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WASHINGTON — When it comes to war crimes, Saddam
Hussein’s reputation precedes him.
In the last Gulf war, the Iraqi dictator racked up 16
violations of the law of war under the Hague and
Geneva conventions, according to an unclassified
report written by Pentagon lawyers in 1992.
Some of them involved “gruesome” tortures by
amputation, electric shock, electric drills, acid
baths, rape, forced self-cannibalism, dismemberment
and ax beatings, according to the “Report on Iraqi
War Crimes: Desert Shield/Desert Storm,” a copy of
which was obtained by WorldNetDaily. (Editor’s note: This is a large .pdf file; Adobe Acrobat required.)
U.S. officials say Saddam and his henchmen in the current war
are on a path to break their old war-crimes record. So
far, Iraqi troops and irregulars loyal to Saddam have,
among other things:
- Abused the flag of truce by pretending to surrender
and then firing on U.S. Marines.
- Executed and likely tortured U.S. prisoners of war.
- Disguised themselves as civilians, then fired on U.S.
And more atrocities are anticipated as U.S. forces
The November 1992 Pentagon report accused Iraqi troops
of systematically carrying out grisly acts of torture
against Kuwaiti citizens “with the approval of the
national leadership in Iraq.”
“The evidence establishes that there were at least two
dozen torture sites in Kuwait City, most of which were
located in either police stations or sports
facilities,” the report said. “The gruesome evidence
confirms torture by amputation of or injury to various
body parts, to include limbs, eyes, tongues, ears,
noses, lips and genitalia.
“Electric shock was applied to sensitive parts of the
body (nose, mouth, genitalia),” the report said.
“Electric drills were used to penetrate the chest,
leg(s) or arm(s) of victims.”
Invading Iraqi soldiers also allegedly beat Kuwaiti
civilians, crushing bones, skulls and disfiguring
their faces, according to the catalog of abuses. Some
victims were soaked in acid. Others were beaten while
suspended from ceilings. Axes were allegedly used in
“Women taken hostage were raped repeatedly,” the
But it gets worse: “Eyewitnesses reported Iraqis
torturing a woman by making her eat her own flesh as
it was cut from her body,” the report said.
Some of the Kuwaiti accounts have since been
challenged as exaggerations designed to whip up
international sympathy for their cause.
The findings of war crimes were a result of evidence
collected by the Army’s 199th Judge Advocate
Detachment in St. Petersburg, Fla., the 208th Judge
Advocate Reserve Detachment here in Washington, and
the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Document Examination
Center in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
According to the report, that evidence included: U.S.
documents, captured Iraqi documents, videotaped and
written statements of eyewitnesses to war crimes,
prisoners of war, “human shields,” Kuwaiti victims,
and graphic videotape and still photos of war crimes.
Here is the carnage by numbers, according to the
- A total of 1,082 Kuwaiti civilians were killed.
- Some 120 babies “were left to die after being removed
from incubators that were taken to Iraq.”
- More than 150 children between the ages of one and 13
were killed “for various reasons.”
- Fifty-seven mentally ill individuals were killed
“simply because of their handicap.”
Among U.S. military personnel, 21 individuals were
captured and held as prisoners of war by Iraq.
“All of the prisoners of war were the victims of war
crimes committed by Iraq,” the report said.
Interestingly, U.S. military investigators found no
evidence Iraq used chemical weapons against U.S.
forces or Kuwaitis, although they established that it
“intended to use” them.
The first Bush administration had refused to
declassify the document reportedly because it worried
it would hurt former President Bush’s reelection bid
by underscoring his failure to drive Saddam from
The Clinton administration finally released the report
in March 1993.