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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Naked in a Cage

From the WaPo's story on the ICRC report:

Ahmed Moeff Khatab, a 32-year-old plumber, said he was getting a shave in his local barbershop in Baghdad's Adhamiya neighborhood on Nov. 11 when a group of soldiers in U.S. military uniforms entered carrying AK-47s. Red-and-white scarves covered their faces, he said.

"They pulled me from the shop and put me in a Nissan pickup," said Khatab, who said the men spoke English and accused him of being a member of former president Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s paramilitary forces. "They threw me face down, then blindfolded me and handcuffed me."

He said he did not know where he was taken because the soldiers did not remove his blindfold. They started beating him with pipes, he said, starting on his legs and back, then moving to his head.

"I was bleeding from my mouth and my ears," he said. "I fainted. When I woke up I was in a dog's cage" set in a courtyard of a local military base.

Khatab said he was left naked in the cage for several days, receiving only scant food and water, until the soldiers hung him from a tree by his cuffed hands. "They told me they would bring my wife and hang her next to me," he said.

According to his release papers, Khatab was taken to Abu Ghraib, where he was held for four months before being released without an explanation. His two brothers are still in the prison, he said.
And the WaPo again, via Atrios, from last summer:
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.

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