Saturday, April 09, 2005


Iraqi Police Using Gonzales-Approved Methods?

The Washington Post reports on alleged prisoner abuses by the new Iraqi police forces:
But in January Hameed's younger brother, Zawba, was arrested by Iraqi police officers at the family's home, and two days later he turned up dead at a local hospital. Pictures show he had been brutally beaten.

A senior Tikrit police official, Col. Jasim Hussein Jbara, said in an interview that Zawba died of low blood pressure shortly after he confessed to blowing up a car outside a shopping mall. There will be no investigation of his death, Jbara said.
In a recent human rights report on Iraq, the State Department catalogued reports of such practices as "arbitrary deprivation of life, torture, impunity, poor prison conditions -- particularly in pretrial detention facilities -- and arbitrary arrest and detention."

"The police often continued to use the methods employed by the previous regime," the report stated. "Reportedly, coerced confessions and interrogation continued to be the favored method of investigation by police. According to one government official, hundreds of cases were pending at year's end alleging torture."
Source: Washington Post Suspect's Death Evokes Hussein Era April 9, 2005 (Emphasis added.)
Interestingly, these "Saddam-style" police methods sound very much like Bush League justice as advocated by Attorney General Gonzales and used in CIA interrogation centers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, etc. For example:

FORT BLISS, Texas - An Army reservist accused of killing a detainee in Afghanistan told investigators that the blows that caused the man's death were commonly used to deal with uncooperative prisoners and that his superiors approved of the technique.

Other soldiers testified at a hearing here that they were taught to administer the so-called "compliance blows" in an Army course covering non-lethal tactics and that the blows became an accepted way of dealing with detainees who were considered "combative."
Source: Knight-Ridder News Service Blows that led to detainee's death were common practice, reservist says (March 25, 2005)

Why is the Washington Post accusing the Iraqi police of using "(Saddam) Hussein-era tactics" rather than noting these same tactics are commonly used by US interrogators?


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