The Command Post
April 08, 2003
Saddam's Imprisoned Children

Children freed from youth prison:

More than 100 children held in a prison celebrated their freedom Tuesday as US marines rolled into northeast Baghdad amid chaotic scenes which saw civilians loot weapons from an army compound, a US officer said...

"The children had been imprisoned because they had not joined the youth branch of the Baath party," he alleged. "Some of these kids had been in there for five years."

Posted By John Cole at April 8, 2003 02:16 PM | TrackBack

There are moments that I think that Stalin would be impressed by how far the Iraq regime was willing to go...

Posted by: Knitting a Conundrum at April 8, 2003 02:19 PM

Ok, that did it. Imprisoning children for 5 years???? Get them all.

Posted by: Barry at April 8, 2003 02:19 PM

OMG! I have been so saddened by the plight of the Iraqi people but this is the absolute worst thing I've heard.

Posted by: Jeannie at April 8, 2003 02:21 PM

Yeah, but Bush still shouldn't have called the Iraqi regime "evil". That was like so judgmental.

Posted by: Mike Plaiss at April 8, 2003 02:21 PM

Every story like this just maddens me further. Every time one of my asshat NYC liberal colleagues suggests this war is for oiiiil, or is to benefit the president, or is hurting Iraqis, I want to slam them upside a head with a Clue Poll (TM).

I know I have been bleating this point a lot and who knows if anyone is listening, but *history* my friends, *history* will know about these nimwits, and so will the Iraqis. There will be no doubt as to their indirect complicity, as there is no doubt today about the complicity of Germans, Frenchmen, Austrian-Hungarians, Polles, etc., in their support of Hitler.

You poor excuses for humans, you are marked by history.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: Ben Noah at April 8, 2003 02:24 PM

While this story is appalling, it comes from a news site called ""??? Um, right...

Posted by: Barry at April 8, 2003 02:25 PM

Hey, Chirac!

Some friend you have there! I wonder how much you two have in common. What shared values that would make you two so 'close'.

Peaceful disarmament my ass!

Posted by: babs at April 8, 2003 02:26 PM

The leftist "pro-saddam" cockroaches in this country and Europe should be forced to trade places with these liberated children.

Posted by: Gawdamman at April 8, 2003 02:26 PM

This is the most horrifying story I have seen in a long time. Children as political prisoners. There is a special place in hell for those who imprisoned them.

Posted by: mapchic at April 8, 2003 02:29 PM

It's got an AFP byline...

Posted by: Knitting a Conundrum at April 8, 2003 02:30 PM

I expect Susan Sarandon and Janeene GodAwfulHo to come out and express outrage before close of business today.

Ok, I'm just kidding. I expect them to say something about how Bush's tax cuts imprison American kids, or some stupid crap like that.

This is awful. Exterminate the Saddamites and Jihadists. This has gone too far. I have kids, I would rip to shreds the f**ker that tried to do this to my child.

Posted by: phred at April 8, 2003 02:33 PM

Same story was carried by South Africa's news24 site.,6119,2-10-1460_1344832,00.html

Posted by: RudeJelly at April 8, 2003 02:33 PM

Every story I see like this, I just email the link to Reuters, with a barrage of my thoughts on their spin, for not reporting on this type of positive story. Join me, won't you?

Posted by: Tommy at April 8, 2003 02:35 PM

The only thing that surprises me about this story is that it came from AFP (tnx for pointing that out KaC) Yes. French Press.

I didn't realize that they were allowed to print this sort of thing in France.

Posted by: babs at April 8, 2003 02:38 PM

Barry, here's another link to the same story. While I agree that all "live" reports from the front have to be taken with a grain of salt, this one was indeed filed (apparently) by AFP:
a href=>[Yahoo news link]

-Backsight Forethought

Posted by: BF at April 8, 2003 02:39 PM

AFP = Agence France Presse,the French national news agency.LittleGreenFootballs has comments.

Posted by: JH at April 8, 2003 02:42 PM

Good grief! Even the Nazi's made the Hitler Youth optional.

This guy is/was caricature of evil.

Posted by: Phil Hornsey at April 8, 2003 02:43 PM

Stories like this really make me think we should have waited for another UN resolution. I mean obviously these people would have been better served by listening to world opinion polls. I will never understand people who can't tell the difference between the "popular" thing to do and the "right" thing to do.

Posted by: RockOn at April 8, 2003 02:47 PM

Lies! The invaders just are lying. Soon you will see that there are no children in such prison. What these invaders find is our EuroDisney World that we are building here with the French. Only invaders in prison, yes, and me, well I am in hell. Oh, but wait, there are no Americans here. We decide to show all the world now what wonderful Iraqi-French Disney World that we have been preparing for all the children. Bye, bye.

Posted by: Iraq MOI Office at April 8, 2003 02:51 PM

Iraqi Information Minister now saying it's a Youth Day Camp.

Posted by: Barry at April 8, 2003 03:06 PM

This story has now hit Yahoo News' Most Emailed Stories and is easily available at that location.

After I read this article, I had to get up from my desk and walk around. Let's hope it's true.

James C. Miller

Posted by: James Miller at April 8, 2003 03:08 PM

Tell me again, because I don't get it, how was containment/inspections supposed to help these kids?

Posted by: denise at April 8, 2003 03:09 PM

Hearing just that story to me is enough justification for this war. I've been behind it from the beginning, but this sort of thing... Rat Bastards

Posted by: Ninjababe at April 8, 2003 03:13 PM

Man, its seriously getting to the point that refraining from physical violence against moral midgets still protesting this thing is difficult. Im not a violant person but if some hippy is blocking the loading of a ship full of humanitarian aid at this point... well that stuff needs to stop now.

Posted by: Mark Buehner at April 8, 2003 03:16 PM

"Hearing just that story to me is enough justification for this war. I've been behind it from the beginning..."

I haven't been behind it from the beginning, and I still don't believe that freeing the Iraqi people is the MOTIVE for the war, or even a significant motive. However, it's enough of a positive side-effect that I'm beginning to think the war may yet prove to be an overall benefit for the world, weighing current damage against the possible benefit to kids like these and more like them in the future.

Even if this story is untrue, I've always been in favor of Increased Liberty Everywhere, and "Iraqi Freedom" may well turn out to be more than window dressing.

The war is making clear that even if Saddam's army is largely ineffective, his security apparatus was formidable. The Iraqis weren't ever going to be able to get rid of him on their own.

Posted by: Bruce H R at April 8, 2003 03:25 PM

I've always found the AFP to be a pretty good news agency. Much better than reuters, in terms of trying to be professional. Used to be that Yahoo itself didn't carry it, but Yahoo Singapore did.

Posted by: Jeremy at April 8, 2003 03:29 PM

Anyone care to post the number of minors in juvenile detention and prisons in the US? 1,000, 2,000, 5,000? 10,000? Death sentences for minors in the US..or for that matter the state of Texas?

Posted by: question at April 8, 2003 05:36 PM

Last time I checked, minors in US prisons were not sent there because they refused to join the Baath party.

One of the DC snipers was a minor. Does that mean our juvenile justice system is perfect? That terrible things have never happened here in the US? Of course not, but please, stop the moral equivalence. It's not even the same thing.

I cannot imagine what other atrocities we will discover.

Posted by: answer at April 8, 2003 06:01 PM

Fucking moral relativists . . . Are you seriously comparing the Iraqi "security" apparatus to the U.S. penal system? Your "Worthless Opinion" card is in the mail.

Posted by: SunDevilDog at April 8, 2003 06:56 PM

1. The US made Saddam what he is, starting with employing him - at the fresh age of 22 - to assasinate the Iraqi Ba'ath party leader, then spiriting him out of the country when he botched it, then helping him back in, and then arming him with the weapons we now claim (without evidence) to be in there to take away:

2. If how Saddam treated children can act as a metaphor, thats exactly how the US treats poor little (rogueish) nations:

3. The juvenile language and anti-historical perspectives that the warmongering anti-american pro-bushists on this weblog use is sorry; the fact that GOVERNOR George W. Bush, who had overseen 152 executions in his state of Texas is leading our government is a tragedy:
"In 1992, the U.S. did ratify the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, but only after inserting a codicil disavowing the provision that banned the execution of minors. And the U.S. signed the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, which also bans capital punishment for persons younger than 18 at the time of crime, but the Senate never ratified it. .... only 3 countries--Iraq, Congo and the U.S. [HELLO!!?? sundevildog?]--allow the execution of people who were minors when they committed the crime. As far as I am concerned, our execution of minors is a violation of customary international law." -- Anne James, director of the Center for the
Advancement of Human Rights at American University in Washington.

"According to the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, 23 states have no restrictions on the use of the death penalty or specifically allow it for those younger than 18 when they committed their crime. In fact, in 1998 a Texas state legislator proposed lowering the age limit to 11. ... Between 1976 and 1999 the center counted 13 executions of men (7 of them in Texas) who were juveniles at the time of their crime. There were 70 juvenile criminals on death row in 1999, 37 % of them in Texas. ...
In 1987, the Supreme Court upheld the execution of the mentally retarded, though it said the disability should be considered a mitigating factor. According to the center, at least 34 mentally retarded individuals have been executed since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976...."

Some of you folks are soo righteous, (and way too quick to use language that makes them look like late teens ready to get into a fistfight after school) that you can't accept information that does not easily fit into your view of American good will. This is not good. Remember that all colonial wars from the end of the 18th Century and on were painted similarly: saving the savages from their savage, brutal lives and leaders... bringing civilization.. This is also a problem; do not fully trust the mainstream media's glorification of this conflict - it is not so black and white as you would like to have it in arguing with your antiwar friends and colleagues. Be measured.

My warning is simple, and non-threatening: just because you don't hear repeated ad nauseum it on Fox doesn't mean its not true.

Needless to say, I'm glad those kids are free. And I thank our troops from the bottom of my heart for the little good deeds they do along the way of illegally colonizing a country whose dictator their forbears trained and assisted.


Posted by: partizan at April 11, 2003 04:34 PM

nothing like another rebel with out a cause
blaming the us for saddam using it is like blaming
a foster parent for a foster child they housed a year for becomming a criminal.saddam commited his first murder at age 12.he was part of a hit squad to over throw another leader in the 60's go back a bit farther get your shit streight.
i dont think we should have capitol punishment
but i back this war.and comparing kids in this country in our jv loop to gistapo knocking on the door demanding your children and throwing them in prisons (in one case crucifying a 11 year old and in case you forgot your alive when they do that)for weeks to years to get them to join a political youth group is like compairing cherries to watermelons.about the only thing in common is both have pits oh wait one has seeds NOT.

Posted by: arewynn at April 14, 2003 12:17 AM

IT IS JUST HORRIBLE, NOW CHILDREN IN PRISON? Saddam & his regime sickens me. I am so glad we went in there and took care of business. Children are innocent, pure, precious. These are brave children, to stand up for what they believe. I would like to hear from them, and see them succeed in life.

Posted by: Jeanne Viers Lee at April 17, 2003 01:10 AM
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