Tuesday, July 29, 2003

The US is taking hostages in Iraq

Col. David Hogg, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, said tougher methods are being used to gather the intelligence. On Wednesday night, he said, his troops picked up the wife and daughter of an Iraqi lieutenant general. They left a note: "If you want your family released, turn yourself in." Such tactics are justified, he said, because, "It's an intelligence operation with detainees, and these people have info." They would have been released in due course, he added later.

The tactic worked. On Friday, Hogg said, the lieutenant general appeared at the front gate of the U.S. base and surrendered.

This marks a new descent in the tactics of the US military in Iraq - and as Atrios has noted, it is against the Geneva Convention (the taking of hostages is specifically outlawed in Protocol 1, Article 75). But hey, the US doesn't commit war crimes, right?