Monday, November 28, 2005

Saddam's Torturer: Working In Iraq Interior Ministry

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Go to Update 1: Insurgents targeting children

Go to Update 2: Badr Brigade implicated in Steven Vincent's murder

Certain elements of the Iraq Interior Ministry have recently been to discovered maintaining some pretty ghoulish penal policies. here here Riverbend doesn't seem to remember anything like this happening under Saddam, and was horrified/satisfied to see it happening in New Iraq. Hammorabi, however, does remember how things worked under Saddam and he says (paraphrasing) "good enough for them":

"First we should know whether these detainees are terrorists who perpetrated and executed operation by which they killed innocent Iraqis or political prisoners. The answer is so simple, that in Iraq today there are no political prisoners unlike during Saddam Hussein regime. Therefore those detainees are either criminals who killed the Iraqis or among those who helped them."

Hammorabi says that the whole issue is being blown out of proportion and exploited by elements hostile to the New Iraq, which is true enough (Right? Riverbend & the Jarrar Boys?). On the other hand, Mohammed at Iraq the Model doesn't see it that way.

As for the assassination of a Sunni leader and his son, Riverbend is predictably aghast that there would be reprisals by Shi'a against Sunnis that are harboring and launching murder-suicide bombers against their mosques and on their streets and at their police and government officials; after all, the Shi'a brought it on themselves:

I hate suicide bombers...But I completely understand how people get there.

Ah! Yes! According to Riverbend, reprisal against Saddam's Orphans are the cause of Iraq's chaosmasters, not the other way around. What a clever, twisted, absolutely laughable rationalization. Naturally, political executions are something she doesn't recall happening under her daddy's old boss, Saddam.

But Reuters is reporting on someone who DOES remember all that, intimately, and guess where he works today?

Abu Hussein, a Sunni, works at Iraq's interior ministry dominated by Shi'ites long oppressed under Saddam. Abu Hussein says nobody knows his past but he isn't taking any chances. Wearing a bullet-proof vest and armed with two guns, he longs for the old Iraq...

And what was the Old Iraq like...the one he longs for?

He was one of Saddam's torturer/executioners.

Before executions, of course, there was always the obligatory torturing:

"Sometimes we would hang them upside down and beat their feet with clubs. Or we would electrocute them."

"One of the worst things was putting 10 people in a one-square-metre room for weeks. They had a brief break every day and were allowed the toilet every three days."

...then the executions:

"A firing squad is more compassionate because people usually died immediately. But hanging [reserved for those who had somehow insulted Saddam] is cruel because it can take time to die. If they don't die, we started over again."

They had three executions each Monday and Thursday unless Uday showed up and wanted to see more productivity. "A new batch of political prisoners was brought in without charge every week."

Many of his fellow executioners fled Iraq after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, fearful that prisoners or their families would seek revenge for their suffering at Abu Ghraib...

But it wasn't his fault:

"We would have been killed on the spot [for disobeying orders]. One time this executioner was one hour late in hanging someone and he was himself hanged. What could we do? All of this had a toll on us."

Not that he isn't anxious to get back on that gallows as soon as Saddam's returns:

"It felt terrible but I am willing to hang and torture again...I am ready to return to my job if Saddam comes back."

And although he is taking part in the New Iraq, he shares something with the people who didn't wait to be oppressed before they took up arms against their country:

"I know they will set Saddam free. He is a strong man with a brain like a computer."

"Only Saddam can save us...Saddam taught us about force. He is a strong personality."

"I cry every time I think that he is on trial. I pray for his strength and freedom. Saddam must come back to rule Iraq."




This is where the rubber meets the road. Do I like it that Interior Ministry has criminals that operate as gangs inside Iraq? Absolutely not. The sooner they are caught and tried the better. What about elements of the IM operating torture cabins? No. Iraq cannot progress beyond the possibility of another Saddam with such tactics being conscienced. What about US soldiers committing crimes in Abu Ghraib or in Ramadi? I say, "Try them and punish them appropriately for whatever they have done."

But whatever your opinion about such things and what should be done to end them, you cannot consider them absent the vileness and ruthlessness of the Saddam Orphans and Islamists who wage war-- not on the foreign forces in Iraq at the pleasure of the elected government --but on the Iraqi people, on NGO workers, on poll workers, and on anyone too weak to defend themselves. Whatever you think about the Iraqi police, or even the most Islamic SCIRI representative, their families became targets of those human crocodiles as soon as they started working for the new democratically elected government of Iraq...long before they did any of the famous things we don't like.

I'm not defending gang-like behavior, but if you read that Iraqi police are overly brutal in hunting out the terrorists in their midsts, consider what is on the line for them: To the enemy, they are traitorous apostates and turncoat deviants and souless puppets. There is no going back for them. Their parents, siblings, wives, and children are already considered reasonable targets even among the majority in Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Iran, and especially Syria, let alone by the enemy.

The Sunni Arabs are a small minority in Iraq-- they apparently don't think so, but I'm convinced they are. They better stop shaking their tiny fists at the sporadic injustices done to them and expunge the criminal elements among them before the Shi'a and Kurds lose patience and exact a ethnic purge of the Anbar province. Do they think the US forces will be able to save them then? They won't.



UPDATE 1

In case I haven't hammered this home enough, here's a report on bomb-rigged dolls captured from the so-called "resistance", "...the same type of doll as that was handed out on several occasions by US soldiers to children."

AND

A murder-suicide bomber "blew up his car outside a hospital south of Baghdad on Thursday while U.S. troops handed out candy and food to children, killing 30 people and wounding about 40, including four Americans."

(hat tip to CounterColumn for both of these and he also points out that the NYTs article on the atrocity failed to report that the US troops were passing out candy and food to children during the murder-suicide attack. As I urged here, when you hear of a soldier injured or killed, ask yourself what they were doing at the time. Clearly the NYT doesn't consider it noteworthy.)



UPDATE 2

"A security source" says that local Basra authorities are investigating Iranian spies who entered the country "to issue directives on the killing of several Basra citizens, including several journalists". The source claims that the information gathered could implicate the Badr Organisation [the military arm of SCIRI] in the murder "of the American journalist and writer Steven Vincent".
(hat tip to Fayrouz with an excellent post on the subject)




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