May 26, 2004
Unfortunately, they’re us:
Her plight began on Jan. 30 at 2:30 a.m., when two U.S. Humvees pulled up to the door of her family’s house as an Apache helicopter circled overhead. The soldiers asked for her father, Abdullah, 66, an American-educated geologist. Moayad insists that she does not know what U.S. forces wanted from her father, whom she described as a low-level Baath party official.When will the civilized world realize that there can be no compromise with those who practice terrorism? [08:00 AM]
Moayad told the soldiers that her father had gone to neighboring Jordan to undergo surgery for prostate cancer and she showed them his medical records. They arrested the only other man in the house: Moayad’s husband. As her mother and children started to cry, Moayad said the troops told the family that they just wanted to ask Ibrahim some questions and they promised to bring him back the next day. […]
On Feb. 17, Moayad said, a group of soldiers knocked on her door and delivered a handwritten letter from Ibrahim. It said he was being transferred from a U.S. base in Baghdad to Abu Ghraib prison “until the arrival of my father-in-law.” […]
Moayad has made the 40-mile roundtrip journey from Baghdad to Abu Ghraib 18 times. On most visits, she stood outside the gates with other family members waiting in vain for information about their relatives. One soldier who felt sorry for her looked up Ibrahim’s name on the prison’s computer system and told her that he was marked as a detainee with “intel value.”
Moayad, whose patchwork English is the legacy of her Texas childhood, doesn’t know what “intelligence value” means and how it might affect her husband’s status. But the Red Cross report documented a pattern of abuses—including humiliation, hooding and threats of execution—against Iraqi prisoners deemed to have an intelligence value.
“The American soldiers kept on telling me, ‘Bring your father, and you will get your husband back,’” said Moayad, her soft voice trailing off. “How can they say that he’s not a hostage?”
On May 15, her 18th visit to Abu Ghraib, Moayad finally got to see her husband. Ibrahim told her he was being well treated, but he said that military officials had forced him to write the letter pleading for his father-in-law to surrender.