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#175071 - Fri May 30 2003 07:37 PM "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
Blue_Cosmos Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 27 2002
Posts: 132
From The Sun newspaper.

Quote:

A BRITISH soldier has been arrested over sickening “torture” photos of an Iraqi prisoner.

They show a PoW dangling from a fork-lift truck.

Others allegedly depict soldiers committing sex acts near captured Iraqis.

The squaddie — in the 1st Royal Regiment of Fusiliers — was seized after he took a roll of film to his local photo shop to be developed. Horrified lab workers called in police.

One snap showed an Iraqi PoW who was bound and gagged. He was bundled up in netting suspended from the a fork-lift driven by a British soldier.

It is believed the prisoner was alive when the pictures were taken in Southern Iraq as the war was raging.

Last night a war crimes probe was launched by the Army’s Special Investigations Branch.

If proven, the incident would be a breach of the Geneva Convention and would cause huge embarrassment to the Army and Government.

The squaddie, one of the famous Desert Rats, was arrested by civilian police at his home in Tamworth, Staffs.

His regiment is based at Celle in Germany but the Fusilier was at home on leave following the conflict.

He is being held in military custody at a secret location.

Last night a source close to the investigation said: “We are absolutely appalled by the allegations and the investigation will leave no stone unturned.

“We believe the Iraqi was alive. It must have been a terrifying experience.”

A senior military officer said: “At this stage it is not clear whether the Fusilier handed in the film on behalf of someone else or took the pictures himself. Whatever the case, it is pure dynamite.”

The Sun knows the identity of the soldier but has agreed not to publish his name at this stage.






I was thinking of the Iceberg theory when i read this despicable disturbing story.

If this came to light how many other (perhaps more serious) cases will have gone unreported? Now you see why we need free access to war for our reporters.

If this atrocity had been carried out on US or British personnel, i guarantee you it would be all over the news for weeks. But factors such as race, religion, wealth, spoken-language, nationality etc all play a role when it comes to mistreatment of pow's. And the more different these factors, the more likely something like this would occur.

Why am i so concerned about this? Actions like this depreciate the value of greater human dignity, and are an affront, an abomination to civilised society. When actions like this are covered up, the people doing the covering up are equally as despicable as the offenders.

I have always suspected the military is particularly subject to infiltration by sadistic scum like this, but the officers, be they just weak, ammoral or simply incompetent, share in that disgrace.

With innocence we can no longer criticise third world countries (in the west) for their human rights records.

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#175072 - Fri May 30 2003 08:50 PM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
etartherat10 Offline
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Registered: Thu May 22 2003
Posts: 608
That constable certainly WASN'T dignified. I'd be terribly ashamed AND embarrassed if that happened to me. So he likes pain and torture, huh? What I say is to give him a taste of it if he likes it so much. No, I'm not usually like this, even though I'm usually angry because my homepage isn't working ~_~.

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#175073 - Fri May 30 2003 09:04 PM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
Blue_Cosmos Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 27 2002
Posts: 132
Yes when confronted by something that conflicts with what you want to believe, make a joke out of it.

Just like Comical Ali, the pentagons calm down man. Look back on the war and laugh people, all the way to the bank...






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#175074 - Fri May 30 2003 09:14 PM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
Blue_Cosmos Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 27 2002
Posts: 132
Well i dont see anything funny anyway. Its most brutal treatment, obviously the motive was to terrify them.

Although i believe there could be several motives...

1. A lot of british squaddies are Combat-18, perhaps he was, and wanted to keep something to show his mates.
2. To sell the photos, to the same kind of people who collect human lampshades and Zyklon-B cannisters.
3. Gratification or humour (Hey its a sick world, right?)

As i said above, even if you think this is funny, it is the tip of an iceberg. The lengths to which the military establishment would go to to conceal such things, i wouldnt be even surprised if Geneva violations both against pow's and civilians commiited by the coalition during the war were found to be the norm as opposed to the exception.

Hilarious





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#175075 - Fri May 30 2003 10:56 PM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
Blue_Cosmos Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 27 2002
Posts: 132
I forgot to add the Link

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#175076 - Sat May 31 2003 04:38 AM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
sue943 Offline

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I am not disputing the fact that an investigation has been launched into these allegations but you couldn't have picked a worse source of 'factual information', The Sun is a sensationalist tabloid which is read by, how can we put it diplomatically, those who find more interest in celebrities, the Royal family and naked large breasts - not by people seeking a balanced report. I would suggest you read one of the broadsheets for something less sensational.

If the allegations are true then the soldier will be dealt with.
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#175077 - Sat May 31 2003 04:38 AM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
Blue_Cosmos Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 27 2002
Posts: 132
You can add allegations of Rape to the above.

I feel reluctant to quote the exact paragraph, as it is disgusting.

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#175078 - Sat May 31 2003 04:44 AM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
Blue_Cosmos Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 27 2002
Posts: 132
Quote:

I am not disputing the fact that an investigation has been launched into these allegations but you couldn't have picked a worse source of 'factual information', The Sun is a sensationalist tabloid which is read by, how can we put it diplomatically, those who find more interest in celebrities, the Royal family and naked large breasts - not by people seeking a balanced report. I would suggest you read one of the broadsheets for something less sensational




Ok, Heres yesterdays BBC report.

And btw Sue The Sun is just about the last place i would have expected to have read something like this, being such a rightist newspaper and all. Indeed in yesterdays sun article one Pundit speculated that some Iraqi pow's might have deserved such treatment.

I feel wounded for the lost dignity of those victims. People often ask me why i criticise the west so much instead of focuing on other countries, the answer is simple, we are supposed to know better.

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#175079 - Sat May 31 2003 04:48 AM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
sue943 Offline

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The BBC I will read, The Sun, never. As I said, I don't dispute the allegations as I have heard them on the national news for a start, the matter won't be swept under the carpet. If true the soldier will be punished.
_________________________
Many a child has been spoiled because you can't spank a Grandma!

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#175080 - Sat May 31 2003 04:51 AM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
Blue_Cosmos Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 27 2002
Posts: 132
But it mustnt be just one soldier, obviously he had others assisting him, and then there is the officer in charge at the time. Lastly the mod should track down the pow's involved and offer them compensation and a full apology.

Not that any would be compensation enough...

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#175081 - Sat May 31 2003 10:05 AM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
chelseabelle Offline
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Registered: Thu Oct 07 1999
Posts: 10282
Loc: New York USA
As repugnant as this situation sounds, it hardly means that there was a widespread problem with mistreatment of Iraqi POWs. In fact, it sounds extremely limited to a few cases.

Because evidence of wrong-doing points to a possible handful of culprits, it seems rather illogical to jump to any conclusions that this was a wide-spread type of occurrence. It is also illogical, without any evidence, to jump to the conclusion that the military tried to cover up such instances of mistreatment of POWs.

We did have reporters in the field with troops. In fact this was probably the most "open" and widely televised war in history. So, to suggest that all sorts of dastardly deeds toward POWs were secretly committed by many of the British (or American) troops is rather far-fetched.

I also see no evidence that the British military is letting this slide, is excusing it, or is trying to cover it up. They have made an arrest and they are conducting an appropriate investigation. I am sure they will take appropriate action against guilty parties, particularly since such deplorable behaviors bring shame upon the military.

To suggest that racial or ethnic bias toward Iraqis accounts for this unfortunate incident is also a leap in logic reasoning. I don't know about the British military, but the U.S. troops are quite racially and ethnically mixed and they tend to come mainly from the working classes--we really don't have a military comprised of mostly white fairly affluent soldiers. And many were reservists who were called up and left their civilian jobs in order to fight, so generalizations about the general types of people who serve in the military--and their alleged sadistic predilections--are also without logic or merit.

Situations such as this one are hardly reason to begin making assumptions about military conduct in general. Let's also not forget that the troops were sent to fight and kill these people. In order to do that they must regard the enemy in a negative light. That a handful of soldiers might have carried this too far after they made captures can be understood in the context of a war situation. That is probably a more reasonable explanation than assuming racial or ethnic prejudice or sociopathic tendencies.
And there is nothing to suggest thus far that any commanding officers were even aware of these incidents, let alone that they condoned them. War is a vicious enterprise by its very nature. We have the Geneva Convention to prevent situations like this one from being more widespread--on all sides. There is nothing to suggest that the British military did not conduct themselves appropriately. One or two bad apples really do not spoil the barrel.
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#175082 - Sat May 31 2003 07:13 PM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
Blue_Cosmos Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 27 2002
Posts: 132
If some of the things i have heard on this issue are true, then it amouns to a war crime, and such should be taken above and beyond the jurisdiction of British Military Law, and tried in the hague. Of course i know that this will not happen. Indeed it would be interesting to investigate if the iraqis involved are even still alive.

Your assumption that this is an isolated case seems very improbable, for every one case of this managing to struggle its way to public attention, there should be many others which have been buried by the military establishment (as a matter of political expediency of course), unless you feel that the military and political monsters like Blair and Bush would be only too happy to open their little war to full public scrutiny and find defects and boils in the conduct of the war which they personally were hell bent on prosecuting at all costs.

The chances are the worst that will happen to these thugs is a dishonourable discharge from the army.

A wide ranging independant investigation should be launched in Iraq, to determine the true scope of the situation. Just as occurred in other nations were such allegations were raised (Kosovo, Rwanda etc).

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#175083 - Sun Jun 01 2003 01:02 AM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
Blue_Cosmos Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 27 2002
Posts: 132
You know what really really concerns me? What was the fate of these Iraqis after this pictures were taken?

I mean if these soldiers were enjoying themselves, exploring the savage part of their natures, and given free rein to do so by their superiors, even taking pictures (so confident were they that they would get away with it), and allowing themselves no self control whatsoever, then it seems reasonable to imagine when did the pattern of behaviour end?

When you give up the decent parts of your nature to savagery, it can take on a life of its own. Did this activity result in the 'disposal' of the Iraqi victims (who might serve as witnesses)? I mean if they could get away with torture and sexual abuse, murder is just over the hill.

The only way these alleged crimes against humanity can be dealt with, is if an effort is made to track down the whereabouts of these victims, the british army should have all the knowledge necessary to do this (since [they had them incustody at one point). The victims should then be properly interviewed (not coerced) and full statements taken. All of this must have an independant and publically accountable flavour.


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#175084 - Sun Jun 01 2003 03:41 AM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
damnsuicidalroos Offline
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Registered: Mon Feb 10 2003
Posts: 2167
Loc: Sydney
NSW Australia
Yes the men that did this should be prosecuted.The sad thing is that if this happened at a school it would be written off as a prank but when the people involved are trained soldiers it takes on a greater degree of severity.Rape for centuries was one of the payoffs in war, hopefully we as people have moved past that,though it is still practised in many countries at war.Whilst I doubt that any rape occurred in this situation there is still no reason to humiliate people in the ways described.
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Responds to stimuli, tries to communicate verbally, follows limited commands, laughs or cries in interaction with loved ones.

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#175085 - Sun Jun 01 2003 04:15 AM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
snm Offline
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Registered: Thu Jan 30 2003
Posts: 901
Loc: Israel
I must admit I am quite impressed by the active imagination shown by some posters on this thread. The articles speak of one case of likely abuse by a bunch of soldiers, as far as anybody knows their actions were not sanctioned by anyone in a position of power, and it is quite clear that the military is taking the matter very seriously. Yet some people have chosen to assume that this is one case out of hundreds, possibly even thousands, that the officers in charge of the soldiers knew exactly what was going on, and that the army is doing and will do everything in its power to cover up what happened.

Wait for the investigation, and if your allegations turn out to be true then you can cry foul. In the mean time keep your imaginations in check. There's no reason to paint the entire British army as a bunch of morally corrupt and abusive secret-keepers just because you have a natural distrust of anyone in a position of authority.
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#175086 - Sun Jun 01 2003 04:44 AM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
Blue_Cosmos Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 27 2002
Posts: 132
Quote:

The sad thing is that if this happened at a school it would be written off as a prank but when the people involved are trained soldiers it takes on a greater degree of severity.




But here the victims are in a completely powerless situation, and can be killed with impunity if they do not co-operate in their own torture, such a situation could not exist in a "school prank", where the 'victims' know its only a 'joke'.

This case has reminded me of disturbing parallels in certain other conflicts, notably Bosnia and Chechnya. Where helpless people were forced to sexually assault their friends and even close relatives for the amusement and gratification of soldiers, this is an efficient way to utterly degrade the enemy which has to be carried out before you can really think of them as subhuman. Another parallel is that in those other cases, actual videotapes and pictures of rapes and murders have been dumped onto the black market and sold to "collectors" of this sort of material. Similiarly as in this case (with the keeping of pictures). Another similiarity is in all three cases, victims were muslims. I heard on a documentary once that in many muslim countries there is an especially strong stigma attached to male victims of sexual abuse (cultural taboos), and also serious implications for female victims.

As for what you said about rape in war being a cultural specific thing, i disagree, it is (sadly) a very human thing. Where one side (such as an army which functions as if it were one single person) have excessive power, poor discipline (or bad officers), and consensus and agreement among themselves to go along with it, literally anything can happen, as we have seen again and again. Western armies appear to do it less often only because they tend to be better disciplined, or more rigidly scrutinized.

Quote:

Whilst I doubt that any rape occurred in this situation there is still no reason to humiliate people in the ways described.




Well there are indications (from we have been allowed to know) that they were forced to perform sex acts. They wouldnt have done this voluntarily, in all likelyhood a threat of execution was levied against them. The argument of what physically constitutes rape could be wielded here, but even if no clinical rape occured (of which we can be by no means certain - the lady said she saw an image depicting oral rape), the effect upon them psychologically wouldnt be much better than if it had.

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#175087 - Sun Jun 01 2003 05:04 PM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
damnsuicidalroos Offline
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Registered: Mon Feb 10 2003
Posts: 2167
Loc: Sydney
NSW Australia
Blue fear is fear,if this happened at a school and the older boys were taunting the younger boys the fear level would be similar.There was a case recently in an Australian school where rape involving a foreign object happened.Not to lessen the apparent actions of the Brit soldiers involved but these are young men barely old enough to vote caught up in a situation they may have never been in before.Total power over someone else.At this point in time I still don`t believe any physical rape occured. I,m sure there will be action taken against the men involved as the Brit army is better disciplined and controlled than many other armed forces.Until further evidence of other humiliating occurences appears this is a one- off event.
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#175088 - Tue Jun 03 2003 06:42 AM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
Tielhard Offline
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Registered: Thu Oct 24 2002
Posts: 778
Loc: Blackpool UK
At one level I find this situation not without humour. On the one hand we have the British Army and Civil Authorities investigating what is ostensibly a clear violation of the Geneva Convention Protocols by its soldiers with the likelihood of a prosecution at the end of it. On the other hand we have the American military which has a whole company dedicated to the use of sleep deprivation and other interrogation techniques involved in what is in effect a systematic violation of the Convention's provisions. The last time I remember this approach being widely used it was by the German police against B-M gang members and it was widely condemned. I think this juxtaposition of approaches tells us a great deal about the different ways in which the two main aggressor nations regard the provisions of international law and their intentions to live up to its requirements.

I would not wish to be thought of as letting my own country off the hook here. If this is an isolated incident or one of a very few then I can see those responsible and their commanding officers being severely punished. If on the other hand the abuse is more systematic in nature and responsibility reaches further up the command structure, to perhaps senior field officers I am sure that the traditional cover up will occur. Bloody Sunday all over again. Realistically though I suspect that due to the nature of the conflict the majority of British troops have had little opportunity for this sort of thing even if they wished to indulge in it.

I have some comments and questions for Blue_Cosmos:

1) What is your evidence that "A lot of british squaddies are Combat-18"? There seems to be some evidence for a few member of this organisation in some regiments but I have headr no evidence of 'a lot', 50 say. I also think that given that this is an international board and that this issue is of interest to persons other than UK nationals it might have been an idea to explain what Combat-18 is. [A is the first letter of the alphabet H the eighth, these are the initials of Adolph Hitler. Combat-18 is a self proclaimed racist organisation associated with death threats and extreme violence.]
2) You assume that this is the "tip of the ice-berg". ChelseaBelle suggests that " ... it hardly means that there was a widespread problem with mistreatment of Iraqi POWs." Neither of these positions is supported by facts. This is why an investigation with external oversight rather than just an SIB/MOD Plod job is needed. I have grave concerns about any internal inquiry
3) You raise a very interesting question about the current whereabouts and health of the Iraqi prisoners reportedly shown in the photographs. The easiest way to 'clean up' after such an incident would indeed be to kill the victims. However if those responsible were smart enough to do that how comes they were so stupid as to take the film to a standard photo lab? I am therefore hopeful the victims may be alive.

I have two comments for snm:

1) "as far as anybody knows their actions were not sanctioned by anyone in a position of power". This is not the point! The immediate officer in question is responsible for the actions of his soldiers. If he was involved he(she? - unlikely) is a War Criminal, if he turned a blind eye he was morally weak, if he did not know what was going on he was incompetent. Cashier the dog and hang him out to dry.
2) "There's no reason to paint the entire British army as a bunch of morally corrupt and abusive secret-keepers". Well actually there are lots and lots of good reasons all over the world. This is one of the reasons I am extremely concerned about a cover up.

I think Blue_Cosmos that we may criticise the British Army for this incident and many other things. However, we must also bear in mind what damnsuicidalroos has hinted at. That even in this day and age when it is a tiny shadow of its former glory it is still the most highly trained, disciplined and experienced Army in the world today. I would hope that this makes it less prone to these sorts of incidents than many but who knows?
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#175089 - Tue Jun 03 2003 06:55 AM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
snm Offline
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Registered: Thu Jan 30 2003
Posts: 901
Loc: Israel
Tiel,
1) That's not what I meant by "anyone in a position of power".
2) I was referring to the issues in this thread, not to what may go on around the world.
_________________________
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#175090 - Tue Jun 03 2003 03:33 PM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
chelseabelle Offline
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Registered: Thu Oct 07 1999
Posts: 10282
Loc: New York USA
What astounds me in this thread, and in the Tune Torture thread in C.I., is the willingness with which people either distort the facts of a situation or immediately begin embellishing them with little regard for the facts that are actually known.

With regard to the facts of this thread we know only that some photos were taken which suggested the mistreatment and possible abuse of some Iraqi's by a few British soldiers, an arrest has been made, and an investigation is taking place. That's all we know. The rest of the things people are saying, about widespread problems of this type, coverups, etc. are sheer speculation.
We really don't know whether any of the possible abuse was sexual in nature. The Sun is a rag sheet which pays people for their stories--the more lurid the story the better. The account of the photo store clerk, that she saw pictures suggestive of sexual abuse, really can't be given much credibility. The military can't comment on her account, that would interfere with their investigation, so this woman is free to makeup any story and sell it to a tabloid. The mainstream news reports did not carry her story with the details of sexual abuse, perhaps with good reason. The story might ultimately prove to be true, but right now I think people should regard it with skepticism.

And, in the Tune Torture thread the news article link which described the situation said only that the music was being played for extended periods. It didn't describe the length of those periods, or really suggest that any extended sleep deprivation was going on. They cite a single report from a single released POW that he was kept awake for four days. One report, from someone who may well have reason to dislike Americans, hardly means we have an entire company dedicated to sleep deprivation in violation of the Geneva Convention (as Tielhard concludes), or that any prolonged sleep deprivation is actually occurring. These techniques, like playing loud music, are something the FBI has used domestically in this country, for the purpose of making people uncomfortable--not to cause them to be sleep deprived for days on end. They just want them uncomfortable enough to become more cooperative. There is no reason to assume--without further evidence--that the situation with the Iraqi POWs is any different. In this country when loud music has been played for extended periods as a "technique" to secure cooperation it has not been regarded as torture.

Why embelish the facts and then go on to engage in all sorts of speculative conclusions based on these distortions? We know very little about what actually occurred or how many people were involved with this photo business. It certainly suggests wrong doing on the part of at least one or two people. The matter is being investigated. Beyond that we really don't know much.
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#175091 - Tue Jun 03 2003 04:09 PM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
Tielhard Offline
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Registered: Thu Oct 24 2002
Posts: 778
Loc: Blackpool UK
ChelseaBelle,

Just a few of the more obvious responses to your post.

"In this country when loud music has been played for extended periods as a "technique" to secure co-operation it has not been regarded as torture."

Just because it is not regarded as torture in the USA does not mean that it is not torture. The USA’s record in adhering to the Geneva Protocols and other international agreements has been very poor in recent years.

Yes the US is using sleep deprivation. Yes there is at least one Psychological warefare company in the field. From the BBC report:

"The US's Psychological Operations Company (Psy Ops) said the aim was to break a prisoner's resistance through sleep deprivation and playing music that was culturally offensive to them."

My position which you attempt to refute in your post can be full justified based on this statement.

"The rest of the things people are saying, … , coverups, etc. are sheer speculation."

I think perhaps that if you were more familiar with the British Army, the way that this investigation is being conducted and the level of oversight you too would be concerned about the possibility of a cover-up. We (the British) have no reason to trust quite large parts of our Government indeed in some instances we have good reason to expect them to lie to us.

I would also add that whilst Blue_Cosmos has perhaps seen more in this incident than is justified by the facts you have sought to discredit what has already been revealed without any good reason to do so.
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#175092 - Tue Jun 03 2003 04:46 PM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
chelseabelle Offline
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Registered: Thu Oct 07 1999
Posts: 10282
Loc: New York USA
I'm not really seeking to discredit what information we actually know from reputable sources. I am suggesting that some of the embellishments I am reading go way beyond what we know.

Sleep deprivation is a relative term. Anyone who gets less than 6-8 hours of sleep can be considered "sleep deprived" the following day. How much sleep deprivation is being caused by the playing of that music? Six hours? Twelve hours? Forty-eight hours? How continuously is the music playing? We really have no idea. We don't have any specific information. I'm not going to jump to the conclusion that torture is occuring or that Geneva Protocols aren't being adhered to unless I know what is actually happening.

I don't know anything about the British military or their track record in certain matters. But, in this particular situation, the incident was made public, the military made an arrest, and they have publicly said they are investigating. They will have to come up with some answers. Right now it seems, to me, premature to accuse them of a coverup based on the few facts we know about this case. Is the British military so corrupt that it can't be trusted to handle any kind of investigation?
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#175093 - Tue Jun 03 2003 06:01 PM Re: "Torture" Of Iraqi Pow's alleged
Blue_Cosmos Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 27 2002
Posts: 132
IU have debated as far as i care to on this issue, and have been 'educated' as to how torture and sexual assalt can be relegated to humour, or compared to a 'school prank'.

If that is your opinions, sadly i cannot change them or even soften them, so be it. Make of it what you will.

Update (though probably a different case altoghether), the black watch british regiment in Iraq is being investigated by the British MOD (on ITV teletext now, will pass on a link when one becomes available) in connection to two Iraqi deaths which occurred in their custody.

Tielhard yes, i do recognise that the UK military appears to be investigating all the claims, which is to their credit (it is a sick world when we have to credit a first world military for daring to investigate itself) if this had happened with a certain other military which is much larger, i have my doubts if anything would be investigated at all.

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