when the american government does this kind of stuff you can't blame the arabs for hating america and for attacking america
Wives were seized to lure Iraqi men, U.S. reports show
Charles J. Hanley Associated Press Jan. 28, 2006 12:00 AM
The U.S. Army in Iraq has at least twice seized and jailed the wives of suspected insurgents in hopes of "leveraging" their husbands into surrender, U.S. military documents show.
In one case, a secretive task force locked up the young mother of a nursing baby, a U.S. intelligence officer reported. In the case of a second detainee, one American colonel suggested to another that they catch her husband by tacking a note to the family's door telling him "to come get his wife."
The issue of female detentions in Iraq has taken on a higher profile since kidnappers seized American journalist Jill Carroll and threatened to kill her unless all Iraqi female detainees are freed.
The U.S. military on Thursday freed five of what it said were 11 women among the 14,000 detainees held in the 2 1/2-year-old insurgency. All were accused of "aiding terrorists or planting explosives," but an Iraqi government commission found that evidence was lacking.
Iraqi human rights activist Hind al-Salehi contends that U.S. anti-insurgent units, coming up empty-handed in raids on suspects' houses, have at times detained wives to pressure men into turning themselves in.
Iraqi Deputy Justice Minister Busho Ibrahim Ali dismissed such claims, saying hostage-holding was a tactic used under the Saddam Hussein dictatorship, and "we are not Saddam." A U.S. command spokesman in Baghdad, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, said that only Iraqis who pose an "imperative threat" are held in long-term U.S.-run detention facilities.
But documents describing two 2004 episodes tell a different story as far as short-term detentions by local American units. The documents are among hundreds the Pentagon has released periodically under U.S. court order to meet an American Civil Liberties Union request for information on detention practices.
In one memo, a civilian Pentagon intelligence officer described what happened when he took part in a raid May 9, 2004, on an Iraqi suspect's house in Tarmiya, northwest of Baghdad. The raid involved Task Force 6-26, a secretive military unit formed to handle high-profile targets.
"During the pre-operation brief it was recommended by TF personnel that if the wife were present, she be detained and held in order to leverage the primary target's surrender," the 14-year veteran officer wrote.
He said he objected, but when they raided the house the team leader, a senior sergeant, seized her anyway.
"The 28-year-old woman had three young children at the house, one being as young as 6 months and still nursing," the officer wrote. She was held for two days, he said.
Like most names in the documents, the officer's signature is blacked out on this memorandum about his complaint.
Of this case, command spokesman Johnson said he could not judge, months later, the factors that led to the woman's detention.