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Friday, January 27, 2006

Arresting Insurgents' Wives, Leverage?

Now call me a right-winger if you want (says I, aghast at being called a liberal by someone before), but I think that that this opening paragraph of the ABC News article really puts this whole thing into perspective:
The U.S. Army in Iraq has at least twice seized and jailed the wives of suspected insurgents in hopes of "leveraging" their husbands into surrender, U.S. military documents show.
So let me get this right: the US Army, in the three years it has been operating in Iraq, and the thousands of people it has arrested, detained, imprisoned, questioned etc., has arrested just two wives of suspected insurgents and the media is clamouring that this was a form of "leverage" to get their husbands to surrender. Note part of the Hammer of Truth's quotation, from an Iraqi human rights activist (Hind al-Salehi). Two. Out of thousands, maybe tens of thousands, maybe a hundred thousand. Just two. And that's a pattern of "leverage" because a civilian intelligence officer suggested it in his memo (pdf)? Isn't this like saying acts of violence were occurring in the middle of a war? The law of statistics surely would allow for one or two arrestees to be related to suspected/known terrorists. Here's the thing, if you or I, the average person, gave shelter to a murderer on the run, we would be committing a felony. Why would it be any different for the wife of a terrorist? Does that law not exist in Iraq right now? Seems to me that it would. Human Rights Watch sent a letter to Donald Rumsfeld indicating that the US had violated the by arresting relatives of Iraqi fugitives (their wives). But again, I contend that in the US such a thing would be commonplace, if they were giving assistance to known criminals (which, the terrorists could be considered, in Iraq). Finally, something from that article which I wanted to point out, by the brigade's deputy commander...
Two days later, the brigade's deputy commander advised the higher command, "As each day goes by, I get more input that these gals have some info and/or will result in getting the husband." He went on, "These ladies fought back extremely hard during the original detention. They have shown indications of deceit and misinformation."
... and this by Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a US Army spokesmam...
Of this episode, Johnson said, "It is clear the unit believed the females detained had substantial knowledge of insurgent activity and warranted being held."
'nuff said. Crossposted at The English Guy.
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