Al-Qaeda Drawings of Torture.

In a recent raid on an al-Qaeda "torture chamber" in Iraq, US soldiers captured a set of drawings depicting crude torture methods like "putting head on a vise," "blowtorch to the skin," and the medieval favorite "eye removal."

The Smoking Gun has the story: Link - via i-am-bored

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I see nothing here that either proves or disproves the authenticity of these pictures. Most of the arguments I've read for their being phoney have some holes in them. For example:

Traditionally, Islam has forbidden the depiction of the human form. However, this is a reaction against idolatry, and more tolerant Muslim cultures have no problem with photographs or drawings of living things, because nobody's going to bow down and worship a drawing. Statuary seems to be in a different category, though... Anyway, you may recall that under Saddam's rule, his portrait was everywhere, his palaces were adorned with cheesy Frazetta knock-off murals of blonde ingenues being rescued by muscle-men from crocodiles & such, and bootleg videos of American films were easy to get in the markets. As bad as Saddam was, religious fundamentalism & intolerance wasn't his thing. Remember, one of the first buildings targeted by insurgents after his capture was a Catholic church in Baghdad. That would not have been there if Saddam had a problem with "other" religions. His was a very secular dictatorship.

The clothing & buildings are actually typical of modern Baghdad. Most of the residents live in flats, like you'd find in most urban centers around the world nowadays. Robes & turbans are usually only worn for religious holidays & observances, if at all.

Hot, dry climates can be rough on a car, but at least they don't rust out too easily. Just as in the American Southwest, you can find older-model cars still running in some Middle-Eastern countries. Their guts are probably completely replaced, but the bodies stay intact until one has a bad accident. The Oldsmobile doesn't surprise me. Or maybe it was the easiest kind of car for the artist (I'm using the term loosely) to draw.

Ted (#11) probably hit the nail on the head as for the purpose of these drawings: part instructive, mostly fantasy. Yes, these tortures very likely were carried out. Maybe it helped to have a "list of options." Maybe it was also to frighten their captives. Keep in mind that strong, brave men do not torture people --- only weak cowards do, to overcompensate when they get the upper hand on someone. (I know, this is of no comfort to the victim! I'm just elucidating here.) A brave person would see no honor in fighting an opponent who is crying and wetting his pants. But a bully would find it funny and would have an easier time carrying his crime even further, into torture & death.

A final word before I sign off: Despite what the insurgents might say about God and faith, they are full of horse puckey if this is what they are doing. The Qur'an plainly states that God instructed us to not kill. Any attempt to circumvent this Commandment with excuses or exceptions counts as blasphemy as far as Islam is concerned. Anyone who makes excuses in order to commit murder is obviously ashamed of the facts: they are frustrated and are too stupid to think of a more constructive solution. And anyone who takes pleasure in torturing & killing has definitely gone off the deep end.
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Err, don't forget that in addition to the drawings they also found *torture implements*. Oh yeah, and when they raided the darned place they found a victim hanging from the ceiling by chains!
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to go with John, the manual could go from the Saddham era. I thought of it when I saw the chain hanging [with electricity], which was a favorite among the previous regime.

man is an animal. only progress gives him a glimpse of "humanity"
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