Saturday, February 24, 2007

Detentions at the border

The U.S. issued a rapid apology for the detention of Al-Hakim's son on a return trip from Iran, but should they be that sorry?
Shiites decry detention of leader's son

By SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press Writer 54 minutes ago

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Thousands of Shiites rallied in the holy city of Najaf on Saturday to protest the nearly 12-hour detention of the eldest son of Iraq's most influential Shiite politician as he crossed back from Iran.

Amar al-Hakim, who was taken into custody on Friday, complained Saturday that U.S. soldiers handcuffed and blindfolded him before his release and "strongly abused" his bodyguards.

"Is this the way to deal with a national figure? This does not conform with Iraq's sovereignty," he said.

He said cell phones, licensed weapons and two-way radios were among items confiscated. (link)

Sounds like a case of a needed apology and maybe a change in the procedures doesn't it? But if you read on down the article, you'll see some more relevant details emerge:

The U.S. military said Saturday that al-Hakim was stopped in an area where smuggling between Iraq and Iran is common and detained after members of the convoy "did not cooperate with coalition forces and displayed suspicious activities." He was released to Iraqi authorities and his possessions were returned after further investigation, the military said.

Now it sounds more like simply the U.S. forces doing their job. I understand people in positions of power (in all countries) act and think they are above the law, but they shouldn't be. If you or your company will not cooperate with authorities when stopped in a suspicious area, then you will be detained and questioned. Seems like a simple concept.

Reason to stop

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 Recently played a few games on Caldera (warzone) and then... Lots of luck in this one, but satisfying