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The inhumane reign of Saddam Hussein: Pt. 1 - The New York Times
The New York Times via the White House ^ | July 1, 2004 | various

Posted on 07/01/2004 10:52:38 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl

Tales od Saddam's Brutality

 

The New York Times

 

"Virtually every athlete at the club has physical or mental scars inflicted by Saddam Hussein's older son, Uday, who took control of Iraq's Olympic Committee in 1984 and began a terrifying campaign of torture and humiliation. Many fled the country, including Mr. [Ahmed] Samarrai....

"'The system of the regime started in primary school,' said Mr. Samarrai, who defected on a trip to Switzerland in 1983 and returned here after the war. 'It was exactly like the Nazis in the 30's.'...

"'Uday played hell with sports,' said Immanuel Baba Dano, a revered figure in Iraq who was coach of the national soccer team for most of the last three decades....

"Some athletes were humiliated, he said. Others were smeared with feces and jailed. Some were placed in a sarcophagus with nails pointed inward so that they would be punctured and suffocated, he said. At least a few were set in front of wild dogs to be torn to pieces. How many were executed is still not clear.

"'Nobody knew what was in his mind,' Mr. Dano said. 'But there was no pity.'"
-- The New York Times, August 17, 2003

~*~

"When I was in Iraq a doctor from Basra told me that, after being jailed by the police some years ago, he refused to tell his inquisitors whatever it was they wanted to hear. Instead of beating him, he told me, they brought in his 3-month-old daughter. The interrogator tore the screaming infant's eye out. When the desired answers were still not forthcoming, the questioner hurled the little girl against the concrete wall and smashed her skull."
-- The New York Times, July 26, 2003

~*~

Iraqi exiles agreed that Uday Hussein, the eldest of five children, personified the government's random brutality. Human rights groups and Iraqi exiles accused him of routinely kidnapping women off the streets, raping and sometimes torturing them, and personally supervising the torture and humiliation of hundreds of prisoners. Such conduct earned him the title "Abu Sarhan," the Arabic term for "father of the wolf."
-- The New York Times, July 23, 2003

~*~

"Now, 12 years later, Mr. Shaati cannot remember if the women and children beside him screamed as the bullets hit, or whether the men in the hole moaned as they died. He only recalls a moment of hollow silence when the soldiers stopped shooting. Then came the throaty rumble of a backhoe and the thud of wet earth dropping on bodies. He survived but saw hundreds of other innocents buried in another of Saddam Hussein's anonymous mass graves."
-- The New York Times, June 2, 2003

~*~

"Her most disturbing memory is of the time she felt nothing but her own pain. After the beatings and electric shocks, Suriya Abdel Khader would find herself once again in the fetid cell, a room so crowded that most prisoners could only stand. The women died upright, then slumped to the floor, but Ms. Abdel Khader remembers registering only a dull flash of annoyance whenever that happened. 'Get this body out of the way,' she would think to herself. 'It's taking up room.' She was imprisoned, she believes, because her four brothers had been arrested in Mr. Hussein's blanket crackdown on Shiites suspected of supporting Iran or the Islamic Dawa Party."
-- The New York Times, June 2, 2003

~*~

"The soldiers took them out in groups of 100 to 150 people. When his time came, Mr. Shaati was ordered to remove his T-shirt and rip it into strips that were tied over his eyes and around his hands. The prisoners were herded onto a bus, everyone holding on with their teeth to the shirt of the person in front of them. When they arrived at a field - Mr. Shaati is still not sure where - their grave had already been prepared. 'They led us down an incline into a wide long hole,' he said. 'It was quiet. No one fell or even cried. I was positioned very close to the corner, maybe second or third from the wall. Then they started shooting. Somehow I wasn't hit. By then, I guess, they didn't go to the trouble of shooting all of us.' After the grave was covered, Mr. Shaati, alive but choking on dirt, wormed his way out of the ditch. He punched through the earthen blanket with his head, and worked himself free of the cloth straps. Gulping the cold night air, he knew that all his soldierly ideas about honor and country counted for nothing."
-- The New York Times, June 2, 2003

~*~

"She spent one year being moved from prison to torture center to prison and back. Her tormenters would hang her from a hook in the ceiling by her arms, which were bound behind her back. Sometimes they added electric shocks. Sometimes they beat her on the soles of her feet until they were engorged with blood and her toenails fell off. She was 25.

"'I was lucky that I became like a dead body,' she said. 'I didn't know what was going on around me. There was no water, no bathroom. The only food was two big pots they brought in, one with dirty rice and one of soup. You had to fight for it. If you were strong and healthy, you'd get food. If you were weak, you'd wait.'

"After the torture came the sham trial, then a sentence to spend her life at Rashad women's prison, a maze of unheated cells where the sewage would float from the one toilet down the corridors and seep onto the women's rough mattresses."
-- The New York Times, June 2, 2003

~*~

"Clawing through the dirt, Abdelhassan al-Mohani collected his brother bone by bone. He knelt in a hole at the edge of a cemetery near the village of Muhammad Sakran, just outside Baghdad. The faded writing on a plastic armband in the grave told him this was his brother, Abdelhussein. Mr. Mohani held the skull and gently brushed the dirt from the eye socket. Then he wept.

"Abdelhussein had disappeared on his way to work in Baghdad on Jan. 23, 1981. His family never heard a word from the government, but eventually they drew the obvious conclusion: as a Shiite, he must have been arrested in the Islamic Dawa Party roundup."
-- The New York Times, June 2, 2003

~*~

"His mother tried to keep him close, but her hands were tied and she could not hold the children. They all stumbled into the ready-made grave. 'They were shooting at us, but I didn't get hit,' Mr. Husseini said. 'I was lying on top of my mother. Then someone came down in the hole and dragged me up by my collar and yelled, "Shoot this kid!" I was pretending to be dead. And they started shooting at me again, but still I didn't get hit. Then the shovel came.' He felt himself being lifted with the dirt and dropped once again into the hole. 'I rolled myself to the edge and then to a place where there were reeds and water and the reeds were all sticking in my face,' he recalled. 'My body wasn't covered with the dirt, just my head. I could breath but I didn't move. A man came to check and was standing over the hole where everyone was buried and he called to the shovel driver, "Come and cover this kid." But the driver, maybe he didn't hear, because he didn't come.'"
-- The New York Times, June 1, 2003

~*~

"A map provided by a former driver for Iraqi military intelligence brought Abdulaziz al-Qubaisi Abu Musab to the abandoned Iraqi military camp here this morning in search of the answer to the question that most Kuwaitis have asked - and dreaded - since the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf war: where are the nearly 600 missing Kuwaitis? "Mr. Abu Musab, a member of the Iraqi National Congress, the political movement headed by Ahmad Chalabi, said he had been given the map by a man who, in October 1991, was among the drivers who took the Kuwaiti prisoners to their execution in Baghdad and subsequent burial here, 50 miles west of the capital. "It was impossible to speak directly to this driver, who calls himself Samir and still fears for his life, or to say today how accurate his account of the execution is. But the map he gave Mr. Abu Musab proved very accurate."
-- The New York Times, May 17, 2003

~*~

"[J]ust to see the landscape of bones mixed with clothing, skulls strewn in the splay of human detritus and other remains is chilling. At first, it just seems like hundreds of bundles of clothes have been laid out on the dikes and roads that cut through the marshes here.

"Then the traces of human anatomy appear. A femur from a leg, a humerus from an arm, a shard of pelvis, and skull peeking out from a gray blanket that someone assembling remains laid down. The bundles reveal themselves as the former repositories of living human flesh, before the gunfire sent them on their journey into the marsh.

"'It's a kind of hell out there,' said Mr. Nasir, who no longer plants onions where so many bodies have been desecrated. 'We have always known that there were people here, but we couldn't take them,' he said. 'We knew our Muslim brothers were not buried properly, but we couldn't say a word.'"
-- The New York Times, May 14, 2003

~*~

"The grave was no more than a long trench, with dirt shoveled over the men executed for their role in the uprising here in 1999 after the killing of a prominent Shiite cleric, Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, said relatives who viewed the remains today.

"On March 25, 1999, a shepherd in the desert about 45 miles north of Basra saw men being brought by Baath Party trucks to an open clearing, said Ali Hassan, 20. The shepherd said he saw a backhoe dig a long trench and the men, blindfolded, were lined up in front of the ditch. Then they were shot."
-- The New York Times, May 12, 2003

~*~

A slightly broader picture of what happened has emerged from the chief gravedigger, just 21 years old. He is Muhammad Muslim Muhammad and he said he began digging graves here when he was 14 to fulfill his military service.

"He said he received the bodies every Wednesday at about 11 a.m., after the weekly hangings at around 5 a.m. There were never fewer than nine bodies to bury. During one especially bad time in 2001, he said, the numbers rose. One day he buried 18 people. He said he had never told anyone the details of his job. 'I didn't open my mouth, or I would have ended up with these poor people here,' he said."
-- Report on Al Qarah Cemetery, The New York Times, April 25, 2003

~*~

Mr. Hani came to a cemetery here today, like dozens of other Iraqis, not with the name of his dead brother but with a number. Satter's number was 535. A cousin, Sagur, arrested at the same time, was 537. These numbers were what was left of people convicted as enemies of Saddam Hussein and then made to disappear. Their graves were not dignified with names but with numbers painted on metal plates. The plates spread like rusty weeds, covering more and more feet of desert every year Mr. Hussein held power.

"But now that he is gone, the families of the disappeared are finding the numbers, matching them to the metal plates and finally collecting their dead. These were people executed - most by hanging in the fearsome Abu Ghraib prison a mile away - merely because the government considered them a threat. Many were Shiite Muslims more active in their religion than the Sunni-dominated government felt it could tolerate."
-- Report on Al Qarah Cemetery in The New York Times, April 25, 2003

~*~

"Thousands of people are missing in Iraq, victims of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, but a more visible legacy are the parts that are missing from people who survived. Missing eyes, ears, toenails and tongues mark those who fell into the hands of Mr. Hussein's powerful security services."
-- The New York Times, April 24, 2003

~*~

Farris Salman is one of the last victims of Mr. Hussein's rule. His speech is slurred because he is missing part of his tongue. Black-hooded paramilitary troops, the Fedayeen Saddam, run by Mr. Hussein's eldest son, Uday, pulled it out of his mouth with pliers last month, he said, and sliced it off with a box cutter. They made his family and dozens of his neighbors watch.

"...Salman was blindfolded and bundled into a van. Residents of his neighborhood say the van arrived in the afternoon with an escort of seven trucks carrying more than a hundred black-uniformed fedayeen wearing black masks that only showed their eyes. They rounded up neighbors for what was billed as a rally; Mr. Salman's mother was ordered to bring a picture of Mr. Hussein. Two men held Mr. Salman's arms and head steady, and pointed a gun to his temple. Another man with a video camera recorded the scene. 'I was standing and they told me to stick my tongue out or they would shoot me, and so I did. It was too quick to be painful but there was a lot of blood.' The fedayeen stuffed his mouth with cotton and took him to a local hospital, where he got five stitches, no painkiller and was returned to prison."
-- The New York Times, April 24, 2003

~*~

"Doctors gave him an injection and he lost consciousness, he said. When he awoke, the right side of his head was wrapped in bandages. It was Sept. 15, 1994. 'I started crying,' Mr. Ghanem said. 'I felt crippled. I felt oppressed. I hated Saddam with all of my heart, but I didn't know what to do.'

"He was sent to prison where he said he saw hundreds of others missing one ear. Many, like Mr. Ghanem, had inflamed wounds.

"His mother came every Friday, selling off household appliances to buy painkillers and antibiotics for her son. Others were less fortunate. Mr. Ghanem described a medieval scene in which delirious and dying inmates lay on the prison's dirt floor screaming from pain. 'The right side of some of the men's heads were puffed up like red balloons,' he said. Two of his friends died from infections.

"'Saddam, God curse him, treated my son like an animal,' said Mr. Ghanem's weeping mother. 'Only animals have their ears cut off.'"
-- The New York Times, April 24, 2003

~*~

"Kadhim Sabbit al-Datajji, 61, a resident of the poor Shiite neighborhood known as Saddam City under Mr. Hussein, said his trouble began when the eldest of his seven sons became old enough to join the Baath Party, but did not. 'Some Baathists in the neighborhood began asking why no one in my family was a party member and saying that with so many children, my family could cause trouble,' he said. 'They asked, "Why don't you or your sons join? We think you are in an opposition party."'

"He now has a walleyed stare to show for eight years in prison. He is quick to pop out his glass eye for a visitor - and to tell of how he lost the real one to torture."
-- The New York Times, April 24, 2003

~*~

Upstairs, accessible by a back stairway only, are about 100 individual cells, dark and windowless, stinking of urine. In one sits a plate of half-eaten food, biscuits and rice, still resting on a green plastic tray. At the end of a hallway lies a pile of bindings and blindfolds.

"An elevator, the only one in the place, leads to the basement and more cells. There are shackles in one room, long cables in another. On another floor there is a small operating room, where some former prisoners said doctors harvested the organs of those who did not survive.

"Finally, out back, stand three portable morgues, metal buildings the size of tool sheds, with freezer units attached. Inside one are six aluminum trays, each the length of a body."
-- The New York Times, April 21, 2003

~*~

The picture that emerged of the intelligence service here was of a kind of sadistic shakedown operation, where agents took prisoners to satisfy their masters but extracted money to satisfy themselves.

"Other men returning here said the interrogators had gone even further, demanding sex with female relatives when no money could be paid. In most cases, the prisoners said, bribes were paid, women were offered, but the prisoner remained in jail.

"'My family paid them everything we had, $25,000, and still they did not release me,' Mr. Masawi said."
-- The New York Times, April 21, 2003

~*~

Adnan Agari, who never returned, was taken away with his brother Ghassan and his cousin Khatar. They were taken to Baghdad and tortured with electrified wire, Ghassan said. 'The screaming terrified me,' he recalled of the dark, poorly ventilated torture chamber. 'I was a boy then, 15. I have never heard anything like that before or since.'"
-- The New York Times, April 17, 2003

~*~

For days now, scores of desperate Iraqis have turned up outside the state security complex here, searching for their missing loved ones, begging the American troops who guard its gates to help them find the relatives whom they believe to be trapped in a prison beneath the sprawling grounds.

"With the fall of Saddam Hussein's government, 30 years of buried history is slowly being resurrected. The Iraqis who appear each morning calling out names and dates of arrest are hoping that their missing brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles will be resurrected along with the past.

"They hold up one finger, two fingers, four fingers, trying to explain to the Americans how many relatives are supposedly in the jail. They throng the gates from dawn to dusk, holding up photos of their vanished loved ones and holding desperately onto hope."
-- The New York Times, April 17, 2003

~*~

"One of the disappeared is the son of an old man named Kadem Agari Albadri. He lives in a walled-compound on Maarifa Street . the street of knowledge . landscaped with fuchsia trees and palms. His name appears in the book as a local teacher. His son Adnan is there, also: No. 32, arrested March 3, 1991. Suspect. Whereabouts unknown.

"... Much of his family and friends gathered today to hear him speak. They all brought faded pictures or names scribbled on scrap paper of sons and brothers who have disappeared. They need look no further than the book.

"'Before anything, I want to tell the people of America and Britain something,' Mr. Albadri said. 'There is nothing, nothing more terrible for a father and mother than to have their child taken from them. Not to know. Never to see his body. You cannot imagine. This is how we lived.'"
-- The New York Times, April 17, 2003

~*~

"...in the mid-1990's one of our Iraqi cameramen was abducted. For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government's ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency's Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk."
-- Eason Jordan, CNN chief news executive, in The New York Times, April 11, 2003

~*~

Coming soon:

Thank you, ___, for documenting the inhumane reign of Saddam Hussein:

Washington Post,

The London Times,

Los Angeles Times,

Newsweek,

Agence France Presse,

more....

~*~


TOPICS: Australia/New Zealand; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Japan; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: allies; civilrights; coalition; freedom; genocide; gnfi; godblessamerica; goodguys; iraq; liberation; nyt; oppression; saddam; supportourtroops; terrorism; torture; truth
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1 posted on 07/01/2004 10:52:44 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: TEXOKIE; xzins; Eagle Eye; Cannoneer No. 4; Happy2BMe; Alamo-Girl; blackie; SandRat; Calpernia; ...
             
 Ping!
   ~ ~

2 posted on 07/01/2004 10:55:57 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl

Thanks for bringing this great website to my attention.


3 posted on 07/01/2004 10:56:17 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Crosslinked:

-When the Dungeon Doors Swing Open...--

4 posted on 07/01/2004 10:56:32 AM PDT by backhoe (-30-)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
WELCOME BACK!
5 posted on 07/01/2004 10:57:51 AM PDT by onyx
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl

Outstanding!! Please add me to your ping list. Bookmarking!


6 posted on 07/01/2004 11:00:02 AM PDT by cgk (3000+ 9/11. Pearl, Fallujah, Berg, Jacobs, Scroggs, Johnson, Sun-il... Never forget. Never Again!)
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To: Allegra

Ping


7 posted on 07/01/2004 11:00:03 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
It's Bush's fault....[/leftwingidiot]
8 posted on 07/01/2004 11:01:15 AM PDT by atomicpossum (I give up! Entropy, you win!)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
There are those that will believe "Fahrenheit 911" but not this.
9 posted on 07/01/2004 11:02:18 AM PDT by CrazyIvan (Death before dishonor, open bar after 6:00)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl

I am so happy to see you..


10 posted on 07/01/2004 11:02:30 AM PDT by Dog (In Memory of Pat Tillman ---- ---- ---- American Hero.)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl

....But Bush is doing this ALL for oil contracts, right?


11 posted on 07/01/2004 11:02:55 AM PDT by JustPlainJoe
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Bump!

If you want to see some of Saddam's brutality - if you have the stomach for it - I think GoGov still has the video of Saddam's treatment of prisoners up.

Link Here

Really gruesome stuff though. Warning. Very graphic. It is in Windows Media Player format.

12 posted on 07/01/2004 11:05:37 AM PDT by BJungNan (Stop Spam - Start Charging for Email - You get 2000 a month for free, then you pay!)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl

Hi RC.


BUMP


13 posted on 07/01/2004 11:07:34 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl

I had to stop reading when I saw the one about the 3 month old baby.

What is the big deal about the so-called torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib compared to the killing of an infant?


14 posted on 07/01/2004 11:09:20 AM PDT by Mears
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl

Before this year is over, the NY Slimes will be hating al Ghorriod for inventing the internet.

Their days of lying, hiding and spiking news that they hid in the past are over.

This trial and the evidence of the mass murders commited by the $oddomite and his thugs will be a daily nightmare for the NY Slimes and their fellow liberal mediot maggots.


15 posted on 07/01/2004 11:15:22 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Moore has not only insulted the nation, he has insulted the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks!)
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To: Grampa Dave

bttt


16 posted on 07/01/2004 11:19:37 AM PDT by votelife ("Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordian." Don Rumsfeld)
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To: BJungNan

Let's make sure we all keep this in the front of our minds as we watch the media in their attempts to empathize with Saddam. Unfortunately, it's all ready started for some in the media, as they are referring to Saddam's popularity among some of his own people.

Every story I've heard this morning has commented on how Saddam called Bush a war criminal...ignoring that he also Kuwaiti's, dogs...insisting that Kuwait was still apart of Iraq.


17 posted on 07/01/2004 11:21:25 AM PDT by cwb (If it weren't for Republicans, liberals would have no real enemies)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl

Excellent compilation.


18 posted on 07/01/2004 11:22:35 AM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl

Btt


19 posted on 07/01/2004 11:24:07 AM PDT by TexKat (Just because you did not see it or read it, that does not mean it did or did not happen.)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl

That last bit about CNN not disclosing the horrors...yes, I remember that being here but lost in the liberal media.


20 posted on 07/01/2004 11:31:14 AM PDT by sarasota
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