"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wTuesday, August 05, 2003

MONDAY MADNESS: Looks like Wlady Pleszczynski decided to post my column on Monday this week rather than Wednesday. Cool. It begins on a rather depressing note:

The Washington Post carried a dispatch from Iraq last Friday that is not for the faint of heart. Anthony Shadid told the macabre story of the death of Sabah Kerbul in the northern village of Thuluya. In the pre-dawn hours, his executioners led him out "behind a house girded with fig trees, vineyards and orange groves." The first man aimed an AK-47 and shot him in the leg and torso. The second fired three shots; at least one struck Kerbul in the head, killing him.

The kicker: The triggermen were Kerbul's father and brother, and the story was largely sympathetic. Had they not killed him, villagers threatened to tear the whole family limb from limb. Kerbul was suspected of being the informant who ratted out rocket-toting saboteurs of a U.S. tank patrol. The Americans responded by killing some 27 Iraqis and temporarily rounding up several hundred suspects.

U.S. spokesmen were admirably frank -- perhaps too frank -- about the death of Iraqi informants. While the military will pay good money for vital intelligence, it has neither the manpower nor the will to protect the tipsters. That is, inform at your own risk. [more]

posted by Jeremy at 12:27 AM