Thursday, May 06, 2004

From the Cosmic Iguana 


According to a report published by the Guardian today, Amer al-Saadi, the British-educated scientist who was the Iraqi government's main link to the United Nations inspectors before the US invasion, has been held in solitary confinement for the last year.

His crime? Apparently, being right about Iraq having destroyed its WMDs years ago. At the time, people like weapons inspectors David Kay or Hans Blix didn't believe him:

Yet, astonishingly, Dr Saadi does not know of their change of mind or of the political fallout their views have caused in western countries. He is like a lottery winner who is the last person to be told he has hit the jackpot. Held in solitary confinement in an American prison at Baghdad's international airport, Dr Saadi is denied the right to read newspapers, listen to the radio, or watch television.

"In the monthly one-page letters I am allowed to send him through the Red Cross I cannot mention any of this news. I can only talk about family issues," says his wife, Helma, as she sits in the couple's home less than half a mile from US headquarters in Baghdad.

Barely three days after the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down by US troops in central Baghdad Dr Saadi approached the Americans and became the first senior Iraqi to hand himself in. It was the last time his wife saw him.

He was sure he would soon be released, Mrs Saadi says. He was a scientist who had never been part of Saddam's terror apparatus, or even a member of the Ba'ath party... [*]

But none of that mattered. Now even his CIA interrogators have stopped questioning him and are appealing for his release, so far unsuccessfully. He is held as a prisoner of war until George Bush declares the war over.

So a 66 year old man, guilty of nothing but telling the truth rots in a prison because he is an embarassing reminder of the lies of George Bush.


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