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Iraqis Tell of 11th-Hour Arrests and Torture
new york times ^ | 4/8/03

Posted on 04/08/2003 5:35:56 PM PDT by knak

AGHDAD, Iraq, April 8 — Saddam Hussein's agents were working until the last moment.

This morning, as thousands of American troops moved deeper into Baghdad, some marines said they happened across a building where the men of the Iraqi border police had apparently been busy interrogating suspects. Beating them, said the captives. Gouging them with wires. Burning them with cigarettes.

By the time the American convoy arrived, the Iraqi agents had fled. The captives, some still shackled and blindfolded, were set free.

"The Americans saved me," said Hamid Neama, a laborer who lives in the Amin neighborhood in southeast Baghdad. He held out his hands, which were swollen like overripe fruit. "The police beat my hands, they beat me on my body."

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: embeddedreport; fallofbaghdad; iraqifreedom; mediabias; torture
evil!
1 posted on 04/08/2003 5:35:56 PM PDT by knak
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To: knak
Did anyone see Chris Matthews? They showed the inside of the torture cages, it was insane. It's still so hard to believe that this went on...and for so damn long.
2 posted on 04/08/2003 5:38:12 PM PDT by Hildy
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To: knak
Click the link, and read.

Push poll by the old gay lady has already started.
3 posted on 04/08/2003 5:40:41 PM PDT by MonroeDNA ("Jessica Lynch! We are United States soldiersand we're here to protect you and take you home.")
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To: knak

Iraqis Tell of 11th-Hour Arrests and Torture

By DEXTER FILKINS

BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 8 — Saddam Hussein's agents were working until the last moment.

This morning, as thousands of American troops moved deeper into Baghdad, some marines said they happened across a building where the men of the Iraqi border police had apparently been busy interrogating suspects. Beating them, said the captives. Gouging them with wires. Burning them with cigarettes.

By the time the American convoy arrived, the Iraqi agents had fled. The captives, some still shackled and blindfolded, were set free.

"The Americans saved me," said Hamid Neama, a laborer who lives in the Amin neighborhood in southeast Baghdad. He held out his hands, which were swollen like overripe fruit. "The police beat my hands, they beat me on my body."

Mr. Neama's account, confirmed by a senior Marine officer, was echoed by others in this predominantly Shiite neighborhood in eastern Baghdad. Yet for all the thanks expressed to American troops and reporters for the campaign being waged against Saddam Hussein, many Iraqis say they are worried that America will see in their gratitude a blank check to remake their country.

That, the residents of this hardscrabble neighborhood said, could inspire a loathing for the Americans at least equal to that felt here for Mr. Hussein. Even the rescued Mr. Neama expressed some skepticism.

"Of course I'm grateful that the Americans saved me," Mr. Neama said. "But I'm only one of 28 million people in this country. We would not like it if the Americans try to stay here for long."

The people of Al Amin discussed the future of their neighborhood today as thousands of American marines took up positions less than 100 yards from their neighborhood's edge. The marines began preparing for a final push into the city center, a move that many here fear may lead to many civilian deaths.

Neighborhoods like Al Amin, which like much of eastern Baghdad is overwhelmingly Shiite, have long been said to be a focal point of Mr. Hussein's repression. He is a Sunni Muslim and has violently suppressed the Shiite majority, some 60 percent of Iraq's population.

A stop in any Shiite village in Iraq, over a glass of black, sugary tea, will more often than not bring forth tales of woe. In America's war against Mr. Hussein, the Shiites of Iraq would seem to be natural allies — even if made wary by the American failure to support the 1991 Shiite uprising in southern Iraq.

Mr. Neama, a day laborer, said he was standing in front of his brother-in-law's house this morning when two men in civilian clothes drove up and asked him to get in the car. Mr. Neama was then blindfolded, he said, and driven to a building about 10 minutes away.

There, he said, he was beaten and questioned about his connections to the Americans. Mr. Neama said he insisted that he had performed no special acts for the Americans — who, unknown to him, were then just a few minutes away.

"It didn't matter what I said to them, they accused me of cooperating with the Americans," Mr. Neama said.

Yet Mr. Neama was not convinced that the American invasion would turn out to be a good thing. "It could be good, if the Americans do not try to stay," he said.

At that point, an elderly man, Sultan Mahdi, stepped forward to declaim that such ambivalence was a copout.

"For 75 years I have been alive, and I'll say this," Mr. Mahdi said. "If the Iraqi people loved Saddam Hussein, the American military wouldn't be able to last one day in Iraq. Not one day. We would attack them."

"If Bush just wants to get rid of Saddam, that's fine," continued Mr. Mahdi. "But if he is going to try go alter our basic institutions, like our religion and traditions and culture, then he will have no support."

Mr. Mahdi said most Iraqis would welcome Americans in helping set up an Iraqi government that would spread around the country's vast oil wealth. But beyond such help, Mr. Mahdi said, the Iraqis were not interested.

"We want America to help us become a wealthy country," Mr. Mahdi said, and the crowd that gathered around him nodded assent. "There is no reason why we should not have the same standard of living as the rest of the gulf states."

As Mr. Mahdi spoke, marine troop carriers based in the next field over began leaving for an operation to clear a neighborhood in eastern Baghdad. Indeed, the marines seem to be preparing for a final push into the center of the city, possibly linking up with the United States Army, which has been battling its way in from the west. The plans are raising concerns here of large numbers of civilian casualties, which could undermine Iraqi support for the American action against Mr. Hussein's regime.

Here, the Marines seemed cognizant that they needed to minimize civilian casualties as much as possible, if only to maintain the support of people like those in Amin.

"We are going to be slow and methodical," Lt. Col. Pete Owen said. "If you are not, then things can get messy. There aren't that many bad guys left. We have to be careful we don't kill civilians when we are going after the bad guys."

After a long conversation with several Iraqis in Amin, one of the men brought out a platter of tea in glasses to share with a group of Western journalists.

As the tea was being passed around, another man, Salem Ali, walked up, telling a story nearly identical to Mr. Neama's. He, too, had been picked up today by Mr. Hussein's thugs, he said, and blindfolded, beaten and burned. He unbuttoned his shirt and displayed what appeared to be a cigarette burn in the middle of his chest.

Asked to express his views, though, he declined. Even with American troops inside Baghdad, he said he still was not safe.

"Even if the Americans win, for two years, we will be fearing Saddam," he said.

4 posted on 04/08/2003 5:41:51 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: knak
"Yet for all the thanks expressed to American troops and reporters for the campaign being waged against Saddam Hussein, many Iraqis say they are worried that America will see in their gratitude a blank check to remake their country. "

The Bush haters are speaking.

5 posted on 04/08/2003 5:42:25 PM PDT by MonroeDNA ("Jessica Lynch! We are United States soldiersand we're here to protect you and take you home.")
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To: knak
There is a God and a day of judgment.
6 posted on 04/08/2003 5:46:08 PM PDT by Minty
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To: Dog Gone
Likely:

NYT: If the US stays for a year or more, and rules you, would you support it?
7 posted on 04/08/2003 5:46:16 PM PDT by MonroeDNA ("Jessica Lynch! We are United States soldiersand we're here to protect you and take you home.")
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To: Dog Gone
"There is no reason why we should not have the same standard of living as the rest of the gulf states."

Unless France was getting their oil at sub market prices - in return for propping up the dictator.

8 posted on 04/08/2003 5:49:41 PM PDT by paulk
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To: knak
bump
9 posted on 04/08/2003 5:52:59 PM PDT by RippleFire
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To: MonroeDNA
Discovering that the US will win the war after all, the NY Times is determined that we won't be liked there afterward.
10 posted on 04/08/2003 5:53:07 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: knak
Last sentence of the article is a sad commentary about how this regime brainwashed and abused its people.

"Even if the Americans win, for two years, we will be fearing Saddam," he said.

11 posted on 04/08/2003 5:56:22 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Dog Gone
This article reeks of ideological content. I don't believe the words they are attributing to this man just freed from torture. Not for a second. It is almost comical in nature.
12 posted on 04/08/2003 5:59:37 PM PDT by Republic
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To: Dog Gone
Here, the Marines seemed cognizant that they needed to minimize civilian casualties as much as possible, if only to maintain the support of people like those in Amin.

Yeah, right, that's the only reason they're minimizing civilian casualties.

The New York Times is vile.

13 posted on 04/08/2003 6:00:10 PM PDT by M. Thatcher
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To: Republic
This article reeks of ideological content. I don't believe the words they are attributing to this man just freed from torture. Not for a second. It is almost comical in nature.

Exactly. Amazing, isn't it, that this torture victim just happens to be spouting TODAY'S lib talking points.

14 posted on 04/08/2003 6:02:04 PM PDT by M. Thatcher
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To: Dog Gone
"We want America to help us become a wealthy country," Mr. Mahdi said, and the crowd that gathered around him nodded assent. "There is no reason why we should not have the same standard of living as the rest of the gulf states."

Yeah, that's what everyone wants--for America to make them wealthy. They don't want to deal with the issues that will let them stay wealthy--law, order, respect for property and persons.

15 posted on 04/08/2003 6:08:02 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Hildy
How come this isn't FRONT PAGE NEWS:

"Did anyone see Chris Matthews? They showed the inside of the torture cages, it was insane. It's still so hard to believe that this went on...and for so damn long."

Instead the left begrudgingly lets go of some infomration but REFUSES to acknowldge the full horror that routinely went on unchecked.

I'd also like to see the reaction of clergy that were opposed to the war when viewing pictures and testimonies of those who survived. I'd like to personally ask them:

Think Jesus would approve of doing NOTHING and PROTESTING those that stop this in such a self righteous manner? If yes, then your god is surely NOT the Judeo Christian God. Needless to say the leftist clergy makes me angry as well as physically ill. Someday THEY will have to stand before God and account for their ignoring evil and encouraging more of it. Also a cleric, according to the Bible is held to a HIGHER standard of accountability because of their leadership role.

16 posted on 04/08/2003 6:08:26 PM PDT by nmh
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To: Dog Gone
Don't leave too soon and abandon them like in '91. But don't even think about staying too long either. Sheesh.
17 posted on 04/08/2003 6:10:26 PM PDT by Prince Caspian (Don't ask if it's risky... Ask if the reward is worth the risk)
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: nmh
How come this isn't FRONT PAGE NEWS:

It will be when the President holds a news conference and goes over Baathist atrocities in detail, including photographs and video. But I suppose it is too much to hope for him pointing out the "Made in France" labels on the torture instruments...

20 posted on 04/08/2003 6:22:00 PM PDT by Mr. Jeeves
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To: MonroeDNA
"Of course I'm grateful that the Americans saved me," Mr. Neama said. "But I'm only one of 28 million people in this country. We would not like it if the Americans try to stay here for long."

There's gratitude for you. Say what you will about ridding the Iraqi's of a dictator; in my opinion, this guy's sentiments are probably pretty typical of the average Iraqi.

This may sound harsh, but you know what? Based on this man's statement, I get the feeling that the Iraqi people haven't been held accountable for this regime. I know, many of them never supported Saddam, yada yada yada. But the bottom line is this: we have previously dealt with two other comparable dictorships in wartime. Germany and Japan. In each case we made the people bear some of the suffering to let them know that they, regardless of their sympathies, were in some way responsible for allowing a mad man to lead them.

It's a touchy subject, and I realize that this case is certainly not the same as WWII, but I'm getting the distinct impression that Islam is as Islam does, no matter who the leader may be.

21 posted on 04/08/2003 6:24:56 PM PDT by yooper
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To: knak; Dog Gone
CNNs of Commission Q ERTY8 BUMP!

the movie

22 posted on 04/15/2003 3:23:51 AM PDT by Mia T (SCUM (Stop Clintons' Undermining Machinations))
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