Originally created 06/03/04

Abu Ghraib detainees are the victims

I am writing in an attempt to correct the ignorance of some of your readers. The people being held in Abu Ghraib prison were not convicted felons. They were not convicted murderers, nor were they convicted terrorists. They were not known members of al-Qaida. They were not even convicted of running a stop sign.

They are properly referred to as "detainees" because they were precisely that. They were being detained for questioning. They had not been charged, tried or convicted of any specific crime. They are not the ones responsible for Sept. 11. That would be Osama bin Laden .

I am shocked and saddened to see letters from readers that seem to think we are entitled to exact revenge on Iraqi citizens detained in Abu Ghraib for the offenses of others. How can they draw the conclusion that these detainees deserve to be tortured and humiliated because of what others have done?

(Defense Secretary) Donald Rumsfeld labeled what our soldiers did in Abu Ghraib as, "blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman acts." These acts were not perpetrated on those guilty in the death of Daniel Pearl, the murder of the four civilian contractors or the beheading of Nick Berg.

These acts were done on Iraqis detained during our initial assault on Baghdad, who weren't even walking the streets when those crimes were committed. ...

Whatever happened to due process? What happened to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty? What happened to our bringing freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people? And when did this become a war of revenge? I thought we were there to take the high road and show the entire Middle East a better way. To relieve oppression. To meet anger with love. To meet hatred with charity. To meet prejudice with understanding. This is the only true way to peace.

Shawn H. Wilson, Evans


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