July 02, 2004

THE WHEELS OF JUSTICE: For quite a few months now I've been harping on a story of U.S. troop misconduct originally broken by Iraqi blogger Zeyad. (Most recent roundup, with links to earlier accounts, here; original post here). And now we see something is happening:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army has charged four soldiers, three of them with manslaughter, over the drowning of an Iraqi prisoner while a new report criticized U.S. military detention policies, officials said on Friday.

Newspaper reports in Colorado, where the soldiers were based, said they were accused of forcing two Iraqis to jump off a bridge in the city of Samarra, north of Baghdad, on January 3. The men had been picked up for violating a curfew.

One of the Iraqis swam to the river bank but the other drowned, according to the reports.

For a while it looked as if there might be a coverup. I'm glad that turned out not to be the case. I don't know whether this case would have come to the attention of the authorities without Zeyad's blog, but I certainly think that it's helped to keep the pressure on. So far, Zeyad hasn't posted anything about it on his blog, but I imagine that he will.

UPDATE: Read this.