Sunday Herald (Scotland) by Neil Mackay
Grim images of American and British soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners have not only caused disgust and revulsion in the West, but could have forever lost Bush and Blair the moral high ground that they claimed to justify the invasion of Iraq.
IT'S an image that would do Saddam proud. A terrified prisoner, hooded and dressed in rags, his hands out-stretched on either side of him, electrodes attached to his fingers and genitals. He's been forced to stand on a box about one-foot square. His captors have told him that, if he falls off the box, he'll be electrocuted.
The torture victim was an Iraqi and his torturers were American soldiers. The picture captures the moment when members of the coalition forces, who styled themselves liberators, were exposed as torturers. The image of the wired and hooded Iraqi was one of a series of photographs, leaked by a horrified US soldier inside Saddam's old punishment center, Abu Ghraib - now a US PoW camp.
When the images were flashed around the world by America's CBS television network last Wednesday, there was a smug feeling within the UK that British troops would never behave like that to their prisoners. But on Friday night, the UK was treated to images - courtesy of the Daily Mirror - of British soldiers urinating on a blood-stained Iraqi captive, holding guns against the man's head, stamping on his face, kicking him in the mouth and beating him in the groin with a rifle butt.
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