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Saddam’s Pals Tortured With Inferior Cigarettes

At last the thin veneer of civilization has been ripped away from the Satanic United States.

Behold the sordid details of the torture Saddam's pals are forced to endure, courtesy of the DNC's Associated Press:

Saddam Skips Trial; Guard's Son Kidnapped

By HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press

Saddam Hussein followed through on his threat to boycott his trial Wednesday, and gunmen kidnapped the 8-year-old son of a bodyguard for a judge.

One of Saddam's seven co-defendants lashed out at conditions of his own detention, saying guards offered only "the worst brands" of cigarettes.

Barazan Ibrahim's outburst came a day after Saddam, his half brother, warned that he would not return to the "unjust" court to protest the conditions of his detention. The group is on trial in the deaths of more than 140 Shiite Muslims following a 1982 assassination attempt against him.

The court convened Wednesday after four hours of behind-the-scenes consultations failed to resolve the standoff. After hearing from two more witnesses, Chief Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin adjourned the hearings until Dec. 21 following next week's national elections.

Court official Raid Juhi insisted that Saddam did not boycott the hearing but that the court "decided he should be removed" after the closed-door consultations. Juhi said Saddam would be in court Dec. 21.

However, a statement released in Amman, Jordan, by Saddam's legal team said the former president stayed away to protest alleged mistreatment by an "illegal" court.

"President Saddam Hussein refused to attend the sessions of the extraordinary court that was created by the United States government as the occupying power of Iraq, claiming that the court is illegal and cannot provide a fair trial," the statement said.

Saddam's lawyers and the other defendants were on hand when Amin convened the session at 3 p.m., about four hours after the normal starting time. The chief judge said the court would brief Saddam on the proceedings that took place during his absence.

The 8-year-old boy, Karim Salam, was grabbed Tuesday as he played in front of his parents' house in the eastern Baghdad neighborhood of Kamsarah, according to his father, Salam Hirmiz Gorgis.

"At about 5:30 p.m. a car came here," Gorgis told AP Television News. "They took my son, put him in the car and left,"

Gorgis works for one of the trial's five judges. The judge's identity cannot be revealed because of special security measures. Two attorneys representing co-defendants have been assassinated since the trial began Oct. 19.

During Wednesday's session, Ibrahim, head of Iraqi intelligence during the Dujail incident, told the court that he had spent more than eight months in solitary confinement in a windowless facility without air conditioning, electricity or running water.

"I couldn't tell if it was day or night," he said.

"We are prisoners of the wealthiest and most powerful nation, yet, since four months ago, they are giving me six cigarettes a day from the worst brands."

Ibrahim said guards would force him and other prisoners to exercise before dawn or during the hottest time of the day. At the slightest breach of prison rules, punishment included the withholding of cigarettes, tea or by reducing food rations, he added.

"When I was detained I was wearing pajamas that I kept wearing for nine months until my brother came and gave me a dishdasha" — a traditional robe — he said.

"For one year I did not drink tea or coffee. We had little food," he recalled.

Ibrahim said he lost nearly 40 pounds in two months. He said things are better now and they have air conditioning and cold water.

"Is this America the protector of human rights?" he said.

Ibrahim sought to distance himself from the Dujail events, saying that his position as head of intelligence then was a "political post," and that the treatment of prisoners was not the responsibility of the security services.

"Once prisoners are handed over to prisons, they are the responsibility of the department of social affairs," he said. "I am not a jailer. I am a political official."

The court also heard from a male witness who testified behind a curtain to conceal his identity. He told of being arrested after the assassination attempt and being taken to the local Baath Party headquarters, where he found people "screaming because of the beatings."

The witness said Ibrahim was present.

"When my turn came, the investigator asked me my name and he turned to Barazan (Ibrahim) and asked him, `What shall we do with him?'" the witness said. "Barazan replied: `Take him. He might be useful.' We were almost dead because of the beatings."

When questioned by Amin, however, the witness said he was blindfolded at the time and thought Ibrahim was present because other prisoners told him so.

The witness said he was taken later to Baghdad "in a closed, crowded van that had no windows."

"When we arrived at the building, they asked us to stand along the wall," he said. "We were told to stand only on one foot and we stayed in this position for two hours before we were taken to cells with red walls. I was thirsty, but the water was very hot."

After a few days, the witness said, he was moved to "Hall 63" where "we were kept handcuffed for five days with little food and very hot water (to drink). They used to take some persons and bring them back naked. The signs of torture were clear on their bodies."

A second witness, whose identity was also concealed, said he and his entire family were rounded up from their Dujail home and imprisoned for four years.

"When they came to take us, they said we will be back in 10 minutes," he recounted. "It took four years."

He said that while in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, he and other detainees were subjected to torture, sleep deprivation and beatings with water hoses.

For the life of me I don't understand why the court is allowing Saddam to skip court during the testimony of these witnesses.

During the Nuremberg trials, the Nazi henchmen got to sit through sometimes literally years of documentation of their crimes against humanity.

But Saddam has thrown enough tantrums to have been given a pass. I don't get it.

He should be bound and gagged, and forced to hear from just a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives he has destroyed.

By the way, the latest news is that the court has decided they have been far too cruel to Saddam. And they are going to give him access to more books and put a television in his cell.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, December 7th, 2005. Comments are currently closed.

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