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Iraqi Elections Delay


So the US and the Iraqi political parties it is sponsoring want to delay elections. Readers who follow this link will be impressed by the hypocrisy. Every story you read about Iraq now seems to have an obligatory feature about how many bodies the United States is finding as it turns a place like Fallujah or Mosul into rubble. These bodies, it’s important to note, are bodies that the US is claiming were killed by the resistance. As for the corpses generated by the US operations themselves… “we don’t do body counts”, and as Arundhati Roy said a few weeks ago, we don’t do the Geneva Conventions either. Instead, we shut down hospitals so they cannot report on body counts and murder journalists for the same reasons.

Meanwhile, I had to include this Reuters photo courtesy of Akram Saleh in Fallujah, of the troops we support stopping a dangerous terrorist in his tracks.

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The Washington Post story I got it from is about how the Fallujah operations have brought the number of Iraqis in US custody to 8300. “The large influx of prisoners is putting stress on U.S. detention operations, providing the biggest test yet of new facilities and procedures adopted in the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal this past spring, Miller and other officers said in interviews here.”

I wonder if it’s putting any “stress” on the Iraqis who are being detained? I would think that it would be, especially if those Iraqis are put into “stress positions”.

Anyone believe any of this?

The prison building that was the site of abuses by American guards has been turned over to Iraqi authorities and is used to jail criminals. Detainees in U.S. military custody are kept in recently constructed camps with climate-controlled tents, a visitation center and three hot meals a day. For the most cooperative prisoners, there are movies and a library.

Miller, who has been supervising detention operations since April, said many of the changes, including a computerized record-keeping system, have enabled guards and interrogators to operate more efficiently. Also helpful is the experience soldiers have gained since taking over at the start of the year from the units involved in the scandal.

Miller also noted that there are 180-210 interrogations a week. And even better:

Allegations of abuse against detainees are down about 60 percent from what they were in May and average about 10 a month, Miller said. Only two or three a month tend to be substantiated, the general said. “These are not intentional. These are overly aggressive kinds of things, like combat takedowns,” Miller said.

Allegations of abuse against detainees are down about 60%! What a relief.

There is more reading about Miller himself in Seymour Hersh’s new book.

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