Tuesday, September 12, 2006



Turning full circle

Abu Ghraib prison was notorious during the reign of Saddam Hussein as the place where his regime tortured and murdered its opponents. Following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the prison was first emptied - then filled again with the opponents of the occupiers, who abused, tortured, and murdered them in turn. When that became public, the US government first promised to demolish the prison, then to turn it over to the Iraqis. That handover happened last week, and we're already hearing reports that Abu Ghraib is once again (still?) a place of torture:

Inside the 100-yard long cell block the smell of excrement was overpowering. Four to six prisoners shared each of the 12ft by 15ft cells along either side and the walls were smeared with filth. The cell block was patrolled by guards who carried long batons and shouted angrily at the prisoners to stand up.

Access to the part of the prison containing terrorism suspects was denied, but from that block came the sound of screaming. The screaming continued for a long time.

"I am sure someone was being beaten, they were screaming like they were being hit," the witness reported. "I felt scared, I was asking what was happening in the terrorist section.

"I heard shouting, like someone had a hot iron on their body, screams. The officer said they were just screaming by themselves. I was hearing the screams throughout the visit."

It has also become a place of murder: last week, 27 prisoners were hanged in a mass-execution, the first since Saddam's fall.

So, it seems that despite the US occupation, Iraq has turned full circle. The same people are doing the same things in the same place; only the identity of the victims has changed. Was that really worth killing 46,000 people for?

1 comments:

I can clearly recall hearing a speech by Bush in which he stated plainly that Abu Ghraib would be closed down and the buildings demolished.

I suspect that this man lies so casually and so frequently that he is no longer aware that he is even doing it...

Posted by Gary Young : 9/13/2006 05:44:00 PM