February 01, 2006

When is a hostage not a hostage?


A recently released military memo, dated June 10, 2004 revealed that US occupation forces in Iraq had detained the wives of "suspected terrorists" in order to pressure the suspects into giving themselves up.

The memo released Friday, written by an officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency, complained that on May 9, 2004, he witnessed a U.S. raid team detain a 28-year-old mother from Tamiya, northwest of Baghdad when U.S. forces raided her in-laws’ home. She had three young children, including one who was nursing.

According to the memo:

Her husband was the primary target of the raid, with other suspect personnel subject to detainment as well,"

"During the pre-operational brief, it was recommended by TF (task force) personnel that if the wife were present, she be detained and held in order to leverage the primary target's surrender."

“During my initial screening of the occupants at the target house, I determined that the wife could provide no actionable intelligence leading to the arrest of her husband,” the author of the memo wrote. “Despite my protest, the raid team leader detained her anyway.”

In a separate incident, an officer from the Stryker Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division in northern Iraq discussed the detention of some Kurdish female prisoners in an e-mail exchange with his commanding officer. In it he mentioned that his commanding general "wants the husband."

The commanding officer reportedly replied back on June 17, 2004; "What are you guys doing to try to get the husband -- have you tacked a note on the door and challenged him to come get his wife?"

The first officer responded two days later that he was getting more information from the women that could “result in getting husband."

Hostage
1 a : a person held by one party in a conflict as a pledge that promises will be kept or terms met by the other party b : a person taken by force to secure the taker's demands
2 : one that is involuntarily controlled by an outside influence

What part of these two actions does not qualify as hostage taking?

When one's actions become indiscernible from those of his enemy, he is no better, and has become what he originally despised. We have become terrorist, and there is no way you could ever convince me to the contrary.


Sources:
Kansas City Star
ABC
Islam Online (Qatar)

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