"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Let Slip the Dogs of War 

As my regular readers (now enough for a decent game of charades!) know, I love dogs. Which is part of why this sort of thing makes me so damned angry:
Two Iraqis at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison were bitten by dogs as they were being handled by sergeants who were competing to see who could scare more detainees, a witness testified Tuesday.

Pvt. Ivan L. "Chip" Frederick II — himself convicted of abusing inmates at the military prison — testified by phone in the Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a grand jury proceeding, for Sgts. Santos A. Cardona and Michael J. Smith....

A dog handled by Cardona bit a detainee on both thighs, severely enough to require stitches, Frederick said. A dog handled by Smith bit an inmate on one of his wrists, but not hard enough to the break the skin, he said.

Frederick also said he heard both defendants say they were competing, using their dogs, to see how many detainees they could frighten into urinating on themselves.

Yeah, yeah, I know - it's just a few bad apples. These particular bad apples, however, seem to do a lot of traveling:
Military interrogators at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq learned about the use of military working dogs to intimidate detainees from a team of interrogators dispatched from the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to court testimony yesterday.

One interrogation analyst also testified that sleep deprivation and forced nudity -- which were used in Cuba on high-value detainees -- later were approved tactics at Abu Ghraib. Another soldier said that interrogators would regularly pass instructions to have dog handlers and military police "scare up" detainees as part of interrogation plans, part of an approved approach that relied on exploiting the fear of dogs.

The preliminary hearing at Fort Meade, Md., for two Army dog handlers accused of mistreating detainees provided more evidence that severe tactics approved for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo migrated to Iraq and spiraled into the notorious abuse at Abu Ghraib in the late summer and early fall of 2003. The testimony came days after an internal military investigation showed the similarity between techniques used on the suspected "20th hijacker" in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and tactics seen in photographs at the prison that shocked the world.

I am beyond being shocked by man's inhumanity to man - I'm numb to it now - but I still can't imagine what kind of twisted S.O.B. would use a dog for this sort of sick behavior. Who could be that cruel to an innocent dog?




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