Using Bees To Effect Vengeance

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Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Jim Henley is eloquently indignant at the appalling intelligence-gathering tactics being used in Iraq, as reported by the Washington Post. Did I say intelligence-gathering? I meant hostage-taking.

Col. David Hogg, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, said tougher methods are being used to gather the intelligence. On Wednesday night, he said, his troops picked up the wife and daughter of an Iraqi lieutenant general. They left a note: "If you want your family released, turn yourself in." Such tactics are justified, he said, because, "It's an intelligence operation with detainees, and these people have info." They would have been released in due course, he added later.

The tactic worked. On Friday, Hogg said, the lieutenant general appeared at the front gate of the U.S. base and surrendered.

My case -- and now, ex post facto, the administration's case -- for invading Iraq was predicated on bringing freedom and justice to a population starved for it after decades of tyranny. Taking hostages is not just morally unworthy of the United States, it is actively detrimental to America's national security and -- more immediately -- the physical security of soldiers in the field.


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