The British Army is investigating new allegations that it was involved in “forced disappearances” hostage-taking and torture of Iraqi civilians after the fall of Saddam Hussein. One claim of such behavior was offered by the former chairmen of Red Crescent in Basra, who said he was beaten unconscious after they accused him of being a senior official in Saddam’s Baath party. “As soon as I went inside they started beating me. They used electric cables and wooden batons and they harshly pounded me with their hands and boots. I was hit repeatedly on my eyes which made me collapse unconscious.”
An Iraqi civilian said he was kidnapped by the British to secure the surrender of his brother. His brother was later found shot dead, still handcuffed and wearing a UK prisoner name tag. Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers, who has been working to defend falsely accused Iraqis noted, “It is a matter of public record that our agents were torturing Iraqis at Camp Bucca and continued to hand over detainees to the Iraqi criminal system even though there was a serious risk of torture or death in detention.”
I continually encounter Republicans who support the idea of torture. I guess I have been asked a dozen times: “Suppose you had a terrorist with knowledge of where an a-bomb was in New York City which was going to explode within ten hours, would you torture him?” My responses tend to be:
- What is to stop the guy from lying about the location of the bomb?
- Your assumption is the person you are ready to torture knows something and is a member of the terrorist group. What if you are wrong?
- Give me one example of what you just asked that actually has happened.
- What if your torture procedures cause the person to die? Then, what?
I don’t know who I find more reprehensible, our fellow Americans who believe in torture and consider the Constitution to be outdated, or terrorists? Of course one thing continues to bother me about Republican supporters of torture who claim it is legal, I thought you guys believed in a strict interpretation of the Constitution.
Information from The Independent