MAP Member Opinion "Peace"  
 

Doug Johnson's Call For Iraqi Prisoner Investigation
by Leslie Reindl
sent to Star Tribune 5-10-04

To the Editor:

Thank you for publishing Doug Johnson¹s call for a U.N. investigation into
the torture depicted in Iraqi prisons. Johnson, as long-time director of
the Center for Victims of Torture in Minneapolis, certainly is well
qualified to understand what acts should be called ³torture,² having seen
hundreds of victims arrive for treatment. Many of those victims are from
countries with a culture of strong male pride or dominance and with
restrictive sexual mores, and, in the case of Muslims, strong religious
prohibitions; Johnson also understands that the effects of sexual violence
can be more powerful and long-lasting than those of other kinds of torture.

His call for the U.N. rather than the U.S. to investigate these crimes is
well taken; --"the rest of the world wouldn't believe an investigation
performed by the U.S. government.² Neither will many Americans. This
government has been caught in lies and coverups too many times. The torture
shown in the photographs--and Dick Cheney says there is worse to
come--brings dishonor on all Americans. This administration needs to take
responsibility for its leadership and the outcomes of that leadership,
beginning with the firing of Cheney and an apology to the rest of the world
for forcing an unnecessary war in Iraq and the killing of thousands of
Iraqis, and now the condoned behavior of its military and other Americans in
the Iraqi prisons, and probably also in Afghanistan prisons and at
Guantanamo. It is time to withdraw all of our military from Iraq, to save
our troups and what is left of our honor, and to help the U.N. begin
independent work with Iraqis to rebuild their country.

Bush¹s famous slogan ³Mission Accomplished² will probably live in infamy as
the slogan of the worst U.S. government in our history. Just five more
months to a desperately needed change.

Leslie Reindl

Leslie Reindl is President of Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers

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