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Leaking Information

October 24, 2010

Wikileaks’ recent publishing of classified military documents regarding the Iraqi war has put the issue of human rights abuses towards prisoners in the spotlight. At the center of these abuses are Iraqi and US forces. I haven’t scoured the 400,000 documents, but you can read a summary about them here and here.

The documents reveal startling details about abuse towards prisoners including “beatings, burnings, and lashings” by Iraqi forces with US authorities having been “aware of this systematic abuse for years” upon handing over thousands of prisoners to their Iraqi counterparts.

The prisoners said their torturers kicked, whipped, and beat them, tried to suffocate them, gave them electric shocks, burned them with cigarettes, and pulled out their fingernails and teeth. They said that interrogators sodomized some detainees with sticks and pistol barrels. Some young men said they were forced to perform oral sex on interrogators and guards and that interrogators forced detainees to molest one another.

International law prohibits the US government–as well as all governments–from the transferring “of detained individuals to the authorities of another state where they face a serious risk of torture and ill-treatment.”

The US is concerned the leaks put “our troops in even greater danger than they inherently are on these battlefields,” it should also be concerned about the treatment towards the detainees and prisoners when they are handed over to their Iraqi allies.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ollie permalink
    October 25, 2010 5:36 am

    If you are in the armed forces and you are in a war, I think its fair game that somebody or something might kill you. That is just part of the deal, whether you torture someone or not. BTW, how many concerned Iraqis are actively translating and reading wiki-leaks, taking the information in and then purposely doing something about it? Or this this really a issue of the military not wanting the US citizenry to know about these atrocities, and feel anger towards them, and sympathetic for the nations that we destroy with our branded imperialism.

    • Trung permalink
      October 25, 2010 6:22 am

      i think it’s important that US citizens know and understand how their tax dollars are being spent. while the US is not directly involved in this torture, it is knowingly transferring prisoners and detainees–at least according to the documents–to a force that is abusing them. okay, in times of actual combat, there isn’t really time to read wikileaks and determining whether what you are doing is tantamount to torture or not, however, these are prisoners. they are unarmed and shackled i’m assuming. this goes back to the issue of someone having power over another person and abusing that power by ripping out his/her finger nails or taking a stick and doing god knows what with it to him/her.

      • Ollie D permalink
        October 27, 2010 5:25 pm

        but this should not take place in the first place
        one, don’t ever join a military
        two, don’t ever support a war

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