Thursday, August 14, 2003


BAGHDAD, Iraq — It’s after midnight and many of the soldiers Velcro-wrapped in their bulky body armor are already dripping with sweat.

Rolling in Humvees with lights dimmed, they travel to the next house, smash open the door and yank an Iraqi doctor in his underwear out of bed.

They also bring out his two brothers and their sons.

The soldiers think the doctor is one of three men financing attacks against American troops. His name is similar to what an informant gave them. But the troops know they can never be sure on these smash-and-grab raids.

“Some of the names are misspelled in a lot of the translations that we get,” Cpl. James Westerfield said. “And you have to really verify once you get an ID to match it exactly to the person it is.”

Hours later, after some questioning, they let him go. They got the wrong guy.

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