Thursday, May 13, 2004

Human Rights Abuses at Abu Ghraib

Human Rights Abuses At Abu Ghraib
12:35:50 AM CDT

13 May 2004

Dear Friends, Being here in Baghad while this whole issue of mistreatment at Abu Ghraib unfolds has left us here somewhat in the dark as to the reaction back home. Sure, we see snipits of the news on CNN and Fox, but the news does tend to sensationalize everything to the point of numbness. So we can't always be confident that their reporting actually represents the mainstream opinion back home.

If Saddam had invaded the US in 1998 to save us from the wicked abuses of the corrupt rule of Bill Clinton, you may have been elated at the time. Until he started taking your children, your brothers and your friends in for questioning. Until he started raping and urinating on them. Until he started telling them, "We know that you know high level secrets and people involved with these secrets. We are going to attach alligator clips to your body and genitals and electrify you until you tell us everything. And if you resist, we will keep you awake for 72 hours with screechingly loud Whitney Houston music until you beg for mercy."

Now I might be making light of the torture scenario here, but the underlying fact remains that our soldiers, our government, and our interrogators with the blessings of higher ranked military people violated peoples persons and rights here in Iraq. They ignored the protections provided by an international agreement concerning treatment of prisoners of war. This investigation is NOT a witch hunt, as one of my friends has dubbed it. This investigation is built off valid, reliable reports by the Red Cross and photos that capture the activities which are specifically banned by the Geneva Convention. These are not issues driven by political concerns as Rush Limbaugh and followers would like the world to believe. These investigations are driven by the concerns of protection of basic HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES.

The human rights abuses administered by our soldiers upon the imprisoned Iraqis are no less deplorable than the abuses suffered under Saddam Hussain. You can try to quantify or qualify these abuses any which way you want, but the fact remains that right now, at this moment, the US government and the US military have acted no better than Saddam Hussain. Who is to say that being urinated on by a US captor (an infidel, mind you) is any less painful or less dignified than being electrified by Saddam's henchmen? Eitherscenario accomplishes the same shame and indignation upon the prisoner. Each crime scars the individual emotionally. Each human rights abuse is still a crime as defined by the Geneva Convention.
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