Torturers, Plunderers, and Looters Are Back in Iraq

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…by Jonas E. Alexis

 

It is common knowledge now that acts of torture and sodomy were committed by the U.S. Army in places such as Abu Ghraib Prison between 2001 and 2004 during the Iraq War—a war that was spearheaded by Neoconservatives and warmongers.

There were at least 400 cases of alleged abuse during that timeframe.[1] What may or may not surprise people is that many of the abusers were “third country nationals,” individuals who were joint citizens of America and Israel. In fact, many of the soldiers responsible were trained in Israel.[2] Accounts of similar abuse can also be found in places such as Guantanamo.[3]

Because of these abuses, which include sexual assault and beating, numerous detainees attempted to commit suicide. At least four of them succeeded;[4] some “hanged themselves with makeshift nooses.”[5]

The U.S. of course closely guarded this fact.[6] The European Union, the Organization of American States, Amnesty International, the Human Rights Watch, the United Nations, and the International Committee of the Red Cross have all condemned the abuse perpetrated at Guantanamo. Amnesty International declared that it is the “gulag of our time,” for which it was later chastised by the Washington Post.[7]

Many concerned individuals around Europe also voiced their concerns about what was going on at Guantanamo.[8] Even flaming Zionist Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times urged President Bush to close down the facility,[9] an opinion the European Parliament shared.[10] Former Secretary of State Colin Powell finally had to admit,

“Essentially, we have shaken the belief the world had in America’s justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open and creating things like the military commission. We don’t need it and it is causing us far more damage than any good we get for it.”[11]

After much examination of the abuse in the camp and the pathetic ideology that the administration used to continue the torture, noted attorney and professor Joseph Margulies came to a similar conclusion.[12]

Michael Lehnert, U.S. Marine Brigadier General who helped establish the camp, was completely shocked about what happened there after he was replaced.[13] What is even more revealing is that Lawrence Wilkerson, a former aide to Powell, announced that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld knew that most of the prisoners held in the camp were innocent, but still detained them for political and ideological reasons.[14]

Wilkerson’s announcement gained strength when it was discovered that of the almost 600 detainees, no more than 24 had any connection to al-Qaeda.[15] Yet many of the prisoners, if not all, were regularly tortured.[16] Kenneth Roth, Jewish executive director of the Human Rights Watch, declared that the methods used by the U.S. in the camp were unconstitutional, despite the administration’s repeated propaganda that the methods they were using were “safe, humane, and professional.”[17]

The war on terror has obviously turned the American government and politicians into savage people, reversing traditional American ideals. As Jane Mayer adequately put it then:

“The tactics used by the military touched off wrenching debates with the FBI agents in which one agent, who cannot be named, accused the military of criminal behavior. ‘When I became an agent, I swore to uphold the Constitution against all enemies,’ the agent argued, ‘both foreign and domestic.’ The military officer argued that he was defending the country and the Constitution. ‘Not the same Constitution that I read,’ said the agent.”[18]

Yet torture is still going on in Iraq. It has been reported that:

“The Iraqi army, leading a vigorous battle to liberate Mosul from ISIS, has been exposed torturing and abusing their captives suspected of having terrorists links… Having worked alongside the elite Emergency Response Division (ERD) in Iraq, freelance photographer Ali Arkady documented how, in their battle against jihadists, Iraqi security forces resorted to the very tactics that are comparable to the brutal practices of their nemesis, IS.

“In one instance, the soldiers were torturing a man whose sons were suspected of working with IS in what is known as the strappado. Horrendous images show the detainee hanged by his arms to the ceiling, blindfolded, with officers standing next to him – and adding weights to his back to intensify the agony.”[19]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIY2gLS82SM

The sad part is that the Neocons and other warmongers in America want us to tell us all that Assad is the new Hitler in town! If Iraqi soldiers are brutally torturing people, that is all right. But if Assad allegedly does the same thing, oh no…


[1] See Michael Otterman, American Torture, chapters 9 and 10; Philippe Sands, Torture Team, 14-16; Julian Borger, “U.S. General Linked to Abu Ghraib Abuse,” Guardian, May 22, 2004; Luke Harding, “After Abu Ghraib,” Guardian, September 20, 2004; Kate Zernike, “Detainees Describe Abuses by Guard in Iraq Prison,” NY Times, January 12, 2005; Greg Miller and Peter Finn, “Secret Iraq War Files Offer Grim New Details,” Washington Post, October 23, 2010; Emily Dugan, Nina Lakhani, et. al., “Torture, Killing, Children Shot—and How the U.S. Tried to Keep it all Quiet,” Independent, October 24, 2010; Robert Fisk, “The Shaming of America,” Independent, October 24, 2010; David Leigh and Maggie O’Kane, “Iraq War Logs: U.S. Turned Over Captives to Iraqi Torture  Squads,” Guardian, October 24, 2010; Nick Davies, Jonathan Steele, and David Leigh, “Iraq War Logs: Secret Files Show How U.S. Ignored Torture,” Guardian, October 22, 2010.

[2] Robert Fisk, “Abu Ghraib Torture Trail Leads to Israel,” Independent, May 26, 2004.

[3] See Erik Saar and Viveca Novak, Inside the Wire; Michael Ratner and Ellen Ray, Guantanamo: What the World Should Know; Andy Worthington, The Guantanamo Files; Joseph Margulies, Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power; “U.S. Condemned over Prison Abuses,” BBC, October 27, 2007; Jenifer Fenton, “Ex-Guantanamo Guard Tells of Violence Against Detainees,” CNN, October 28, 2011.

[4] “‘Fingernail Slash’ at Guantanamo,” BBC, December 7, 2007.

[5] “Guantanamo Commander Says 3 Detainees Hanged Themselves with Makeshift Nooses,” USA Today, June 11, 2006; “Triple Suicide at Guantanamo Camp,” BBC, June 11, 2006; “Three Die in Guantanamo Suicide Pact,” The Times, June 11, 2006.

[6] “Mass Guantanamo Suicide Protest,” BBC, January 25, 2007.

[7] “American Gulag,” Washington Post, May 26, 2005.

[8] “Close Guantanamo Camp, Hain Says,” BBC, February 17, 2006; “Doctors Attack U.S. over Guantanamo,” BBC, March 10, 2006; “Doctors Demand End to Guantanamo Force-Feeding,” Guardian, March 10, 2006.

[9] Thomas L. Friedman, “Just Shut it Down,” NY Times, May 27, 2005.

[10] “Euro MPs Urge Guantanamo Closure,” BBC, June 13, 2006.

[11] “Colin Powell says Guantanamo should be closed,” Reuters.com, June 10, 2007.

[12] See Margulies, Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power.

[13] Tony Perry, “Marine Officer who Set Up Guantanamo Prison Dismayed by what it has Become,” LA Times, September 25, 2009.

[14] Tim Reid, “George W. Bush ‘Knew Guantanamo Prisoners were Innocent,’” The Times, April 9, 2010.

[15] Tim Golden, “U.S. Said to Overstate Value of Guantanamo Detainees,” NY Times, June 21, 2004.

[16] See Saar and Novak, Inside the Wire, and Dana Priest and Joe Stephens, “Pentagon Approved Tougher Interrogations,” Washington Post, May 9, 2004.

[17] Margulies, Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power, 85.

[18] Jane Mayer, The Dark Side, 203.

[19] “Mosul liberators caught torturing captives suspected of terrorist links,” Russia Today, June 6, 2017.

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Jonas E. Alexis

Jonas E. Alexis graduated from Avon Park High School, studied mathematics and philosophy as an undergraduate at Palm Beach Atlantic University, and has a master's degree in education from Grand Canyon University.

Some of his main interests include the history of Christianity, U.S. foreign policy, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book ,Christianity & Rabbinic Judaism: A History of Conflict Between Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism from the first Century to the Twenty-first Century.

He is currently teaching mathematics in South Korea. He plays soccer and basketball in his spare time. He is also a cyclist. He is currently writing a book tentatively titled Zionism and the West.

Alexis welcomes comments, letters, and queries in order to advance, explain, and expound rational and logical discussion on issues such as the Israel/Palestine conflict, the history of Christianity, and the history of ideas.

In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, Alexis asks that all queries be appropriately respectful and maintain a level of civility. As the saying goes, “iron sharpens iron,” and the best way to sharpen one’s mind is through constructive criticism, good and bad.

However, Alexis has no patience with name-calling and ad hominem attack. He has deliberately ignored many queries and irrational individuals in the past for this specific reason—and he will continue to abide by this policy.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. In the early ’70s the ROK troops who had served in Vietnam were admired by the U.S. troops or at least the Green Berets who I met state-side, for their no-nonsense approach to combat. The Americans loved telling about how when the ROK received incoming fire from a South Vietnamese hamlet they would line up, open fire, and walk through killing every man, women and child. Lt. Calley was a joke in comparison.

  2. The United States is its own worst enemy. Run by murderous neo-cons and religious zealots (xtian-zionists) and a government made up of the worst of humanity-politicians, easily corrupted and like the whores they are will go along with the zionists to the end. The Rethugnicans being the worst of the lot. They are responsible for keeping Guantanamo open. They are responsible for creating and passing laws against free speech.
    In this way Americans are getting what they deserve: a ruined, police state more closely resembling a third world nation that America toppled in order to make it easier for multinational corporations to plunder and rape.
    America has become the beast. The anti-Christ if you will. Severely schizophrenic and delusional the American psyche is damaged, not from illicit drugs but from the drug of arrogant self importance and narcissism coupled with the ideal that might makes right and that authority must always be worshiped ( King James Bible) it has turned against not only the rest of the world but in on itself.
    This is how nations die and join the trash heap of history.

  3. The news that the perps talked of here are dual US Israeli citizens. What has yet to come out is the relationship between the uptick in police shooting unarmed innocent civilians, and our local police across the nation, and the training they received in Israel. Research that. While your at it who runs Homeland inSecurity?

  4. This world is `Hell` we have become Sodom and Gomorrah, how much longer will this disease we call humanity continue before someone far superior decides enough is enough . This world may look pretty from outer space but it hides an ugliness that is out of control.

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