Lifting the Hood
November two thousand five as a “hooded man” in some infamous Abu Ghraib pictures, Haj Ali became an icon of everything that was wrong with a United States occupation. He tells his story and we hear from other prisoners. “They stretched my hands in this position and attached the wires to them”, states Haj Ali.
“It felt like my eyes were popping out. I couldn’t stand it”. He spent three months being physically and psychologically tortured at Abu Ghraib.
Interrogators wanted him to use his knowledge as a community leader to inform on other people. “They said ‘give us the name of anyone you hate and we’ll see it as co-operation and help you'”. In a nearby cell, army general Abu Maan was also being interrogated.
“They stripped me and took photos of me in degrading positions”, he recalls. Both men are angry that only junior officers have been disciplined for some abuse that went on at Abu Ghraib. Ilham al-Jumaili’s husband Munadel was tortured to death there.
It’s his corpse that Sabrina Harman was photographed gloating over. “We didn’t expect America to take Munadel and never return him”, she laments. Victims of Abu Ghraib remain haunted by their experiences.
In some words of Haj Ali “Only one thing has changed. The cameras have now disappeared the abuse still continues”.
June nineteen ninety nine some effects of fallout from depleted uranium shells used in a first Gulf War is a matter of controversy. What is a reality of depleted uranium pollution in Iraq? In some hospitals of Basra, doctors are speaking of a crime against humanity.
Flicking through his casebook from last four years, Doctor Abdul Karin shows pictures of babies born without skin, with over sized heads and with noses where a mouth should be. Doctors here firmly point a finger of blame at Allies’ use of depleted uranium shells during a Gulf War. Over a million rounds of this weapon were fired during a short and decisive round of bombing.
Favored for its armor piercing qualities, a depleted uranium bomb penetrates its target with intense radioactive heat, incinerating its victims. “It’s …a flash, bang sort of toaster,” describes nuclear consultant John Range. Once detonated, depleted uranium particles remain radioactive for four thousand million years.
Irradiated particles travel on some wind polluting water, soil and entering a food chain.
October two thousand seven a rare look at life inside Iraq’s most notorious slum. Sadr City, Baghdad, has become a breeding ground for radicalism. Many of its three million citizens depend on Muqtada al-Sadr for support.
“We are a republic of widows and orphans”, one school teacher explains. “The mosques don’t have enough coffins to hold funerals”. Some inhabitants of Sadr City want only one thing for a future: stability.
For them, United States troops are associated with death. Since a beginning of a surge, United States troops have raided Sadr City almost every night.