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How far is too far in war on terror.doc

How far is too far in war on terror.doc

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Published by etimms5543
What are the limits on torture and abuse in a time of war?
What are the limits on torture and abuse in a time of war?

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Published by: etimms5543 on Oct 30, 2013
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Publication: THE DALLAS MORNING NEWSPubDate: 5/4/2004Head: How far is too far in war on terror? Abuse of Iraqisspurs broader policy questionsByline: ED TIMMSCredit: Staff Writer Section: NEWSZone: DALLASEdition: SECONDPage Number: 1AWord Count: 1028For many Americans, it was the kind of abuse that getting rid of Saddam Hussein was supposed to stop.Deep within the former dictator’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison, prisoners were abused and humiliated by guards who recorded themoment in photographs.The guards were U.S. soldiers. Their prisoners were Iraqis. News of the photographs broke last week at a time when U.S. forceshad endured an uptick in violence while trying to create a stableand more democratic Iraq. And the impact of the photographs, one of which shows nude men wearing hoods and two smiling Americansoldiers, may well transcend shock value.Some foreign policy experts worry that the United States’ falteringimage in the Arab world may be tarnished even more and that U.S.efforts in Iraq have suffered a serious setback.“The revelations are a disaster,” said Joseph Cirincione, a foreign policy analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.“We’ve suffered some very serious military setbacks, and now this.We’ve lost the moral high ground. ... We’re losing the Iraqi people.”President Bush has voiced a “deep disgust” at what happened butalso stressed that “those few people who did that do not reflectthe nature of the men and women we’ve sent overseas.”Pentagon spokesman Larry Di Rita said Monday that the military began investigating the abuses after a soldier reported them to hiscommanders.“The chain of command took these charges very seriously andresponded to them aggressively,” he said. He detailed a number of investigations into allegations of abuses.Human rights groups suggest that the events recently revealed inIraq are the tip of the iceberg - not only in Iraq, but inAfghanistan, where U.S. forces continue to seek out remnants of theal-Qaeda terrorist organization, and at the U.S. naval base atGuantánamo Bay, Cuba, where hundreds of terrorism suspects aredetained.
Joe Stork, a senior official with Human Rights Watch in Washington,D.C., said Monday that groups dedicated to the welfare of prisonershave had little access to prison facilities operated by the U.S.military. The secretive manner in which the United States hashandled prisoners in Iraq terrorism suspects is unprecedented, hesaid.
Fodder for protesters
Whether isolated incidents or part of a larger problem, the reportsof abuses may become potent propaganda.Mr. Cirincione noted that Mr. Bush said that the war ended thetorture chambers and mass graves in Iraq. But those who oppose theU.S. efforts in Iraq may point to the photographs of U.S. personnelabusing Iraqi prisoners.“From an American viewpoint, we think these are exceptions or mistakes that are committed in war,” Mr. Cirincione said. From theIraqi viewpoint, he said, these may be seen “as the norm of anAmerican occupation.”The role of private contractors in the interrogation of Iraqi prisoners also has come into question as a result of the recentallegations. In a recent statement, Human Rights Watch officialsraised concerns that private contractors “operate in Iraq withvirtual impunity” - not subject to prosecution by Iraqi courts andnot in the jurisdiction of the military or U.S. legal system.Initial reports on the prison incident focused on Army reservistsserving as guards, but, as the story has unfolded, the conduct of the contractors and intelligence operatives conductinginterrogations is being scrutinized as well. Emerging evidencesuggests that the reservists may have been acting on intelligenceofficials’ orders to soften the prisoners up for interrogation.Mr. Stork, Washington director-Middle East division for HumanRights Watch, said it makes little difference whether U.S. servicemembers, or private contractors, or someone else was responsiblefor the abuses.“The United States is still responsible for what goes on in theterritory it controls, in this case Iraq - or Afghanistan or Guantánamo,” he said.
Report expected soon
The Senate Armed Service Committee may receive a briefing from theDepartment of Defense on the allegations as soon as today, at therequest of Sen. John W. Warner, R-Va., the committee’s chairman.“These allegations of mistreatment, if proven, represent anappalling and totally unacceptable breach of military conduct thatcould undermine much of the courageous work and sacrifice by our forces in the war on terror,” Mr. Warner said in a writtenstatement. “This is not the way for anyone who wears the uniform of 

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