Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Animal house U.S. Army-style in Iraq

They don't look hungry right now…

This seems too unbelievable to be true, but the AP is reporting that two Iraqi businessmen say they were tortured by US soldiers by being thrown into a cage with lions. A lot of other things that once seemed unbelievable have proved true; perhaps this too is fact:

Dressed in suits, the two men talked solemnly about the hot July day in 2003 when they were arrested by American troops with guns and armored vehicles. Their voices rose, and their words tumbled out more quickly, as they described being covered with plastic hoods and repeatedly struck by soldiers using the butts of their weapons.

“I was very scared,” said Khalid. “I felt I was going to suffocate. Every time I screamed and pleaded with them, they would hit me.”

They both described standing in front of a lions’ cage, and said they could hear other prisoners screaming as the metal cage door creaked opened and slammed closed.

“They threatened that if I did not confess they would put me in the cage,” said Khalid, adding that the soldiers kept asking him where Saddam was. “I laughed; I thought they were kidding me. They asked where are the weapons of mass destruction. I was very surprised, and I thought it was weird.”

When he laughed, he said, he was beaten more. He said they pushed him into the cage three times, pulling him out as the lions moved toward him.

The pair have sued Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other military officials seeking damages for their mistreatment. They are represented by the ACLU and are currently telling their story on a U.S. tour.

I know there is an old book that tells as story about a lion's den near Babylon; what have those troops been reading?

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