Socialist Worker

US takes women hostage in Iraq

Issue No. 1986

The US military have been holding the wives of suspected Iraqi resistance fighters as hostages despite repeated denials by the US and British government.

Secret memos obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union show a deliberate policy of hostage taking and “interrogation”.

In a memo dated 9 May 2004, a civilian interrogator describes how a secret military unit “detained the wife of a suspected Iraqi terrorist, in Tarmiya Iraq. The 28-year old woman had three young children at the house.

“During the pre-operation brief it was recommended... that if the wife were present, she be detained and held in order to leverage the primary target’s surrender.”

On 17 June 2004 a US colonel demands in an e-mail what action was being taken to capture a resistance fighter: “What are you guys doing to try and get the husband – have you tacked a note on the door and challenged him to get his wife?”

One officer replies, “As each day goes by, I get more input that these gals have some info and/or will result in getting the husband.

“I will make these individuals a priority, for intel gathering.”

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Sat 4 Feb 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1986
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