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NYT: Iraqis Torture Captives For The US

From a morally outraged New York Times:

Iraqi soldiers search a house during a joint raid with U.S. soldiers in Baghdad’s northwest Sunni neighborhood of Ghazaliya.

After Iraqi Troops Do Dirty Work, 3 Detainees Talk

By ALISSA J. RUBIN

BAGHDAD, April 21 — Out here in what the soldiers call Baghdad’s wild west, sometimes the choices are all bad.

In one of the new joint American-Iraqi security stations in the capital this month, in the volatile Ghazaliya neighborhood, Capt. Darren Fowler was heaping praise on his Iraqi counterparts for helping capture three insurgent suspects who had provided information he believed would save American lives.

“The detainee gave us names from the highest to the lowest,” Captain Fowler told the Iraqi soldiers. “He showed us their safe houses, where they store weapons and I.E.D.’s and where they keep kidnap victims, how they get weapons, where weapons come from, how they place I.E.D.’s, attack us and go away. Because you detained this guy this is the first intelligence linking everything together. Good job. Very good job.”

The Iraqi officers beamed. What the Americans did not know and what the Iraqis had not told them was that before handing over the detainees to the Americans, the Iraqi soldiers had beaten one of them in front of the other two, the Iraqis said. The stripes on the detainee’s back, which appeared to be the product of a whipping with electrical cables, were later shown briefly to a photographer, who was not allowed to take a picture.

To the Iraqi soldiers, the treatment was normal and necessary. They were proud of their technique and proud to have helped the Americans.

“I prepared him for the Americans and let them take his confession,” Capt. Bassim Hassan said through an interpreter. “We know how to make them talk. We know their back streets. We beat them. I don’t beat them that much, but enough so he feels the pain and it makes him desperate.”

Beatings like this, which are usually hard to verify but appear to be widespread given the fears about the Iraqi security forces frequently expressed by ordinary Iraqis, present the Americans with a largely undiscussed dilemma.

The beaten detainee, according to Captain Fowler, not only led the Americans to safe houses believed to be used by Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia but also confessed to laying and detonating roadside bombs along a section of road heavily traveled by American patrols. Just a month ago, four soldiers from Captain Fowler’s regiment died on that road after the explosion of a large, deeply buried bomb, possibly made in the bomb factory that the Americans were able to dismantle because of the detainee’s information, Captain Fowler said.

But beating is strictly forbidden by the United States Army’s Field Manual, as well as American and Iraqi laws. When the Americans learned about the beating, they were quick to condemn it.

The use of torture by American soldiers and contractors at Abu Ghraib only compounded Iraqi hatred of Americans and further undermined American moral claims in Iraq. It also produced little valuable information. Most experts, including in the military, say they believe that coerced confessions are an unreliable way to learn about enemy operations because people being tortured will often say whatever they think it will take to stop the pain

After the prisoner was returned to the Iraqis, Captain Fowler was asked whether the Americans realized that the information was given only after the Iraqis had beaten Mr. Jassam. “They are not supposed to do that,” he said. “What I don’t see, I don’t know, and I can’t stop. The detainees are deathly afraid of being sent to the Iraqi justice system, because this is the kind of thing they do. But this is their culture.”

Later, Captain Fowler said that he thought Mr. Jassam had talked because he hoped to be released. The captain wanted him let go so that he could act as an informant. The Iraqi soldiers vetoed the idea.

Mr. Jassam is now being held in an Iraqi government detention center, widely rumored to be places where suspected insurgents are abused.

Lieutenant Obal, the captain’s deputy, was distraught at the thought that the detainee had been beaten. “I don’t think that’s right,” he said. “We have intelligence teams, they have techniques for getting information, they don’t do things like that. It’s not civilization.”

About 30 yards away, on the other side of the wall, the Iraqi soldiers suggested that the Americans were being naïve. The insurgents are playing for keeps, they say, and force must be answered with force.

“If the Americans used this way, the way we use, nobody would shoot the Americans at all,” Captain Hassan said. “But they are easy with them, and they have made it easy for the terrorists.”

“I didn’t beat them all, I beat Mustafa in front of the others. We tell him we’re going to string him up.” He demonstrated, his arms spread wide. “And, I made the others see him,” he said.

Captain Hassan and his colleagues said they knew the Iraqi Army had rules against beatings, but “they tell us to do what we have to do,” he said.

“For me it’s a matter of conscience, not rules,” he said…

The New York Times has found yet another war to betray our soldiers with this suspiciously sourced attack.

God forbid that our troops get intelligence on the terrorists who are trying to kill them. The Times only understands providing intelligence to our enemies.

Oh, and providing them with propaganda points — like this story.

The use of torture by American soldiers and contractors at Abu Ghraib only compounded Iraqi hatred of Americans and further undermined American moral claims in Iraq.

How can you not hate the New York Times?

The three hours of “horror” at Abu Ghraib had nothing to do with obtaining intelligence. The Times knows this. But they will never let a story (or even a day) pass without finding a way to bring it up.

They hate this country with a passion that far surpasses that of their terrorist colleagues.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, April 21st, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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