'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Monday, October 04, 2004

Abu What Now? 

Robert Fisk asks a question I asked a few posts back -- "Why Have We Suddenly Forgotten Abu Ghraib?":

Hostages are paraded in orange tracksuits to remind us of Guantanamo Bay. Kidnappers demand the release of women held prisoner by the Americans. Abu Ghraib is what they are talking about. Abu Ghraib? Anyone remember Abu Ghraib? Remember those dirty little snapshots? But don’t worry. This wasn’t the America George Bush recognised, and besides we’re punishing the bad apples, aren’t we? Women? Why, there are only a couple of dames left--and they are "Dr Germ" and "Dr Anthrax".

and the AP reports that a lawyer defending one of the few bad apples alleges that the government is attempting to intimidate the defense attorneys by forcing them to sign agreements not to sue if they are injured in Iraq:

"It's essentially trying to influence us not to appear on behalf of our clients in Baghdad," said Paul W. Bergrin, lawyer for Sgt. Javal S. Davis.

In a letter Bergrin said he received Wednesday, Army lawyer Maj. Michael R. Holley stated: "You will be traveling into a combat zone in a dangerous part of the world."

"Before allowing you to enter Iraq, you must agree to hold the United States harmless, assume the risks set forth above, and affirmatively waive your right to sue the Army or any other governmental agency for injury or death," the letter stated.

"It has a chilling effect," Bergrin said.

um ... if Iraq is so insecure that the Pentagon can't guarantee the safety of the defendants' legal team, why not just hold the trials in the US?

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