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DANINJA
4/28/2005 8:26am,
what do you think of US holding child/female prisoners at Abu Ghraib?

the comment "I don't care if we're holding 15,000 innocent civilians. We're winning the war " worries me.




US held youngsters at Abu Ghraib

Children as young as 11 years old were held at Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi prison at the centre of the US prisoner abuse scandal, official documents reveal.
Brig Gen Janis Karpinski, formerly in charge of the jail, gave details of young people and women held there.

Her assertion was among documents obtained via legal action by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The Pentagon has admitted juveniles were among the detainees, but said no child was subject to any abuse.

Brig Gen Karpinski made her remarks in an interview with a general investigating the abuses at the prison.

'Innocent civilians'

The transcript of her May 2004 interview was among hundreds of pages of papers obtained by the ACLU through the Freedom of Information Act.

In one case, witness statements among the released documents allege that four drunken Americans took a 17-year-old female prisoner from her cell and forced her to expose her breasts and kissed her.

In another documented incident, troops are alleged to have smeared mud on the detained 17-year-old son of an Iraqi general and forced his father to watch him shiver in the cold.

Brig Gen Karpinski, who was in charge at Abu Ghraib from July to November 2003, said she often visited the prison's youngest inmates.

She said in her interview that she thought one boy "looked like he was eight years old".

"He told me he was almost 12," she said. "He told me his brother was there with him, but he really wanted to see his mother, could he please call his mother. He was crying."

She said the military began holding children and women at Abu Ghraib from mid-2003. She did not say what the youngsters had been locked up for.

In her interview with Maj Gen George Fay, she also said intelligence officers had worked out an agreement to hold detainees without keeping records.

The Pentagon has acknowledged holding so-called "ghost detainees" on the basis that they were enemy combatants and therefore not entitled to prisoner of war protections.

Brig Gen Karpinski said US commanders were reluctant to release detainees, an attitude she called "releasophobia".

In her interview, she said Maj Gen Walter Wodjakowski, then the second most senior army general in Iraq, told her in the summer of 2003 not to release more prisoners, even if they were innocent.

"I don't care if we're holding 15,000 innocent civilians," she said Maj Gen Wodjakowski told her. "We're winning the war."

The ACLU has sued US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on behalf of four Iraqis and four Afghans who say they were tortured in US facilities.

Mr Rumsfeld has stated that neither he nor his aides ever condoned or authorised abuses.

Seven soldiers have been convicted by US courts martial in connection with the scandal at Abu Ghraib. Two others are still on trial.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4339511.stm

Wounded Ronin
4/28/2005 4:12pm,
See, and then stuff like this comes back to bite us in the ass when it becomes the subject of bad Iranian soap operas.

liuzg150181
4/29/2005 1:03am,
*sigh*
"You can conquer on the horseback,but you cannot rule on the horseback" :qtank:

Yrkoon9
5/01/2005 3:30am,
I just wrote a long detailed research paper about the japanese internment camps during WW2. Wow. We really haven't learned much.

punchingdummy
5/01/2005 5:21pm,
I just wrote a long detailed research paper about the japanese internment camps during WW2. Wow. We really haven't learned much.

Is your issue with not realeasing innocents, or with holding women and "children" in captivity?

Yrkoon9
5/02/2005 1:59am,
I have so many issues with this I don't know where to begin.

punchingdummy
5/02/2005 7:12am,
I have so many issues with this I don't know where to begin.

Pick one. Maybe start with the issue of detaining children.

Yrkoon9
5/02/2005 2:40pm,
On the issue of children I am torn.

On one hand I firmly believe that at a certain age children are subject to adult responsiblities. Much the way I think that a 16 year old who raped and murdered in cold blood should recieve the death penalty I believe that a 16 year old terrorist CONVICTED of cold blooded murder should also recieve the death penalty. Foreign or domestic.

The grey area comes when you start talking about 11 year olds. There is no doubt that an 11 year old is capable of cold blooded murder. What comes into question is the treatment of that 11 year old. Should they be held in the same prisons as adults? Should they be given the same legal rights? Should they be sentenced to the same punishments as adults?

I cannot give a definative answer as I do not have enough information on SPECIFICS. A blurb from a news article doesn't really give me any rights to judge and sentence anyone, much less an 11 year old.

What I DO have a problem with is to hold people in captivity without due process of law. Our entire country is founded on the ideas of liberty and justice. When you apply standards outside the ideals that you are trying to protect you make a mockery of yourself. Going back a few posts I talked about the internment of Japanese Americans during WW2. Taking a group of people and removing their liberties without due process, under the guise of national security is obviously wrong. In the case of Abu Ghairab it was documented that most of those being held were caught up in being at the wrong place at the wrong time - not being guilty of a particular crime. As champions of freedom, liberty and justice - supposedly 'liberating' these people from tyranny we are providing a piss poor example of that liberty by denying them the very rights we are supposedly bringing them.

To take this further we look at the prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. We hold 'people' there without trial or due process of law. The premise being these are the worst of the worst. Terrorists who do not 'deserve' the due process of law. The only problem is that you have to prove they ARE terrorists, by going through that process. I am NOT saying that people in Gaunt Bay are innocent. By all means I think 99.999% of them are probably guilty as hell and are dangerous to national security. My problem is that we denied them the process. I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW that those rights are reserved for citizens. I KNOW THIS, OKAY?!? I know that the 5th amemdment does not apply to foreign nationals, etc. My problem is that we (the government, or even individuals in that government) can simply snatch a 'suspect', foreign national OR American citizen and hold them indefinately without due process of law. That is my problem. We did this **** with the Japanese...and it was sooo wrong. At the TIME it seemed the right thing to do, in fact we upheld the policy all the way to the supreme court. Eventually convictions were overturned, reperations were given, etc. In fact, Korematsu (convicted of failing to report to internment station) lived with his conviction for 40 years until it was overturned in 1984 - HE wrote a friend-of-the-court briefing in 2004 regarding the prisoners being held in guant bay that "The situation is all too familiar to him".

I mean how would America react if one of our 17 year olds ( or 11 year old for more sensationalism ) was held by a foreign country, without trial, in a place notorious for prisoner abuse? We would have F15's up their ass in a heartbeat. And I find it very hypocritical that we could do the same to others without even acknowledging the double standard. Obvious not an exact comparison or example. This was just to make you think for a moment.

Now back to the issue of children being held. I do not have an issue per se that CHILDREN are being held. Hell, a 5 year old can pull a trigger. If he is dangerous, than detain him. The issue is that our government IN THIS CASE (abu g in particular) has a history of flagrantly denying justice, to the point of abuse. It can be compounded by the fact that the detainees are children. Nobody wants to see pictures of naked 11 year old kids being forced to simulate sex acts, etc. And if the report above is accurate - a 17 year old being sexually assaulted is bad news. Real bad news.

I think special care must be exercized in the case of children when dealing with the issues of liberty, justice, and prosecution - foreign or domestic. But it does not give them a get out of jail free card. In this case however, we seem to be denying justice AND abusing them. 2 big no no's.

punchingdummy
5/02/2005 3:29pm,
The problem with the comparison to internment camps of WWII is that they involved U.S. citizens, whereas the Iraqi and Gitmo situations do not. The current situations involve enemy combatants (generally not US citizens) from ACTIVE, HOT conflicts. There is no reason to believe they deserve the same due process that the US legal system affords US citizens.

That said, we need to be smart about this. That means we need to be careful about the application of EPW status and following Geneva Convention guidelines. Tricky issues really. We also need to be mindful about public perceptions...which, by the way, are never good when one is holding children...even if the 11 year old killed an American. On the heels of the Abu Grabass publicity, it's even worse.




A bit of a side note, I believe at least 7 U.S. soilders have received convictions for their parts in that mess. (one getting 8.5 years in prison).

Yrkoon9
5/02/2005 4:25pm,
The problem with the comparison to internment camps of WWII is that they involved U.S. citizens, whereas the Iraqi and Gitmo situations do not. The current situations involve enemy combatants (generally not US citizens) from ACTIVE, HOT conflicts. There is no reason to believe they deserve the same due process that the US legal system affords US citizens.

I believe that in at least 1 case, a US citizen was held at Guant Bay.

And as I said in my last post I do understand the Fifth Amendment applies only to US citizen. I have a personal problem with that as those 'liberties' we are supposed to be bringing to the Iraqi people (heavy sarcasm, as I personally believe liberating them is just rhetoric) are being withheld from them. I see hypocrisy here.


That said, we need to be smart about this. That means we need to be careful about the application of EPW status and following Geneva Convention guidelines.

Was it Rumsfeld that said the Gevena convention is antiquated? I being serious here, not my usual sarcastic self. He said some **** about the Geneva convention not applying in Iraq - or alluding to words of that effect.


Tricky issues really. We also need to be mindful about public perceptions...which, by the way, are never good when one is holding children...even if the 11 year old killed an American. On the heels of the Abu Grabass publicity, it's even worse.

I totally agree. All of this being said I am not a Supreme Court judge. I am not a lawyer. I just a highly opinionated history student.

And although not an exact comparison, I was just smacked in the face with the way civil liberties can be completely ignored during times of national emergency, only later to be regretted. I believe this was the case in the Japanese internment camps, and the same with the detention camps during the War on Terror.


A bit of a side note, I believe at least 7 U.S. soilders have received convictions for their parts in that mess. (one getting 8.5 years in prison).

I read today that England, that chick in the Abu G photos plead guilty. That being said I did not see any of the higher ups being charged. IMHO (again, not a lawyer a judge or even privy to all the facts in the case) the buck was passed down to grunts, when officers higher in command should also be responsible. Also what needs to be noted is that there are several homicides and open investigations into prisoner deaths, some under interrogation. In a couple of those cases soldiers were not involved - my details are fuzzy here and without looking stuff up I want to say it was 'intellegence', who knows wtf that means FBI CIA NSA FUBAR, and those individuals have not been charged.

Peter H.
5/02/2005 4:41pm,
My understanding from reading about it:

1) Yes we are holding US Citizens caught in Afghanastan as enemy combatants, the argument is as enemy combatants who are US citizens, does the Geneva convention hold, or the US Constitution?

2) The Geneva convention was was said not to apply in reference to terrorists/insurgents, who are not lawful combatants (no uniforms, using civilians as shields, targeting non-combatants), so there is no requirment that they be treated as lawful combatants, per the Geneva convetion.

Yrkoon9
5/02/2005 5:00pm,
Yes, but as we take this policy further we can hold US Citizens accused of terrorism without trial.

I know that every incident should be examined on an individual basis. My problem is that we are making blanket policies and stretching the limits sometimes breaking them when it comes to civil liberties during times of national emergency.

As I recall the Supreme Court ruled that holding citizens in Guant Bay was illegal. It is simply an example that carries over from WW2. Fear influences public opinion, and citizens are willing to give up their rights for the comfort of perceived safety. The idea being, the government is benevolent, knows what is best for me, and would never abuse its power - thus violating civil rights is okay, because we are in danger.

People in general are sheep. They don't think well in groups and generally do what they are told. I have a hard time comprehending how these flag waving patriots who espouse the 'liberation' of Iraq will, at the same time, be completely oblivious to THEIR civil rights.

On an unrelated idea, but still on topic. Remember the legislation that was proposed to restrict Arab American movement right after 9/11? People were calling for incarceration based on ancestry. It was smack out of WW2 and the japanese internment camps. There was quite a backing for some kind of legislation - I think 3 in 10 people wanted fingerprinting, restricted access, and security tabs placed on Arab Americans, citizen and alien alike. Fuckin scary how stupid we are.

Peter H.
5/02/2005 8:16pm,
Not arguing with you, just pointing out the justification for what you said above.

Sun Wukong
5/03/2005 7:37am,
Did Rumsfeld get horrifying nightmares from "children of the corn"? There just isn't an excuse for holding a little kid prisoner for 2 years like this. It's ridiculous and disgusting.

Unless they're some science fiction horror movie pre-pubescent bad guys with direct ties to satan himself and the ability to kill people with dirty looks and chilling back ground music they need to get those kids the **** out of that kind of situation.

Does someone really think this kid, after 2 years, has some kind of psychic connection to Al Qaeda? Seriously?

Sophist
5/03/2005 8:50am,
Just one point. The guys being held in Abu Ghraib - the ones who were actually guilty of something, not the ones taken away on some personal enemy's say-so - weren't and aren't terrorists.

They're the Iraqi Resistance. They're fighting back against an occupying army. Yes, they're insurgents, perhaps even saboteurs or guerillas, but you can hardly call them terrorists; their aim is not to terrorise the population into acceding to their demands (though this may be a side-effect) but to get the invading force out of there.

It's the same sort of situation as France was in during the Second World War: there are cells of resistance, there are collaborators with the new regime, there are people accusing innocents to settle old scores or for personal gain. Neither resistance or collaborators are innately good or evil - there are some scarily fucked up zealots in resistance cells as well as people who just want their country back the way it was when the streets were safe and there was running water, there are people who believe the best way to rebuild Iraq is to work with the Americans and people who're cynically grabbing power. Using the T-word just leads to a complex situation being looked at in terms that are simply wrong.

punchingdummy
5/03/2005 9:53am,
Just one point. The guys being held in Abu Ghraib - the ones who were actually guilty of something, not the ones taken away on some personal enemy's say-so - weren't and aren't terrorists.

They're the Iraqi Resistance. They're fighting back against an occupying army. Yes, they're insurgents, perhaps even saboteurs or guerillas, but you can hardly call them terrorists; their aim is not to terrorise the population into acceding to their demands (though this may be a side-effect) but to get the invading force out of there.

It's the same sort of situation as France was in during the Second World War: there are cells of resistance, there are collaborators with the new regime, there are people accusing innocents to settle old scores or for personal gain. Neither resistance or collaborators are innately good or evil - there are some scarily fucked up zealots in resistance cells as well as people who just want their country back the way it was when the streets were safe and there was running water, there are people who believe the best way to rebuild Iraq is to work with the Americans and people who're cynically grabbing power. Using the T-word just leads to a complex situation being looked at in terms that are simply wrong.

While I agree the "T-word" is overused, you also seem to lack a basic understanding of the conflict. Resistance? Sure, this is partly Bathist. But most of the recent serious violence is being waged by Bathist and Non-Iraqi leadership against Iraqis. They do not want THEIR country back...they want to gain control over a country that is not theirs.

***editted for clarity. The point is that the current conflict has much less to do with wanting their country back than it did a year ago. Muslim on Muslim violence is the name of the game right now***