Friday, December 30, 2005

Tea torture

Pardon me if I'm suspicious about a spot of tea being a "destabilizer," but at least Col. Bashar appears to be more intelligent than the vast American GWOT apparatus.

Iraqi police commandos are regularly accused of abusing detainees, but in the central Iraqi former rebel bastion of Samarra they say psychology, not force, is what gets suspects to talk.

"It's true, when they're arrested, suspects expect to be tortured, like they were under the former regime" of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, said Colonel Bashar Abdullah Hussein, who heads the police commandos' "Lions" brigade.

"But we resort to psychology, we talk to them for hours and offer them tea to destabilise them.

"Anyway, why should we have to beat them? If we found evidence of them being terrorists, there's a law and they could be sentenced to death," said the 40-year-old Turkmen officer who used to head the old regime's police quick reaction force.

"We don't allow detainees to be beaten. Abusing my power won't help me, it would only give terrorists arguments to use against me," said Hussein.

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