Friday, January 09, 2004

But Ibrahim was spared that indignity, he said, because his crime was less serious than theirs. He only heard a joke about Saddam and was suspected by the government of belonging to an underground Shiite religious movement.

To be precise, he heard a friend in a coffeehouse tell a joke about Saddam. Six months later, after joining the army, he was arrested and brought before a military court, where he was asked why as a loyal Iraqi he had not informed on the person who told the joke.

His manners did not permit him to do such a thing, he recalls saying. He later learned it was his friend who fingered him, allegedly after undergoing extensive torture.

Note the "loyal Iraqi" reference.

Another reason to be glad we express our allegiance to ideals, not to a dictator.

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