(Keywords: politics, Iraq, torture, absolute evil )
"If you leave us here, they will kill us."
Those are the words of people in prisons in Iraq, according to an anonymous iraqi official who spoke to the Washington Post, in a story reported by Reuters.
New cases of abuse were found by inspectors, which the Post described as 'severe'. They include separated shoulders and strap marks. It sounds to me like a description of strappado, a form of torture where the victim is strung up by his hands, which are tied behind their back. The victims are either allowed to drop a short distance or have their legs pulled or weighted, separating, dislocating, or breaking their shoulders.
What's so disturbing here is that this is calculated. It's not an act of violent anger, because it's not something that is done quickly. It's not a action, like a slap, but a process. A process invented by the Spanish Inquisition.
"But Maj. Gen. John D. Gardner, the commander of U.S. detention operations in Iraq, told the Post, 'I would strongly disagree with the statement that Americans are seeing cases of abuse and not doing anything,'" Reuters reports.
How completely contrary to reality. Then again, you could argue that it's not abuse, it's torture. Others who have used strappado are the nazis, the chinese government, the saudis, and, very likely, Saddam Hussein. It is inarguably evil. What have we become?
With recent reports that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was personally involved in torture, we find ourselves directly involved. This is done in our name. This is not a defensive act, this is offensive - in every sense of the word.