Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Every day we "let the inspections work" this would have continued. When the nay-sayers continue to say nay, remind them of this.

Monday and Wednesday were execution day for Saddam Hussein's political opponents at his most notorious jail -- regular as clockwork, with no let up until just a week before war.

"Most weeks they would come with bodies, sometimes one, sometimes 10," said Mohammed Alaa, the old man who dug the graves in which they lie nameless, marked just by a number on a yellow metal plate.

In nearly 1,000 graves, a walled enclosure at the back of the Islamic cemetery on the edge of the small town of Abu Ghraib has hidden its victims for years. Only the dead were allowed in.

Rasul Abeid, who read verses from the Koran as the bodies were buried, could offer little help.

"They were all political prisoners. The security officials gave us the number and we followed orders. Only they have records of who they are," he said. "It started in the 1980s and the last one that came was 10 days before the war."

Some relatives say the Americans now have the lists, but with the looting and chaos that followed Saddam's fall, little is clear -- and it could stay that way.

Gravedigger Alaa said the burials were shrouded in secrecy.

"The security men would bring them, no one else was allowed to come near. Sometimes they had kept the bodies so long they were decomposed, just in pieces," he said.

< email | 4/22/2003 11:10:00 AM | link

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