Today's Highlights

US Colonel Kidnaps, Holds Family of Iraqi General Hostage
by Eric Garris
July 30, 2003

Col. David Hogg, a U.S. commander in Iraq, has admitted taking hostages to flush out an Iraqi General. The admission appeared in Monday's Washington Post more as bragging than the admission of a crime.

But a crime it is. According to the Geneva Convention, Part III, Section I, Provisions Common to the Territories of the Parties to the Conflict and to Occupied Territories, Article 34: "The taking of hostages is prohibited."

The Post did not comment on the remarkable information. It was buried in the middle of an article about "changing tactics" by U.S. forces in Iraq.

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. (emphasis added)

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

Eric Garris is the Webmaster of

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