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Systematic kidnapping/torture of family members in Iraq by US forces

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07/14/2006 08:36 AM
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Systematic kidnapping/torture of family members in Iraq by US forces
U.S. accused of kidnappings in Iraq

Congress demands that the Pentagon release documents alleging that U.S. forces kidnapped family members of terror suspects.

By Mark Benjamin

Photo: Reuters/Tim Chong

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has until 5 p.m. Friday to hand over a raft of documents to Congress that might shed new light on detainee abuse in Iraq. The documents could substantiate little-known allegations that U.S. forces have tried to break terror suspects by kidnapping and mistreating their family members.

It now appears that kidnapping, scarcely covered by the media, and absent in the major military investigations of detainee abuse, may have been systematically employed by U.S. troops. Salon has obtained Army documents that show several cases where U.S. forces abducted terror suspects’ families. After he was thrown in prison, Cpl. Charles Graner, the alleged ringleader at Abu Ghraib, told investigators the military routinely kidnapped family members to force suspects to turn themselves in.

A House subcommittee led by Connecticut Republican Christopher Shays took the unusual step last month of issuing Rumsfeld a subpoena for the documents after months of stonewalling by the Pentagon. Shays had requested the documents in a March 7 letter. "There was no response" to the letter, a frustrated Shays told Salon. "We are not going to back off this.""
[link to www.salon.com]