16 August 2008
Iraqi children in U.S. prison?
A video released on YouTube shows American soldiers taking a group of Iraqis on a tour of a prison camp. The soldier guiding the group tells them that all the cases are currently being reviewed and says, "I'm sure if someone didn't do anything wrong, they'll be released."
At 5:47 into the video, the group approaches a barbed wire enclosure where the inmates tell them, "We are all under 18. ... We all have been here for more than a year."
The guide hastens to explain, "We have juveniles from 14 to 18. ... They're IED makers. They are dangerous people."
One young inmate calls out, "I swear to God, some were just walking in the streets or sleeping and they brought us here. I swear to God we are all innocent."
"I am my mother's only child," says another, at which the American soldier breaks in, "And he is the most dangerous. We know about him."
"I am only a child," says a third, more youthful, voice.
"How old are you?" he is asked.
"Nine years old."
"How long have you been here?"
"Five months. ... They wanted to take my father. I told them take me instead."
The inmates are not shown clearly enough to tell if the speaker does appear to be that young. However, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the former commander at Abu Ghraib, testified in 2005 that there were several juvenile prisoners there, including one who said he was almost twelve but looked no more than eight and was crying for his mother.
"These juveniles are treated very well," insists the soldier. "We invite their parents to come and visit with them. They actually have movie nights. ... We have looked through every one of these files. These juveniles are dangerous."
This video is from YouTube, posted August 13, 2008.
(Text from The Raw Story. No commentary from me; you can judge for yourself. Or you can skip it and move on to a humorous gymnastics parody...)