Amnesty International on the killings of Privates Menchaca and Tucker:
Amnesty International Deeply Disturbed by Reports of Brutal Torture of 2 U.S. Soldiers
Wed Jun 21, 1:36 PM ET
Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA's executive director, made the following statement in response to the alleged killing and torture of two U.S. soldiers in Ramadi, Iraq:
"Amnesty International, first and foremost, extends its sincerest condolences to the families of Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker for their tragic loss. We are deeply disturbed by reports that these two soldiers were brutally tortured. These reports, if proven true, may rise to the level of war crimes.
Amnesty International condemns the torture or summary killing of anyone who has been taken prisoner and reiterates that such acts are absolutely prohibited in international humanitarian law. This prohibition applies at all times, even during armed conflict. There is no honor or heroism in torturing or killing individuals. Those who order or commit such atrocities must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law without recourse to the death penalty.
Amnesty International again calls on armed groups in Iraq to immediately cease all executions, torture or ill-treatment of people. Armed groups, like other parties to the conflict in Iraq, are required to comply strictly with international law and remain accountable for their actions."
Amnesty International released a report, Iraq, In Cold Blood: Abuses by Armed Groups, in July 2005. For a copy of the report, contact the AIUSA press office at 202-544-0200 ext. 302.
Gee, I thought groups like this only complained about Americans. Right-wingers told me so -- it must be true, right?
Here's that AI report "Iraq in Cold Blood." Sample passage:
Thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed and thousands more injured in attacks by armed groups in the past two years.... Many of the killings of civilians were carried out in a perfidious way, with suicide bombers or others disguising themselves as civilians, or were marked by appalling brutality -- as in the cases of hostages whose deaths, by being beheaded or other means, were filmed by the perpetrators and then disseminated to a wide public audience.
Many of these killings by armed groups, in Amnesty international’s view, constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.
You may not like the measured tone of all this, or the aversion to the death penalty, but this is the tone AI takes in its reports as a rule, including the reports that upset right-wingers, such as this one on torture in Iraq's prisons (which, by the way, also condemns the targeting of civilians by insurgents as "crimes against humanity").