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Hullabaloo


Friday, April 30, 2004

 
Coalition Of The Chilling

Britian probes torture claims in Iraq:

"I am aware of the allegations which have been made today of the abuse of prisoners by British soldiers in Iraq,' Britain's most senior army officer, General Sir Michael Jackson said, referring to pictures published in the Daily Mirror.

'All allegations are already under investigation.'

US President George W Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have today condemned disturbing pictures showing the reported abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers at a prison west of Baghdad.

In a fresh blow to the image of the US-led coalition, new pictures to be published in Saturday's Daily Mirror show British soldiers apparently beating a detainee, a suspected thief, with rifle butts, and urinating on him.

According to the newspaper, the prisoner was allegedly threatened with execution during an eight-hour ordeal, which left him bleeding and vomiting, with a broken jaw and smashed teeth.

The Daily Mirror said it was given the pictures by serving soldiers from the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, who were horrified at the act depicted and concerned that 'rogue elements' in the army were undermining attempts to win the hearts and minds of local people in British-administered southern Iraq.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the soldiers told the paper that the unnamed captive, against whom no charges were brought, was driven away and dumped from the back of a moving vehicle after his ordeal.

It was not known whether he survived, the newspaper said."


URINATED ON: A British soldier urinates on an Iraqi prisoner in a vile display of abuse. The captive was beaten and hurled from a moving truck. Army chiefs are investigating.


The brutality of the repression - the death and torture camps, the barbaric prisons for political opponents, the routine beatings for anyone or their families suspected of disloyalty are well documented.

Just last week, someone slandering Saddam was tied to a lamp post in a street in Baghdad, his tongue cut out, mutilated and left to bleed to death, as a warning to others.

I recall a few weeks ago talking to an Iraqi exile and saying to her that I understood how grim it must be under the lash of Saddam.

"But you don't", she replied. "You cannot. You do not know what it is like to live in perpetual fear."

And she is right. We take our freedom for granted. But imagine not to be able to speak or discuss or debate or even question the society you live in. To see friends and family taken away and never daring to complain. To suffer the humility of failing courage in face of pitiless terror. That is how the Iraqi people live. Leave Saddam in place and that is how they will continue to live.
Tony Blair 3/18/03





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