture as an inefficient method to break these people. You might get information but its truthfulness might be in question.

I am always so astonished at the extent to which these special interest groups will go to promote their cause knowing full well they are not divulging the whole story. Now with the Internet enabling all of us to connect directly with the source of the information, we can call these would be informants on the carpet. They make a claim of prisoners being shot and killed but they fail to divulge the rest of the story. The fact that the prisoner was coming at the guard holding a large piece of wood in an attempt to strike the guard after being warned to stop, the guard firing several warning shots into the air, what would you do?

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