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Monday, December 19, 2005


The reappearance of (some of) the "Disappeared"

On many occasions I have written about the outrageous detention of Iraqi scientists including Gen. Amer al-Saadi, Dr. Rihab Taha and Dr. Huda Ammash (al-Saadi most recently here). Today comes the news that Taha and Ammash have been released from jail, along with 22 others (not including Gen. al-Saadi as far as we know). All 24 were released without charges, with the specious claim that they were "no longer a security threat" (as if they ever were).

Here's the most outrageous fact:

"'The release was an American-Iraqi decision and in line with an Iraqi government ruling made in December 2004, but hasn't been enforced until after the elections in an attempt to ease the political pressure in Iraq,' said lawyer Badee Izzat Aref."
Aside from the "sovereignty" issue of the Americans having anything whatsoever to do with the release of prisoners held in Iraq, think about what this is saying. These 24 people should have been freed in December 2004 (not that they ever should have been in jail), but remained jailed (and, based on what we know of other cases, quite likely in solitary confinement) for nearly a full year in order to "ease the political pressure." I wonder if they agreed to sacrifice a year of their lives for that noble goal.

Update: I had refrained from commenting on this in the original post, but the repeated occurence of broadcasts on TV referencing "Dr. Germ" and "Mrs. Anthrax," coupled with the echoing of that language at Huffington Post, forces me to add something. We (the American media-consuming public) are told in every story that Dr. Taha was "known" as "Dr. Germ." No. George Bush is "known as" "W". Dr. Taha was not "known as" "Dr. Germ" any more than George Bush is "known as" "aWol". She was called that by the American government in an attempt to demonize her and by extension the Iraqi people, and to help pave the way for the invasion. Repeating this pejorative term serves only to continue that demonization, and to continue the desperate attempt to justify an unjustifiable war.

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