Thursday, November 17, 2005

Lions & Tigers & Scooters, Oh My!

Tip of the pith helmet to Ed Bremson for posting this yesterday.
Abuse Included Use of Lions, Iraqis Allege

By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 15, 2005; Page A06

Two Iraqi men who were arrested in Iraq in 2003 but never charged with crimes say that U.S. troops put them in a cage with lions, pretended to execute them in a firing line and humiliated them during interrogations at multiple detention facilities.

Sherzad Khalid, 35, and Thahe Sabber, 37, say they were brutally beaten over several months at U.S. facilities such as Camp Bucca, Abu Ghraib prison and another detention facility at the Baghdad airport. They said the abuse occurred when they were unable to tell U.S. troops where Saddam Hussein was hiding and did not know about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Both are businessmen who were arrested in a July 17, 2003, raid in Baghdad while Khalid, of Kurdistan, was visiting friends. Both said they were supporters of the U.S. invasion.

The two men are plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First against Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and top military commanders in Iraq. The suit contends that U.S. policies during the war allowed abuse and torture. Both men say that they were tortured and degraded for months before they were released.
Indeed, as Ed points out, what is this fascination Americans have with big cats? Does that make us big pussies?