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Signs of torture on kidnapped Iranian diplomat's body
April 11, 2007 4:22 PM   Subscribe

Iranian envoy wounds 'confirmed': The head of the International Red Cross in Tehran, Peter Stoeker, says he saw wounds on an Iranian diplomat who has alleged that US forces in Iraq tortured him. There were marks on Jalal Sharafi's feet, legs, back and nose. [photos].
On 4 February soldiers from the Iraqi army 36th Commando battalion in Baghdad, considered to be under American control, had seized Jalal Sharafi, while he was carrying a videogame, a gift for his daughter. Read more about the US secret operations against Iranians in Iraq in an exclusive report by The Independent.
posted by hoder (49 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hmm, did anyone seriously think he wasn't being tortured? Anyone who wouldn't just assume that the photos are all just fake anyway
posted by delmoi at 4:30 PM on April 11, 2007


It wasn't torture, it was the infectious spread of freedom working it's way into his heart.
posted by substrate at 4:43 PM on April 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


It's not torture, it's Freedom Tickling.
posted by fandango_matt at 4:48 PM on April 11, 2007 [6 favorites]


Are they sure it wasn't the video game he was carrying that corrupted the actions of those young, impressionable soldiers?
posted by DaShiv at 4:53 PM on April 11, 2007


That's must have been a hell of a goodie bag.
posted by The Straightener at 5:05 PM on April 11, 2007


It can't have been torture because America doesn't torture. Duh.
posted by unSane at 5:08 PM on April 11, 2007


I'm embarrassed.
posted by winks007 at 5:10 PM on April 11, 2007


Mr Sharafi, second secretary at the Iranian embassy in Baghdad, says he was kidnapped by Iraqi agents operating under the supervision of the CIA.

Well I'll be damned. It looks like the Iraqi forces are learning something from our presence in the area after all.
posted by quin at 5:18 PM on April 11, 2007


Ick.
posted by EatTheWeak at 5:23 PM on April 11, 2007


welcome to the USofT
posted by Substrata at 5:32 PM on April 11, 2007


did he suffer "organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death"?
posted by edgeways at 5:33 PM on April 11, 2007


Sounds an awful lot like some kind of tit-for-tat response to the American hostages claiming THEY had been under duress in Iran.

How is there no skepticism of Iran, a radical theocracy?
posted by Malad at 5:35 PM on April 11, 2007


How is there no skepticism of Iran, a radical theocracy?

How is there no skepticism of the USA, a belligerent rogue state?
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:38 PM on April 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Tit for tat response to American hostages? 28 years later - that's a hell of a delay.
posted by notsnot at 5:39 PM on April 11, 2007


"Was it modded?"
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:40 PM on April 11, 2007


1. Bruising can be done easily and I'm sure that a man angry enough with someone or the Iranian government seeking to score propaganda points can make a show of something that wasn't done.

2. Now we have only the man's word to go by, but seeing how the military and the US government have behaved since...Shit, 1776, I am willing to take him at his word. If cops are torturing people in America, then it isn't even a stretch to believe the military isn't in a foreign land where they have zero accountability.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 5:45 PM on April 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's an interesting world we live in where Iran treats captured prisoners relatively well and everyone gets suspicious....while the USA tortures captured prisoners and few think it's a big deal.
posted by nightchrome at 5:45 PM on April 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Why does the International Committee of the Red Cross hate America?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:47 PM on April 11, 2007


where Iran treats high profile captured prisoners relatively well

I'm not out to stir the pot where Iran is concerned, but I think that's a distinction worth making.
posted by 2sheets at 5:49 PM on April 11, 2007


Malad: the last time Iran took Americans hostage was in 1979; are you saying this was in response to that?

I think you mean the British sailors ... Britain, though when viewed from a foreign policy lens may seem a protectorate of the US, is still a sovereign state.

In any event, three words in response to your question in believing the Iranian diplomat was tortured: Abu Ghraib & Gitmo.
posted by Azaadistani at 5:49 PM on April 11, 2007


This shit is all going to end in our deaths--this is not a good time for us to be antagonizing them, or vice versa.

Our cornered rats in the White House are already accusing Iran of everything under the sun--they're pouring gasoline everywhere, hoping Iran lights a match.
posted by amberglow at 6:15 PM on April 11, 2007


Would the administration and it's allies that lied about weapons of mass destruction, extraordinary rendition, torture and the state of the war in Iraq possibly lie about 'freedom tickling' Iranians?

Surely not. Perhaps Judith Miller can confirm.
posted by sien at 6:21 PM on April 11, 2007


"Can you not understand, Winston, that the individual is only a cell? The weariness of the cell is the vigour of the organism. Do you die when you cut your fingernails?

I could float off this floor like a soap bubble if I wish to. I do not wish to, because the Party does not wish it. You must get rid of those nineteenth-century ideas about the laws of Nature. We make the laws of Nature."

'But you do not! You are not even masters of this planet. What about Eurasia and Eastasia? You have not conquered them yet.'

"Unimportant. We shall conquer them when it suits us. And if we did not, what difference would it make? We can shut them out of existence. Oceania is the world."
posted by Firas at 6:22 PM on April 11, 2007


You f**cking Ira...Ira..whatever you fucking towelnigger ! What fucking bronze star veteran you yappin' about !

Which proves that torture is absolutely, definitely NOT a possible action by a legitimate U.S. government representative on a stranger far away from country.
posted by elpapacito at 6:26 PM on April 11, 2007


I could float off this floor like a soap bubble if I wish to. I do not wish to, because the Party does not wish it. You must get rid of those nineteenth-century ideas about the laws of Nature. We make the laws of Nature.

The [Bush] aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:04 PM on April 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


Excellent connection, Blazecock Pileon. Here's Bill Clinton riffing on the reality-based community concept (near the end of the video.) (While we're at it, here's Clinton stumping for Jim Webb.)
posted by Firas at 7:21 PM on April 11, 2007


I'm confused. Are the quotes you placed around the work confirmed to highlight the likelihood of the tourture or to discount the veracity of the story?
posted by YoBananaBoy at 9:11 PM on April 11, 2007


SSDD.. Just reading the tit for tats news articles until Iran gets invaded...
posted by IronWolve at 9:17 PM on April 11, 2007


How is there no skepticism of the USA, a belligerent rogue state?

Please tell me that people who believe the US and Iran are morally equivalent (or that the US is worse!) are not the liberal mainstream, but rather extremist outliers.

I think you mean the British sailors

Right you are.

In any event, three words in response to your question in believing the Iranian diplomat was tortured: Abu Ghraib & Gitmo.

I believe the US is capable of doing this. I just think the timing seems awfully convenient.
posted by Malad at 9:31 PM on April 11, 2007


MeFi is beginning to feel awfully claustrophobic. Did this get any media attention in the U.S.? Does anybody care, other than the handful of people who participate in these threads?

I would have thought the ramp-up to war would have to be at least halfway subtle.
posted by dreamsign at 9:34 PM on April 11, 2007


Why? The last one wasn't, and they got their war.
posted by pompomtom at 1:12 AM on April 12, 2007


.
posted by zouhair at 1:29 AM on April 12, 2007


Please tell me that people who believe the US and Iran are morally equivalent (or that the US is worse!) are not the liberal mainstream, but rather extremist outliers.

Why, would that make you sleep better?

Can you give me an argument why I should think worse of Iran than the US?
posted by asok at 1:36 AM on April 12, 2007


I would say that any 'moral' advantage that the US may have had over Iran has been systematically undermined by the actions of the current government. The things that make the US an easier place to live for the majority of the population, such as basic rights and freedom, are under attack.

If the US is leading by example, then the lesson seems to be 'man widda bigga gun talk'. This is not lost on Iran.
posted by asok at 2:24 AM on April 12, 2007


Can you give me an argument why I should think worse of Iran than the US?

Because Iran is a radical theocracy that executes dissidents, forces a religion down its citizens' throats, has no freedom of speech, openly endorses the destruction of Israel, systematically oppresses women, kills gay people, and makes no pretense at even attempting to be otherwise?

Also, because the more people there are who claim moral equivalency between the US and Iran, the less attractive the Democrats will seem (and I want the Democrats to win).
posted by Malad at 5:22 AM on April 12, 2007


So what you are saying. Malad, is that Iran is a more efficient country than one which is run by the neo-cons. What makes it a worse country that one run by the neo-cons?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:33 AM on April 12, 2007


For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretenses ... since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power. The strong do what they will and the weak suffer what they must.
posted by moonbiter at 6:35 AM on April 12, 2007


video game?
is that even relevant?
jeeeez
posted by caddis at 7:23 AM on April 12, 2007


Meanwhile in Iraq: Explosion Rips Through Cafeteria Adjoining Iraq's Parliament Building... In a very suspicious coincidence everyone killed or injured are part of the nationalist movement who are against the Maliki Government. The Parliament was about to debate the newly proposed Oil Law which these members planned to oppose.

posted by amberglow at 7:34 AM on April 12, 2007 [1 favorite]




Also, because the more people there are who claim moral equivalency between the US and Iran, the less attractive the Democrats will seem (and I want the Democrats to win).


It depends on what the moral issue at hand is. With a wave of my hand:

In 2005, 94 per cent of all known executions took place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the USA.


Amnesty Intl
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 7:38 AM on April 12, 2007


This is my surprised face.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 8:15 AM on April 12, 2007


So what you are saying. Malad, is that Iran is a more efficient country than one which is run by the neo-cons. What makes it a worse country that one run by the neo-cons?

Or I could be saying that Sweden is a less efficient version of North Korea. That would work too.

In 2005, 94 per cent of all known executions took place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the USA.

This says nothing about the justice of those executions. Even if one thinks the death penalty is wrong no matter what, there are certainly people who deserve it more and people who deserve it less, and amounts of due process involved (of which I seriously doubt China, Iran, or Saudi Arabia give anything like what America gives capital prisoners).
posted by Malad at 10:34 AM on April 12, 2007


This says nothing about the justice of those executions

Which was my point. I happen to consider the death penalty to be immoral. Most Americans don't. Most of the industrialized (I believe Japan is the only other one that has it) world is also opposed to it. If the ends are immoral then the means don't matter. One cultures sexual minority is another cultures murderer. And we can't pretend everyone is eligible for the death penalty in America. Not to mention the fact that innocent men have been sentenced to, and are on, death row (unless the system is perfect) and innocent men have been executed (unless it is perfect). Many countries have already understood this.

I don't see the USA as morally superior to Iran on this issue, because Iranians (as a majority) don't pretend their government is anything other than it is. None of this land of the free, home of the brave, beacon on the hill, land of prosperity, land of justice, land of liberty, land of peace, crap.

Both governments, like most all big governments, are absolutely immoral. Iran just happens to be at a geo-political disadvantage in terms of progress. Also, it doesn't help that we hand a hand in overthrowing an elected leader in favor of a tyrant, which caused a revolution that lead to the draconian policies in the first place.

Then there is the fact that America, as well as other supposedly enlightened nations, supplied arms that lead to one of the biggest tragedies of the 20th century.

By the way, who has killed more people in the world in the last 100 years? Iran's major war was egged on by the US (can't keep our hands clean)

America doesn't have to execute our dissidents in public. The masses ignore them. If 60% of the country came out in support of radical political parties, you better bet you will start seeing more violent opposition to dissent.

I'm exhausted. I may be a conservative (a real one) but I won't deny that if a person believes evil exists, America is a force of evil in the world. Iran, much less so. A couple of donations to foreign countries and fanciful WWII nostalgia are about all we have. Oh, and we can dissent freely, except for when we can't dissent freely.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 11:02 AM on April 12, 2007


If the ends are immoral then the means don't matter.

Only true if you believe all immorality is the same. Administering the death penalty is at the same level of morality as going into some innocent's home and killing him randomly. They're both immoral -- process doesn't matter, right? The criminality, or lack thereof, of the killed, doesn't matter, right?

I don't see the USA as morally superior to Iran on this issue, because Iranians (as a majority) don't pretend their government is anything other than it is.

So it's better to be Genghis Khan and take glee in one's evils than to refuse to identify with them and see them as things to be corrected, as anomalies in a basically good country?


Both governments, like most all big governments, are absolutely immoral.

Using what standard of morality? Would be able to manage our country and our world effectively without big governments?


By the way, who has killed more people in the world in the last 100 years? Iran's major war was egged on by the US (can't keep our hands clean)


I don't have enough knowledge to dispute the aims of that war with you, but raw figures don't mean anything. Who saved more people from Stalin and Hitler in the last 100 years -- Iran or the US? Who ensured the security of more continents -- Iran or the US? Who took in more immigrants and gave them better lives -- Iran or the US? It's just meaningless.

America doesn't have to execute our dissidents in public. The masses ignore them. If 60% of the country came out in support of radical political parties, you better bet you will start seeing more violent opposition to dissent.

Perhaps the reason we don't see radical dissent is because the system is open enough for dissidents to work within the system and not against it.

Oh, and we can dissent freely, except for when we can't dissent freely.

If the best example you can give of curtailing freedom of speech is from 30-50 years ago, I think we're in pretty good shape. Even then, the suppression had to be done covertly, meaning that the law wouldn't allow it to be done in the open -- it was at some level a shameful activity. This is a good thing. Lip service *is* better than no service. It's why we even have these reports denouncing those activities.
posted by Malad at 12:41 PM on April 12, 2007


Torture is abominable. I trust the Red Cross for the most part (who didn’t confirm the marks were from torture). In this case tho, the pictures seem pretty minimal as evidence. They wouldn’t show sleep deprivation or any number of other techniques that don’t leave many traces. And the timing. Still, I’ve looked far worse after some rough games.
All that aside, it’s been pretty much the U.S. policy for the past 20-odd years with Iran and Iraq of “let’s you and him fight.” Why they’d run something this direct, while provocative, would seem to hang a pretty black eye on the U.S. global image.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:50 PM on April 12, 2007


If the best example you can give of curtailing freedom of speech is from 30-50 years ago, I think we're in pretty good shape.

i don't have the time to find links, but you can do the work. just prior to large protests in two different cities one of the main people from the ruckus society and 2600 magazine were arrested on misdemeanor charges. both were given bail in the million dollar range. if memory serves, both had something to do with cell phones? anyway, both totally bogus and timed to interfere with protests. this was around the time of the wto in seattle, so '99 or thereabouts.

going from memory again, fbi admitted to infiltrating and working up dossiers on lots of anti - "fill in the blank" groups over the years. recently, i remember one having something to do with angry grandma's? someone back me up on that. there's also people getting booted from lots of gwb rally's when they had anti-war tshirts during the last campaign. lot's and lot's and lot's of instances of interference with freedom of speech happen. if you want me to take the time to find referenced articles, email me. i bet i could find 20 to 30 over the last couple decades if you give me a week.

Even then, the suppression had to be done covertly, meaning that the law wouldn't allow it to be done in the open -- it was at some level a shameful activity. This is a good thing. Lip service *is* better than no service. It's why we even have these reports denouncing those activities.

so an abusive husband that says "i'm sorry baby, i didn't mean it, i love ya!" is way better then the one that just kicks her around? a report denouncing something doesn't add up to shit, other then someone trying to save face. maybe a step in the right direction, but a thousand miles from where a society needs to be. someone being sneaky doesn't mean the're shamed. they just don't want to get caught.

basically good country?

the people, yes. our government? not for the most part. we (our gov., i mean) support oppressive, corrupt regimes that disappear it's citizens the world over. but a point for our country is that we can read about it, i'll concede that.
posted by andywolf at 6:43 PM on April 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


going from memory again, fbi admitted to infiltrating and working up dossiers on lots of anti - "fill in the blank" groups over the years. recently, i remember one having something to do with angry grandma's? someone back me up on that. there's also people getting booted from lots of gwb rally's when they had anti-war tshirts during the last campaign. lot's and lot's and lot's of instances of interference with freedom of speech happen. if you want me to take the time to find referenced articles, email me. i bet i could find 20 to 30 over the last couple decades if you give me a week.

Yup...It happens all the time now. There's also "People need to watch what they say" and more "treason" if you dissent from Govt. officials now, which is new, and absolutely disgusting.
posted by amberglow at 9:35 AM on April 13, 2007


+ 'free speech zones'
posted by Smedleyman at 11:19 AM on April 13, 2007


And this insane, hateful stuff daily on the radio for years, accusing everyone they don't like of "treason": For a guy who talks a lot about treason, Savage is coming very close to saying that he is glad that militant Islamists launched the terror attacks against the World Trade Center. After all, he believes that God created militant Islam for purpose of punishing the U. S. for it's "extreme" tolerance and secularism.
To be honest, I don't think Savage really believes this. Like D'Souza and Coulter, he's seeing how far he can take his commentary on liberalism into the bigotry gutter.
Conservatism is becoming a limbo ideology. It's all about how low you can go.

posted by amberglow at 11:28 AM on April 14, 2007


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