Public Concern Rises as Treatment of Prisoners Declines

12:13 AM

Despite increased attention and criticism from the Press and the United Nations, conditions are worsening for Iraqi detainees. Sources on the ground have indicated that conditions vary from camp to camp; and, while most U.S. military forces fully comply with Geneva Convention regulations and the Law of Land Warfare, certain groups continue to ignore the policies and regulations of the U.S. government. Camp Duke, in particular, has seen a dramatic increase in the number of complaints from detainees. 

An overhead view of the camp reveals with startling clarity the dark underbelly of the military. Crude tents, supplied with air conditioning, shower trailers and toilets sit surrounded by menacing concertina wire and tireless military police guards. Detainees must sometimes travel over 15 feet through the brutal Iraqi heat to use the supplied latrines, but the brutality does not end there.

POW Mahmoud Al Modesto Al Shakir Al Fonzo offered his tragic story to reporters early this morning. Through tears and repeated breaks for cigarettes, Mahmoud revealed the gruesome details; "Praise Allah," he began, "for this will only strengthen the will of the resistance, and soon the American infidels will die like pigs." Mahmoud was well dressed, freshly shaved and shivering as he spoke, "You must understand the horror, the terror. They forced me to do things, terrible things. Unspeakable things. The first day I was here, they made me shower." He paused to pull his robe down over his right arm, "Do you see this arm? I had not bathed this arm since I was five years old when I accidentally fell in a swimming pool. Allah blessed my unwashed body, and now it's broken." The showering lasted weeks, according to Mahmoud. "Every day, they forced me into the trailer. At first, I tried to maintain some dignity. I didn't touch the soap or shampoo; but the American bastards wouldn't even allow me spiritual right to bathe only in the grace of Allah."

SPC Donald Thisbit offered his unique perspective on the continuing abuse. "As an interrogator, I knew I needed to up the ante if I wanted to get results. If I get a tough cookie, some Muqtada militia member that wants to play games, I go straight for the toothpaste. After a few consecutive brushings, I'll pull out the floss. I once broke a man in three and a half minutes, a Camp record." SPC Thisbit is not alone in his approach to interrogation; others take his techniques and add their own sadistic variations, like the mandatory use of toilet paper, manicures, pedicures, weekly laundry runs and other tactics. "It's about pushing them into that zone of weakness, which forces them to confront their inner demons. We assert our positive control, and they start spilling the names, phone numbers and addresses. And, to be honest, I like the feeling of power," Thisbit told reporters.

Once a modest detention facility filled with quiet prisoners, the prison at Camp Duke has become a veritable concentration camp, filled with grown men, crying like babies as soldiers trim their fingernails and wash behind their ears. The sound of wailing can be heard over the roar of the helicopter rotors, which signal the arrival of more detainees. Camp authorities had no comment on their policies, though the soldiers directly involved in the holocaust-like activities often exhibited pride and zeal for their work.
--Los Angeles Times

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