Were Reuters staff abused by US troops in Iraq?
This latest revelation that three Reuters employees allege they were abused and subjected to degrading treatment when in US military custody in January this year adds to the impression that at least some of the American personnel in Iraq were completely out of control and subject to little or no meaningful discipline in their activities with detainees; or perhaps were in fact 'encouraged' to do as they seem to have done. The statement put out by the US military, that there was no evidence the Reuters staff had been tortured or abused, is of value only if one accepts that anything that particular military organisation says on this subject retains a shred of credibility in the light of the undisputed outrages which have become public in the past several weeks.
As someone who supported strongly the Coalition's mission to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, and to allow that country to re-take its place amongst civilised nations, I am finding it increasingly difficult to accept that this justified and sensible action has not been placed in jeopardy, perhaps irretrievable jeopardy, by ill-thought out post-invasion strategy, coupled with a methodology for the treatment of detainees from the conflict which seems to run counter to what I always fondly imagined were the common values shared by most modern democracies.
I have found this list of the major players in these events quite a useful memmory-aid in what is sure to become an increasingly complex situation.