US prisons were ‘recruiting points’ for terrorists – ex-Abu Ghraib inmate to RT
America’s promises of democracy in Iraq that came with the invading forces in 2003 translated only into indiscriminate killings, crackdowns, and torture at US prisons, former Abu Ghraib prisoner Duraid Nael Kamel has told RT.
Kamel was arrested and first sent to the infamous Abu Ghraib prison, only to later be transferred to Camp Bucca. According to his own words, Americans arrested him for recording their crackdowns on the local population and indiscriminate killings on camera.
“We never saw any freedom or democracy, only indiscriminate killing,” Kamel said, adding that the US troops and the Iraqi authorities allied to them started arresting people “at random” and “nobody knew why.” He personally saw “people who had filmed the invaders getting clobbered” and recorded the evidence, Kamel told RT, adding that he also “had footage of snipers perched on a roof gunning people down like cattle.”
The Americans broke into people’s homes and murdered people “openly on the streets,” as well as launched “air raids against entire communities and towns in the suburbs of Baghdad,” he explained, noting that this sparked a rebellion against the invading forces.
Kamel then joined a resistance movement in one of the Iraqi provinces but mostly stuck to recording the atrocities committed by the US. “Unlike what the Americans say, it was the Iraqi people who opposed them, not some dissident factions,” he said.
Kamel was arrested when he returned to Baghdad and stayed at his brother’s home. A US helicopter arrived to take him right from the house’s terrace, after which he was transported in “some kind of a basket suspended on hooks.” The Americans then accused him of being a “terrorist.”
“We did not even know what terror was before [the Americans] arrived,” Kamel maintains. The Americans just kept making up charges that “had nothing to do with reality,” he said, adding that “thousands of people” were in the same position.
According to the former inmate, there was no real investigation in his case, only mistreatment at the hands of his American captors. He claims the prison guards set police dogs on him and forced him to “talk” to them while placing his head against their muzzles. They also poured water on him and beat him with sticks, some of which led to broken ribs.
Later, he was transferred to Camp Bucca, another infamous US base used as an internment camp in Iraq. According to Kamel, there was an entire wing for the radicals, and the camp itself served as a “recruiting point for militants.” The man also insisted it was the US that started the religious strife that “destroyed” Iraq.
The Americans separated Sunnis from Shias at Camp Bucca and kept them apart. All of these facilities had people who “tortured inmates and brainwashed them” by talking about religious “factions.” It was the “first step towards organizing religious schools in the prison,” he added.
According to Kamel, “hundreds of thousands of Iraqis” have gone through US prisons.
“The Americans have stripped them of their rights and are not letting them fight for them even now,” he added. The man himself was set free 14 months after his arrest. The US authorities made him sign a paper barring him from filing any complaints or making public statements about the inner workings of the jail he was in. Two of his brothers were arrested and ended up in Camp Bucca as well. One of them died, and another was left crippled, according to Kamel.
“The Americans came to destroy us, not bring us freedom and democracy,” he concluded.