Thursday, July 31, 2003

Where are those Wacky Weapons?

It's deeply interesting that in spite of ongoing interrogations under somewhat mysterious circumstances, sources indicate that Iraqi scientists still firmly deny that there was an ongoing, active WMD program in place before the recent invasion. These people no longer have anything to hide, and no real reason to lie. According to Dubya, "It's going to take awhile and I'm confident the truth will come out." Yes, I'll bet it will, though it may prove a touch inconvenient for the Administration.

Perhaps more worrisome is the fact that some of these people are being arrested in smash-and-grab raids worthy of the KGB and then held incommunicado for long periods, leaving their families wondering where they are being held and under what conditions:

Family members of Abdel Ilah Hameed, the former Iraqi minister of agriculture, were interviewed in Beiji and described his arrest. Hameed, a native of Hussein's home town, Tikrit, tried twice to surrender after he saw how U.S. troops were searching all homes, according to his son, Usama. On April 15 and 16, he was turned back by U.S. officers at checkpoints, although one took his name after the second attempt.

On April 22 at 3 a.m., soldiers backed by helicopters overhead knocked down the door, searched the house and took Hameed away, leaving his two older sons in plastic handcuffs that had to be cut away by a younger brother, Usama said. They have had no direct contact with their father since.

Definitely a great way to win hearts and minds - and somewhat dubious under the Geneva Conventions I would think, especially regarding the treatment of civilian scientists and technicians. Are Iraqi scientists and former government ministers going to join the happy ranks at Gitmo? Stay tuned...


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