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03 June 2004



I emailed counterpunch about this a while ago. But them being, you know, a Stalinist organization that doesn't do corrections, they didn't seem to pay attention.

here is the original photo and caption

"A prisoner, who said he was a Moroccan Jew, shows off his tattoos at the Abu Ghraib Prison on the outskirts of Baghdad, Iraq, late Saturday, May 8, 2004. Military police said that he was being housed in a private cell, instead of one of the large tent compounds outside, to protect him from other prisoners, because of his religion. (AP Photo/John Moore) "


".... the actual interrogators accused of encouraging US troops to abuse Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib jail were working for at least one company with extensive military and commercial contacts with Israel.

The head of an American company whose personnel are implicated in the Iraqi tortures, it now turns out, attended an "anti-terror" training camp in Israel and, earlier this year, was presented with an award by Shaul Mofaz, the right-wing Israeli defence minister.

The Pentagon and the occupation powers in Iraq insist that only US citizens have been allowed to question prisoners in Abu Ghraib — but this takes no account of Americans who may also hold double citizenship. The once secret torture report by US General Antonio Taguba refers to "third country nationals" involved in the mistreatment of prisoners in Iraq..."
-- Robert Fisk, The Independent


-A prisoner who said he was a Moroccan Jew-

"prisoner" in US Army undershirt?
"Moroccan Jew" with a tattoo?

L o C

So a "Moroccan Jew" gets himself a Star of David tattoo, which we will overlook on the grounds he is decidely not frum.

Then he decides that the best place for a Moroccan Jew with an indelible Star of David tattoo is...Iraq.

In Iraq, he is imprisoned at Abu Ghraib, but while there he is dressed not as a prisoner, but as a guard.

Maybe Counterpunch ignored you not because they are "you know, a Stalinist organization". Maybe they took one look at the line the AP photographer was being fed in that caption, and knew that it stunk.


A)The undershirt is standard issue for those lacking clothes. Here, is he an American guard too?

I spent 5 minutes searching, if you want more proof, search some more. I'm sure there are lots of pictures of Iraqi prisoners in American undershirts.

B) The Jew -- The scorpion is (I believe) a symbol of a diaspora Jew (it refers to Babylon). Maybe he's an Israeli, but more likely he's a Jew who's proud of Israel. I can't make out the inscription -- it looks like Judeo-Arabic, but I can barely read Hebrew, so...

C) Israeli operatives, just like Russian (and I hope American) operatives aren't allowed tattoos, piercings and the like.

D) There would be no point what so ever for him, if he is an interrogater, to show off his tattoo to an AP photographer. You know, these guys get training and the like, they know better. Especially the Israeli ones, who get a lot of training, and who'd naturally be aware of the reprecussions of such a revelation coming to light.

E) This looks exactly like the whole John Israel deal -- counterpunch and a bunch of others spent some time writing about how he's probably a cover name for Israeli operatives, blah, blah blah. Turns out he's an Iraqi Christian. oops.
Here's the link --

and here's the opening paragraph
"Wife of John B Israel, an Iraqi-American Christian and one of two civilian contractors implicated by Army in abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, says he was just a translator and knew nothing of abuses, interview; he has said he worked as translator for military intelligence and denied witnessing any abuses; was employed by SOS Interpreting, subcontractor for Titan Corp; lacked security clearance, as did most translators at prison, most of whom are foreign-born American citizens"

F)I call Counterpunch Stalinist because they never, ever, ever publish corrections or criticism. Their right of course, but it would be nice if they would once in a while.

G) In conclusion -- why do I even bother?

L o C

"Maybe he's an Israeli, but more likely he's a Jew who's proud of Israel"

A Jew so proud that he doesn't care that tattoos are forbidden to Jews; from a country whose Islamic culture also forbids tattoos.

"why do I even bother"

I have no idea. You are the weakest link. Goodbye.

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