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Freed Iraqi Shoe Thrower Claims Torture

From his besotted fans at the New York Times:

Iraqi Shoe Thrower Is Released, Claiming Torture

Irawi Shoe Thrower Says He Was Tortured in Jail

By MARC SANTORA

September 16, 2009

BAGHDAD — Hours after his release from prison, the Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at former President George W. Bush said that he had been tortured while in jail, and his family said that he would flee Iraq, fearing for his life.

“Here I am free, and my country is still captured,” said the journalist, Muntader al-Zaidi, during a news conference at the television station where he had worked.

He claimed that he was beaten with pipes and steel cables and that he received electric shocks while in custody. He added that he believed there were many who would like to see him dead, including unidentified American intelligence agencies.

Mr. Zaidi did not take questions after his brief remarks, but family members said he would travel to Greece, where he would receive medical and psychological care.

“He is going to flee,” said his brother, Uday al-Zaidi. Part of the reason he fears for his life, his brother said, is that he plans on releasing the names of people who played a role in his being tortured, including those who he said were high-ranking security officials.

Muntader al-Zaidi said that when he was arrested after hurling his shoes at Mr. Bush at a December news conference, those inside could probably still hear his screams. He said he was shackled, soaked in water and kept in a place with no heat in the cold night

The Iraqi government, which was acutely embarrassed by the episode, played down Mr. Zaidi’s release, barring the family from meeting him at the gates of the prison where he was held and, instead, quietly escorting him to his family’s residence in the capital. Given Mr. Zaidi’s cult hero status, his charges that he was mistreated could resonate widely.

Mr. Zaidi, 30, was originally sentenced to three years in prison, but this spring that was reduced to a one-year jail term. He was released after nine months behind bars for good behavior, court officials said

The incident, which was shown repeatedly on television programs across the globe, immediately captured the imagination of many both inside and outside Iraq. For many, it seemed to crystallize the deep anger felt by many toward the United States and its occupation of Iraq.

From Libya, where he was awarded a Medal of Freedom, to Syria, where banners of praise were unfurled on street corners and his photo was shown on state television all day, Mr. Zaidi was lionized.

There was even an offer from a wealthy Saudi citizen to buy one of the shoes for $10 million. It is unclear where the shoes actually are at the moment, but an Iraqi security official said he believed they are still being held by the government.

Despite the reaction in the wider Arab world, the incident has proved more fraught in Iraq itself.

The fact that Mr. Zaidi might chose to leave Iraq is a testament to the lingering doubts about security and sectarian divides in the country

If only Congressman Joe Wilson had thought to throw a shoe instead of shouting, “you lie!” he would probably be a hero to his fellow journalists in our watchdog media.

No, come to think of it, that wouldn’t work. Wrong President.

Anyway, how soon will it be before our hero Mr. Zaidi asks for politicl asylum in the US? That is, assuming he hasn’t already.

And who can doubt that he will receive it.

Along with some financial restitution for all of his suffering.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, September 15th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Freed Iraqi Shoe Thrower Claims Torture”

  1. NoNeoCommies says:

    Send him on over! We would love to show him how free we are to express our opinions and how readily we adopt (some of) the customs of our immigrant community. I have a lot of old shoes.

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      Now that would be a real party if this trashbag journalist showed up for some expressions of our opinions, too.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    That’s some top-notch “reporting” Marc.

    If you don’t help rocket this scumbag to stardom and I don’t see him on “Iraq’s Got Talent”…then I’m blaming you, personally.

  3. MinnesotaRush says:

    “The incident, which was shown repeatedly on television programs across the globe, immediately captured the imagination of many both inside and outside Iraq. For many, it seemed to crystallize the deep anger felt by many toward the United States and its occupation of Iraq.”

    As you sit on your spineless, traitorous ass in your cozy New York Times office preparing this bilge .. you dummy!

    Maybe if you’d learn some history and gratitude, mr. santora (you here legally, birdbrain?), you’d have some newer “crystalization” going on for ya’.

    “..deep anger felt by many toward the United States ..” And don’t forget you classless phony, nobody’s holding a gun to anybody’s head to stay here, you despicable hypocrite!

    Probably voted for o-blah-blah, too.

  4. Reality Bytes says:

    And they accuse Sasha Cohen for perpetuating stereotypes like Ali G!

    They protest too much. Looks like Mr. Cohen’s stereotypes are life immitating art after all.

    What a Rube!

  5. canary says:

    oh, we are afraid for his life, and sending him to Greece, our beloved journalists will write his book. As soon as we know what flight he’s taking, and where he’ll be living, we’ll let you know. Yeah right.

  6. akorozco says:

    The return to torture tactics is definitely troubling for the nations invested in Iraq’s future, especially since al-Zaidi is drawing attention to the situation – this (http://www.newsy.com/videos/hero_or_troublemaker) shows the controversy he’s stirred up worldwide.

  7. Confucius says:

    Tortured? Really?

    He looks pretty fat and happy in that picture.

  8. Liberals Demise says:

    Nice suit but the glasses look like they belong to J-Lo.
    (sissy girlie-mon)


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