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The Story behind INFAMOUS Abu Ghraib Hooded Prisoner comes out



March 11, 2006

You remember who the man I’m talking about is:

Today, his story came out. Several questions have remained unanswered since the photograph first emerged years ago. Who was the man? Why was he being held at the Abu Ghraib prison? Why was he tortured? Was he an insurgent? A terrorist? A criminal? Somebody who hates America?

No. He was none of those.

The following is a lesson to both those who say torture is an important tool that the Untied States must use, and to those who say that people who are tortured by U.S. forces are tortured legitimately, and for good reasons.

The man’s name is Ali Shalal Qaissi. He was a leader in his neighborhood. And he was arrested by the American military after he complained to the media after American soldiers dumped garbage on a small local soccer field. And that was it.

Hard to believe, isn’t it? That a middle-aged man can be arrested for that? And 'interrogated’ at Iraq’s most infamous torture prison for nearly six months?

Evidently, the American officials who were in charge in Abu Ghraib (neither trained in interrogation methods, nor it seems, with a respect for the Geneva Convention) were convinced for 6 months that the soccer fan and parking garage attendant knew useful information about Osama bin Laden.

The American guard who tortured Ali is named Specialist Sabrina Harman. When she was on trial, the American prosecution did not call Ali as a witness. She was convicted of merely threatening Ali, instead of shocking him brutally five times, as he said she did. She was sentenced to a 6 month jail sentence and promptly forgotten about. But the infamous photograph taken of Ali has stayed fresh in the minds of both Americans the international community, having since become probably the most recognizable visual symbol of illegal American torture.

You would think he would be angry at the United States, Americans, or at least the soldier who was convicted of torturing him personally. Incredibly, no. He now tours at Universities in the middle east, as part of a torture-awareness group. Recently he said "I forgive the people who did these things to us, but I want their help in preventing these sorts of atrocities from continuing."


Recently, reports were widely circulated that the American Military was going to close the infamous Abu Ghraib torture prison within three months. This was seen as an encouraging sign, and one that surely Ali would applaud. There’s just one problem that remains.

The reports about Abu Ghraib closing were false.

Soon after the reports emerged, the U.S. government’s official American Forces Press Service quietly published an article that said the reports were straight out wrong:

U.S. Has No Immediate Plans to Close Abu Ghraib Prison

News reports that the U.S. military intends to close Abu Ghraib within the next few months and to transfer its prisoners to other jails are inaccurate, officials said.

There’s no specific timetable for that transfer or for closure of the Baghdad prison, they said. Decisions regarding Abu Ghraib and other detention facilities in Iraq will be based largely on two factors: the readiness of Iraq’s security forces to assume control of them and infrastructure improvements at the facilities.

If the prison does close within three months, it will be a welcome sign for Ali and his fellow anti-torture activists. But don’t be surprised if it does not close.

You can read a New York Times article on Ali here. Published Saturday, March 11, 2006.

:: Article nr. 21444 sent on 12-mar-2006 02:38 ECT


Link: www.thedailybackground.com/2006/03/11/the-story-of-the-infamous-hooded-prisoner-

:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

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