The mayhem continues in Iraq, with today at least 40 people dead, including five US soldiers in Diyala province as the meltdown of the failed US-led occupation continues.
Two suicide bombers detonated themselves after walking into a crowd of police officers in Hilla, south of Baghdad. The policemen were demonstrating outside the mayor's office to protest a government decision to disband their Special Forces unit.
In yet another horrible PR move (or attempt to raise sectarian tensions?) by the US military the head of Iraq's largest Sunni political party, Mohsen Abdul Hamid was detained from his home early this morning in western Baghdad. Of course his head was promptly bagged and his hands tied before he was taken away to be interrogated. His three sons were also detained with him. Stun bombs and bullets were said to be used during the raid, according to his wife.
It just so happens that his party, the Islamic Party, opposes the new US-backed security operation now engulfing Baghdad because they believe the security forces will disregard the rights of innocent Iraqis.
Later today he was released and the military admitted it made a mistake.
The military statement concerning the matter said, "Coalition forces regret any inconvenience and acknowledge (Abdul-Hamid’s) cooperation in resolving this matter."
Abdul Hamid refused their apology in the Arab media, and stated that he was humiliated when US soldiers held their boots on his head for 20 minutes.
The above is the latest from Dahr Jamail and is entitled "Things are getting worse by the day."
From The Independent, we'll note Elizabeth Davies' "Iraqi suicide bombers kill dozens in show of defiance against crackdown:"
Insurgents determined to flout an Iraqi-led security offensive in Baghdad put on a bloody show of defiance with a dual suicide attack which left up to 30 people dead and more than 100 injured.
The attacks, carried out in the predominantly Shia town of Hillah, south of Baghdad, came on the second day of Operation Lightning, the biggest security sweep in the capital since the war ended in 2003.
Two insurgents loaded with explosives mingled with a crowd of Iraqi policemen protesting against a decision to disband their unit. They staggered their attacks to maximise the number of deaths.
One of the bombers blew himself up in the midst of the 500-strong crowd shortly before 9am, causing chaos in the street outside the mayor's office. A minute later and 100 yards further along the road, his comrade detonated his charge, striking many of those running from the first blast.
Also from The Independent, Marcia e-mails to highlight Helen McCormack's "Claims of abuse at Guantanamo are revealed:"
Confidential papers detailing tribunal hearings held at Guantanamo Bay have revealed a further raft of allegations of US mistreatment of detainees held at the detention camp.
Detainees, including Jamil el-Banna, the Jordanian national who has lived in Britain since 1994 and is still held at the camp, alleged a range of mistreatment during tribunal hearings. One man said that the authorities' interrogation practices had rendered him incontinent. Another alleges that dogs were used as a means of intimidation.
The transcripts of tribunal hearings were released by the US Department of Defence after an application under the US Freedom of Information Act by the American news agency Associated Press.
The agency said it had received 1,000 pages of documents after a lawsuit with the US government. It was not clear whether allegations of mistreatment shown in transcripts of tribunals had been either logged or investigated, the news agency said.
From the ACLU, we'll note "Guantánamo Prisoners Told FBI of Qur'an Desecration in 2002, New Documents Reveal:"
New documents released by the FBI include previously undisclosed interviews in which prisoners at Guantánamo complain that guards have mistreated the Qur'an, the American Civil Liberties Union said today. In one 2002 summary, an FBI interrogator notes a prisoner’s allegation that guards flushed a Qur'an down the toilet.
The disclosure comes on the heels of controversy over a Newsweek report saying that government investigators had corroborated an almost identical incident. Newsweek ultimately retracted its story because a confidential government source could not be confirmed.
"The United States government continues to turn a blind eye to mounting evidence of widespread abuse of detainees held in its custody," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. "If we are to truly repair America's standing in the world, the Bush Administration must hold accountable high-ranking officials who allow the continuing abuse and torture of detainees."
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