News Release

Rumsfeld in Iraq * Prisons in the USA


Suaad Al-Mahdawy works with the Iraqi Human Rights Society. Reached in Iraq, she said today: “This is not liberation, we cannot do what we please in our own country. But Rumsfeld can come whenever he wants and pretend to care while occupying us.”

Masri is a fellow at the Institute for Southern Studies and a producer of the newly released documentary “About Baghdad.” Her latest article is entitled “Freeing Iraq’s Economy … For Its Occupiers.” She said this afternoon: “The Washington Post reports today that four out of five Iraqis hold a negative view of the U.S. occupation authority and of coalition forces. This is according to a new poll conducted for the occupation authority itself. This poll was taken before the Abu Ghraib pictures became public…. Also today, the Wall Street Journal has a story entitled “Lingering Presence: Behind the Scenes, U.S. Tightens Grip On Iraq’s Future — Hand-Picked Proxies, Advisers Will Be Given Key Roles In Interim Government.” Clearly the administration’s talk of ‘democracy for Iraq’ is a farce. No wonder Riverbend, a self-described ‘girl blog from Baghdad,’ said the solution is: ‘don’t rape, don’t torture, don’t kill and get out while you can — while it still looks like you have a choice… Chaos? Civil war? Bloodshed? We’ll take our chances — just take your Puppets, your tanks, your smart weapons, your dumb politicians, your lies, your empty promises, your rapists, your sadistic torturers and go.'” [See:] More Information
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Recently back from Iraq (including Fallujah), Mahajan is the author of the book Full Spectrum Dominance: U.S. Power in Iraq and Beyond. He said today: “Berg’s murderers said they beheaded him in response to the ‘satanic’ abuses at Abu Ghraib, as if his independent efforts at aiding Iraqi reconstruction were connected in any way to those abuses. Meanwhile, Republican senators have tried to imply that Berg’s killings somehow retroactively legitimated those same abuses…. Torture methods that involve sexual abuse, sleep deprivation, and in some cases beating, rape, and killing have been shown to be systemic in Guantanamo, Bagram airbase in Kabul, Abu Ghraib, Camp Bucca, and elsewhere. At the same time, U.S. conduct in the siege of Fallujah, which lasted several weeks and may have killed over 1,000 Iraqis, is getting very little attention. The United States bombed the power plant, occupied and shut down the main hospitals, bombed residential areas, shot at ambulances, and combed the city with Marine snipers.”
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Mead is a former co-editor of Prison Legal News and currently co-editor of Prison Focus, the newsletter of California Prison Focus. He is also director of Prison Art, an online resource serving artists behind bars. Mead said today: “President George W. Bush said the prison torture in Iraq is not the American way. He’s wrong…. At Pelican Bay prison in Northern California a prisoner was dumped in scalding water so his skin peeled off. In California’s Corcoran prison, guards held their own gladiator games, with prisoners pitted against each other in fights to the death, while guards bet with each other on the winner…. If the Bush administration wanted to do anything about torture it would not have sent its ‘high value’ prisoners to countries like Jordan for ‘interrogation.'” [See:] More Information
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Kupers is a psychiatrist, a professor at the Wright Institute, an expert witness in class action lawsuits about human rights abuses in American prisons, and author of the book Prison Madness. He said today: “I do not view the sexual abuse, torture and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers as an isolated event. The plight of prisoners in the USA is strikingly similar to the plight of the Iraqis who were abused by American GIs. Prisoners are maced, raped, beaten, starved, left naked in freezing cold cells and otherwise abused in too many American prisons, as substantiated by findings in many courts that prisoners’ constitutional rights to remain free of cruel and unusual punishment are being violated. In order for the abuses to continue, one group has total control over another; the victims feel they have no recourse and the perpetrators are confident they can get away with it; and the entire ordeal has to remain secret.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020