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Old 05-21-2005, 06:51 AM   #1
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Keep your pants on Hussein

The US military is investigating "aggressively" after a British newspaper showed Saddam Hussein half naked. The Sun's front page showed the former Iraqi president in white underpants. Other pictures showed Saddam washing his trousers, shuffling around and sleeping.
The US said the photos appeared to breach Geneva Convention rules on the humane treatment of prisoners of war. The conventions say countries must protect prisoners of war in their custody from "public curiosity". That's one way to make up for past Geneva Convention-fuck-ups.

The Sun cited US military sources saying they handed over the pictures of Saddam in hope of dealing a blow to the resistance in Iraq. "It's important that the people of Iraq see him like that..." the paper's source was quoted as saying. However, a spokesman for the multinational forces in Baghdad insisted "they were not released by the US military."

A statement from the US-led force said it was "disappointed at the possibility that someone responsible for the security, welfare, and detention of Saddam would take and provide these photos for public release". The statement added: "This lapse is being aggressively investigated to determine, if possible, who took the photos, and to ensure existing procedures and directives are complied with to prevent this from happening again."

The US said the pictures might be more than a year old.

The Sun refused to say how it got hold of the pictures, or when they were taken, insisting it needed to protect its sources. It defended its decision to publish them. "We thought long and hard about publishing, and took the decision that they're such incredible pictures of the world's most brutal dictator...they were a compelling image that any newspaper or broadcaster would publish," the paper's managing editor told BBC.

The Sun said the former Iraqi leader, 68, was allowed black hair dye to disguise his grey hair. The paper said Saddam is kept in a 12ft by 9ft (4m x 3m) cell "somewhere near Baghdad", where he has a desk and a pink plastic chair "which he tends to use as a bedside table". He is watched round the clock through CCTV cameras, even when he goes to the toilet, the Sun claimed. The source added that Saddam was one of the best behaved prisoners the US has ever had.

Hussein is awaiting trial on numerous charges in Iraq, including murdering rivals, gassing Iraqi Kurds and using violence to suppress uprisings. It is not clear when he will go on trial. In the meantime, Saddam's chief lawyer, Ziad Al-Khasawneh, said he is suing "the newspaper and everyone who helped in showing these pictures."

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Old 05-21-2005, 10:55 AM   #2
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there's already a thread about this here
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