The New “Improved” Iraqi Abu Ghraib

In an effort to smear the Bush administration and demonize the troops, the left has gone on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about Abu Ghraib. Just to name one famously famous overreaction, do you remember what Ted Kennedy said about Abu Ghraib?

“Shamefully, we now learn that Saddam’s torture chambers reopened under new management: U.S. management.”

That was a reprehensible statement that you’d expect to hear from someone at the Daily Kos rather than in the US Senate, but what can you expect from one of the leaders of a party of “Blame America First” weaklings who are willing to do anything they can to undermine our efforts in Iraq for political gain?

Anyway, a fascinating thing happened at Abu Ghraib about a week ago: the American troops turned Abu Ghraib back over to the Iraqis and went elsewhere, which must have been a blessing for the poor prisoners, right? After all, according to Ted Kennedy and the Democrats, the “eeeeevvvviiiillll” Bush Administration had our “eeeeevvvviiiillll” soldiers running the place just like Saddam.

So, how are the Iraqi prisoners liking things at the new, “Chateau de Abu Ghraib?” Not so well, I’m afraid:

“The notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad is at the centre of fresh abuse allegations just a week after it was handed over to Iraqi authorities, with claims that inmates are being tortured by their new captors.

…Conditions in the rest of the jail were grim, with an overwhelming stench of excrement, prisoners crammed into cells for all but 20 minutes a day, food rations cut to just rice and water and no air conditioning.

Some of the small number of prisoners who remained in the jail after the Americans left said they had pleaded to go with their departing captors, rather than be left in the hands of Iraqi guards.

“The Americans were better than the Iraqis. They treated us better,” said Khalid Alaani, who was held on suspicion of involvement in Sunni terrorism.

…The witness said that even in the thieves’ section prisoners were being treated badly. “Someone was shouting ‘Please help us, we want the human rights officers, we want the Americans to come back’,” he said.

…Haleem Aleulami, who was released from the jail last week, three weeks after being arrested in Ramadi for carrying a pistol in his car, said the Americans had treated him better when they ran the jail.

…And Khalid Alaani, who was also picked up in Ramadi suspected of involvement in Sunni terrorism, said: “We preferred the Americans. We asked to move with them to Baghdad airport because we knew the treatment would be changed because we know what the Iraqis are. When the Americans left everything changed.”

…One officer, Capt Ali Abdelzaher, said: “We have a problem with the financing for the food, not like the Americans, and there is a technical problem with the air conditioning.”

All these people want the Americans back? Really? Well, too bad, fellas. Here’s an unpleasant fact of life: if Americans forget to bring prisoners their Fruity Pebbles one morning, you’ll have Excitable Andy Sullivan and Dick Durbin claiming that it’s torture. But, on the other hand, if Americans aren’t involved, these prisoners could be getting beaten with nail-studded clubs 3 times a day and nobody is really going to care.

Still, it’s notable that for all these accusations of “torture,” the Americans have been gone a week and everyone wants them back. So does it sound like we’re systematically “torturing” prisoners to you or did we have liberals hyping up a few isolated incidents in an effort to undercut the war and the Bush Administration? Obviously, it’s the latter.

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