By Dahr Jamail
Inter Press Service
June 02, 2008
Click here to read story at original source with photo.
SEATTLE, Jun 2 (IPS) – Dozens of veterans from the U.S. occupation of Iraq converged in this west coast city over the weekend to share stories of atrocities being committed daily in Iraq, in a continuation of the “Winter Soldier” hearings held in Silver Spring, Maryland in March.
At the Seattle Town Hall, some 800 people gathered to hear the testimonies of veterans from Iraq. The event was sponsored by the Northwest Regional Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), and endorsed by dozens of local and regional anti-war groups like Veterans for Peace and Students for a Democratic Society.
“I watched Iraqi Police bring in someone to interrogate,” Seth Manzel, a vehicle commander and machine gunner in the U.S. Army, told the audience. “There were four men on the prisoner…one was pummeling his kidneys with his fists, another was inserting a bottle up his rectum. It looked like a frat house gang-rape.”
Manzel joined the army after 9/11 for economic reasons — he’d just been laid off, and his wife had just had a baby. Manzel told another story of military medics he was with in Tal Afar who refused to treat an elderly man in their detention centre. Manzel described the old man as being jaundiced and lying on the ground, writhing in pain.
“The medics said the old man was just being lazy and they were not authorised to treat detainees,” Manzel said.
Jan Critchfield worked as an army journalist while attached to the 1st Cavalry in Baghdad during 2004. “I was with a unit that shot at a man and wife near a checkpoint,” Critchfield said, “She had been shot through her shinbone, and that was the first story I covered in Iraq.”
Critchfield told the audience that his unspoken job in Iraq was to “counter the liberal media bias” about the occupation.
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It’s March 19 and Blogswarm Day! Posts on Iraq War by Lo (Winter Soldier links)