Iraqi captors tougher: ex-hostage
From correspondents in Macon, Mississippi
May 10, 2004
THOMAS Hamill, who has returned to the US after escaping his abductors in Iraq, said his captors treated him more harshly after they saw pictures of US soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners.
“I’m not going into the details, but my treatment had changed and I was afraid it was going to get a lot worse,” he told reporters outside his home in the southern state of Mississippi.
Mr Hamill was captured when his convoy was ambushed on April 9 near Abu Ghraib, the town home to the prison where photos were taken of US soldiers abusing Iraqi detainees.
After the photos were published in US media, “that’s when they started shackling me at night and that’s when I knew I needed to speed my process up and try to get away,” Mr Hamill said.
Mr Hamill, 44, returned to a hero’s welcome in his hometown yesterday.
Oooh, poor Tommy, the Iraqis shackled him at night after they saw the torture photos from Abu Ghraib! Let’s see, was that before or after they made sure he got surgery on his wounded arm? Was it before or after his first escape?
Hamill’s cousin, Jason Higginbotham, said Hamill told him he had given his captors the slip days earlier — only to turn back when he failed to draw the attention of a passing American helicopter.
“He said he escaped one time about three days earlier, and he was out in the middle of the desert,” Higginbotham said.
“A helicopter came over, and he tried to flag it down, but it evidently didn’t see him. So he decided you know — he didn’t have any food and water — and he’d more than likely die in the desert trying to make it on his own, and they were taking pretty good care of him. So he went and put himself back in captivity without them knowing.”
Only FreeRepublicans or Fox News watchers are stupid enough believe this ridiculous story.
Here are things we know for facts: Hamill got surgery for his wound. He was in good shape when he finally located an American patrol. No Iraqi captors were in the farmouse he supposedly escaped from. There was an AK-47 at the empty farmhouse, along with bottled water and cookies. Hamill told stories about escaping twice, saying he went back to the Iraqis.
I think by the end of the adventure the Iraqis who held Hamill might have been about ready to pay some Americans to come and get him.