We’re now taking hostages

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.

…in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions, Protocol 1, Section III, Chapter 1, Article 75, Paragraph 2:

The following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever, whether committed by civilian or by military agents: (a) violence to the life, health, or physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular: (i) murder; (ii) torture of all kinds, whether physical or mental; (iii) corporal punishment; and (iv) mutilation; (b) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, enforced prostitution and any form or indecent assault; (c) the taking of hostages; (d) collective punishments; and (e) threats to commit any of the foregoing acts.

(via Atrios)

8 thoughts on “Hostages

  1. Hey babycakes

    just wanted to leave you a quick note regarding your destination to the 9-11 survivor game.

    went to a course on sunday where we met one of the creators/collaborators on that particular game. something to think about – the game is not a ‘game’ but an art mod (game modification). there are no points, there is no way to win, etc. the point of the game (art piece) for them was to explore the real experience of the victims in the WTC and to combat the commercialization of the event by big media. players also must realize the real experience and the real horror of that day (which has been glossed over by an administration and media that capitalizes on the event). whether or not this is appropriate is probably for each person to decide – participation is optional. art can be very inappropriate, but it makes us think and it brings us to make decisions about our own feelings on a subject.

    i think if you look at it in this context you may have a different view of the project. they don’t make any money off of this game either. will post on this later on my site.

  2. Interesting — that does put a different spin on it than what I originally took it to be. When I first found the link (which is now down — the page I linked to 404’s, and the root server address is a blank black page) and clicked through their site, it didn’t give the impression of being an art project at all.

    The site just looked like someone was capitalizing on 9-11 in a really disturbing way. At the time I visited, they had a news ticker that proclaimed “New! Screenshots!” Clicking through to the screenshot page, I got images of giant walls of flame, various shots of destruction, and — what I found most disturbing — a sequence of shots of a body tumbling out of the building and falling to the pavement.

    Maybe they just needed to rework their site to emphasize their actual goals (for all I know, that’s what they’re doing now, as the site appears to be down), but what I saw certainly didn’t give me that impression in the least.

    Thanks for letting me know, though!

  3. i will try to dig up the name of the guy who spoke to us who was a part of that subject. maybe try looking up more information on it as being an “art mod.” for now i am way too busy to give you any links myself, will try later after the Electronic Theater show tonight.

    the reason they probably focus on the body falling was that this was one of the only ways we really understood the horror of what the people trapped in the WTC went through. in the game, you try to escape a burning floor of the building, but cannot. the end result (no matter what) is that you must jump out. this is very disturbing, but i believe that’s the point of the game. the event was horrific, it was disturbing, it makes us feel sick. we want another option. we want to escape from the experience. we feel uncomfortable.

    this is why i think it’s successful as a piece of art. my feelings about art have been this way for a long time. ‘feel good’ art usually doesn’t do much for me because there isn’t a point to it. if it really is art that makes me feel good, it’s excellent, but if it’s pretty art because the person thinks art should be pretty – what’s the point?

    i’m rambling (blhogging). my last thought – when someone puts up a piece of art on a wall – we often see it as that. we know it is art. games do not have that luxury. we are also so accustomed to games becoming more and more graphic, more and more violent, and more and more tasteless, that it is easy for us to think that this is real, right? like w signing flags and selling 9-11 photos for campaign dollars, we are not suprised when someone wants to make money on this. but really – if this is art – and at the same time it is a statement about the art mod (not being recognized as art but as a game) then truly the artist doesn’t have to offer you their interpretation on the subject. modern art never does. it simply presents itself, and then lets you decide. you therefore become a part of it through interaction and the decision process.

    brain is going at full speed now, can you tell? this place gets better and better as time goes on. san diego is beautiful. you are beautiful. life is beautiful… most of the time.

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