Is Iraq Better? Part 2

Thursday, July 14, 2005

General Adnan Thabit is the leader of a counter-insurgency group, the Special Police Commandos, which is about 5,000 strong. A good backround of this group and their actions can be found in the article written by Peter Maass: The Salvadorization of Iraq? The commandos are broken into two brigades; one is lead by Rashid al-Halafi and the other by General Muhammed Muther . Both are former high ranking members of Saddam's army, as well as General Thabit.

Peter Maass traveled with one of the commando units and describes some of these patrols. On one such patrol the commados picked up a detainee who directed them to a house. The commanding officer, Major Falah, decided the informant was misleading them. The captains then began beating the detainee. Maass describes the attack as "a series of sustained blows, it was a dockyard mugging." Of course there are American forces teamed up with the commando units to provide support. On this particular mission the American squad was headed by Capt. Jeff Bennett. During the attack he turned his back to the beating. Asked about the incident, his response was: "If I think they're going to shoot somebody or cut his finger off or do any sort of permanent damage, I will immediately stop them, as Americans, we will not let that happen. In terms of kicking a guy, they do that all the time, punches and stuff like that."

Another of these missions/raids reported by Maass was on March 8. The commados were looking for the suspected leader of an insurgent cell, Najim al-Takhi. When they arrived at his farmhouse he was not present so the commados detained his son (a preferred tactic is to kidnap a family member of a suspected insurgent or sympathizer). They drove al-Takhi's son to another farmhouse down the road and searched for his father but found nothing. Frustrated now, the captain of the commado unit pushed the son up against a wall and raised his AK-47 at his face, removing the saftey. The captain repeatedly asked where the boy's father was, to which the son responded that he did not know his father's whereabouts. Finally after a few minutes of this intense treatment the American officer who was accompaning them, Maj. Robert Rooker, stepped in and pointed the captain's weapon toward the ground. He told him "You are a professional soldier, you know and I know that you need to put the weapon down." At this time the commandos moved roughly 100 yards away and started to interrogate the detainee again, without an AK-47. Maj. Rooker's statement in regards to this was: "They'll shake him up a little bit more, stay back and let them do their job."

Keep in mind now, this is a "suspected" insurgent they were looking for in the first place. They then proceeded to kidnap/abduct his son (who was accused of nothing) and beat, intimidate and threaten to kill him. Is this justice? Is this what Bush and crew had in mind for the people of Iraq? Is this what they want?


jj said...

Good posts,
I guess we need to show the Iraqi’s how to handle prisoners.
Iraq suspects suffocate in heat

least 11 Sunni men have been tortured and killed by police.

What makees it worse is the fact that most prisoners are innocent.
GENEVA - Intelligence officers of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq estimated that 70 percent to 90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested by mistake,
Making more friends around the world.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the double post it did not show up when I posted.

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