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Hostage-taking in Iraq...by the U.S.

Eli Stephens, Left I on the News

January 28, 2006

AP writes today about military documents which show "The U.S. Army in Iraq has at least twice seized and jailed the wives of suspected insurgents in hopes of 'leveraging' their husbands into surrender."

Like most Americans, the AP has a short memory. The two incidents described in the AP article occured in 2004. But this post from last April describes another incident, and this one, from November 2003, discusses an article by AP itself covering the arrest of the wife and daughter of Izzat al-Douri. Yet another post, from June 2004, notes that the detention of al-Douri's wife and daughter continued, and links to a (no-longer online) Newsday article which wrote that "the U.S. military is holding dozens of Iraqis as bargaining chips to put pressure on their wanted relatives to surrender, according to human rights groups. These detainees are not accused of any crimes, and experts say their detention violates the Geneva Conventions and other international laws" (and you hardly need to be an "expert" to know that). And remember, those dozens are just the ones that became publicly known.

And, just to remind you of the details of one of these cases, here's a bit more about the case from last April: One of the hostages, the wanted man's mother, was 65 years old! And here's the note that the American military left in the house: "Be a man Muhammad Mukhlif and give yourself up and then we will release your sisters. Otherwise they will spend a long time in detention."

People like you and I are allowed to be justifiably outraged by the seizure of American reporter Jill Carroll as a hostage. The U.S. government, guilty of the same war crime many times over, is not.

Update: Knight-Ridder's Nancy Youssef adds some interesting details about events more recent than 2004:

The Iraqi woman [who was released Thursday after four months in prison] told Knight Ridder on Friday that she and eight other female detainees in her cell had often talked among themselves. She said she discovered that all of them were being held because U.S. officials had suspected their male relatives of having ties to terrorism.


:: Article nr. 20017 sent on 28-jan-2006 21:49 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=20017

Link: lefti.blogspot.com/2006_01_01_lefti_archive.html#113845451568465685



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