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Iraqi Refugee Claims U.S. Soldiers Involved in Executions of Gays

A presentation by two gay Iraqi refugees at a benefit for  an LGBT community center in Lebanon held at HRC headquarters in Washington D.C. has inspired disgust and skepticism over claims by one of the men that U.S. troops are involved in the executions of gay Iraqis.

The Washington Blade reports: Iraqflag "One of the Iraqis, who goes by the name 'Hussam,' showed the audience of about 80 people gruesome images, including shots allegedly of a beheaded man who was gay and another of the victim’s twin brother grieving over the severed head. While asserting that anti-gay violence in Iraq is often committed by Iraqis, Hussam also said U.S. service members were involved in anti-gay hostility. For example, he said service members displayed signs in front of their barracks with the words 'Fuck Off Fags.' But the reaction from the audience turned from anger to shock when Hussam said U.S. service members had detained Iraqi civilians perceived to be gay and executed them. He then showed an image of what appeared to be an American soldier standing in front of a small group of four or five kneeling naked men who were chained together. Hussam claimed the men were gay Iraqis and that he possessed images of their execution, which he did not show the audience."

Participants at the event where the Iraqis spoke expressed shock and some doubt. So far, Hussam has refused to turn over copies of the images so they can be seen publicly, and reps from HRC say they have been trying to corroborate the claims.

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Comments

  1. I bet he also claimed that Saddam Hussein was still alive and that stockpiles of chemicals weapons were discovered in the desert. It's all so believable!

    Posted by: anon | Jul 30, 2009 1:36:51 PM


  2. I find this very hard to believe.

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 30, 2009 1:44:24 PM


  3. Proving that will be extremely difficult, I'd say, short of videotaped "confessions" (that they're gay) and subsequent executions.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jul 30, 2009 1:45:44 PM


  4. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. No such evidence has been presented and until it is these are simply unproven accusations and must be treated as such.

    Posted by: Bill | Jul 30, 2009 1:56:26 PM


  5. I think it will be shown to be fake.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Jul 30, 2009 1:57:11 PM


  6. I hope this isn't true, but I wouldn't be in the least surprised to find that it is in fact true.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Jul 30, 2009 2:16:28 PM


  7. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

    Very true. I agree 100%.

    My apoplectic meltdown will therefore be postponed pending verification.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Jul 30, 2009 2:23:26 PM


  8. 3 words:
    Hook,Line,Sinker

    Posted by: greg2 | Jul 30, 2009 2:43:58 PM


  9. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Like WMD, right? What would be the reason to lie? The US is pulling out anyway.

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 30, 2009 3:51:56 PM



  10. Is this really so hard to believe? The disgusting behavior of certain American soldiers has been proven in the past, over and over again, in every single conflict we've been involved in. Furthermore, the latent homophobia in certain areas of our military can hardly be disputed, especially in the wake of the murder of August Provost (yes, I know what the authorities are saying. But still...). You also have to consider the possibility that DADT remains in place to prevent hate crimes by fellow servicemen, which would indicate that the higher-ups are perfectly aware of the capacity of certain servicemen to commit these crimes.

    I am obviously not saying these claims are true, as that would be jumping to conclusions without evidence, but I would much rather these claims be taken seriously and investigated than outright dismissed in case they do turn out to be true. Also, I would be more willing to trust the opinions of gay Iraqis, who are actually experiencing this disturbing wave of executions, over the opinions of comfortable American gays who are completely removed from these events.

    Keep an open mind, guys. Lives may depend on it.

    Posted by: Kieran | Jul 30, 2009 3:57:30 PM


  11. Please, if they can't be bothered to fork over their so-called evidence to anyone, they can knock off the conspiracy theories.

    Posted by: DR | Jul 30, 2009 4:02:29 PM


  12. It's hard to believe that someone would possess evidence for that huge an accusation but simply not want to turn it over. Especially if he'd already shown similarly gruesome photos.

    I'm trying to get a feel for how much of this would be believable absent the evidence. The "Fuck Off Fags" sign definitely isn't too far-fetched. But what about American soldiers detaining Iraqis on behalf of the militias, though not doing any active killing?

    I dunno. American soldiers did some provably horrible things in Vietnam. That's not enough to suspect the same things are happening now, but it'd be naive to think it's impossible. Strong doubt is about my limit for now.

    Posted by: rafi | Jul 30, 2009 4:29:17 PM


  13. Why all the disbelief?? This is all due to DADT

    Posted by: ty | Jul 30, 2009 4:45:23 PM


  14. They're on a mission from God! HELLO! http://www.alternet.org/rights/50696/

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | Jul 30, 2009 6:04:50 PM


  15. As a veteran with two tours in Iraq, this is simply not believable. There's no way in hell US servicemembers are executing gays. (Remember, quite a few of us ARE gay. And even more don't have a problem with gays. And MNF-I and every subordinate command have a LOT bigger problems to worry about than the gay.)

    The fag sign is only slightly more believable, but it would have to be off the main bases (field and general grade officers would never let that fly) and even then more as a dark joke or pejorative not directly aimed at gays. Also, maybe they have barracks now in Baghdad--I was never there--but the rest of us lived in tents and trailors. I highly doubt the account--and if it's true, it was probably a single sign that got taken down the minute the Commanding Officer came by.

    Apparently, HRC needs to screen their invited speakers a little more carefully.

    Posted by: Shadow | Jul 30, 2009 7:57:05 PM


  16. After Abu Ghraib (and, hell, the invasion itself) does anyone outside the US really think such a claim is unthinkable? If I had to bet I'd guess it's false, but it's impossible to just dismiss it.

    Posted by: TorontoGuy | Jul 31, 2009 1:55:08 AM


  17. ...Unbelievable just like that case where those three soldiers wanted to have sex with that 15-year-old Iraqui girl and ended up murdering her entire family (and the girl, after raping her) and setting the house on fire to cover up the crime?

    http://blog.taragana.com/n/prosecutors-seek-to-force-3-witnesses-testimony-against-ex-soldier-charged-with-rape-murder-38048/

    Sorry, fellas, but wherever there's a war, there are atrocities. I don't have any trouble believing that some of "our" soldiers may have participated in executing Iraqi gays.

    Posted by: mcquaidLA | Jul 31, 2009 11:55:07 PM


  18. torontoguy: WTF is up with the very wide-spead and nasty anti-Americanism among Canadians? Guaranteed anytime some outrageous claim involving Americans comes to light, it'll be a Canadian on a board like this or blog either saying it's true or probably true.

    But never even mind this incident though; Canadians still have a HUGE chip on their shoulder regarding Americans. As an American, if you spend any decent amount of time in Canada, especially a place like Toronto, you'll quickly notice just how pervasive gratuitous anti-Americanism is there. Just about any subject among Canadians can quickly devolve into bizarre non-sequitur anti-Americanism. They'd blame bad weather on America and 'dumb' Americans if they could. Some do with global warming.

    Posted by: dinotheone | Aug 1, 2009 4:47:53 AM


  19. mcquaidla: 'our' soldiers? Are you American? You live in the U.S.? Then yes, they're our soldiers. There are many places and incidences in this world were you'd be damn happy to see an American soldier.

    Allot of people mock cops also, and most of those people need cops to protect them and come to their aid when bad shit happens, because they're incapable of defending themselves; most wouldn't last a minute in a society where law and government collapsed, and police disappeared.

    Posted by: dinotheone | Aug 1, 2009 5:01:08 AM


  20. How did the soldiers identify Iraqi gays so effectively? Was there a circuit party going on? The Sand Party?

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 1, 2009 6:22:44 PM


  21. The majority of gay and bi men are not campy and effeminate. The majority don't have techno blaring in the background as a soundtrack to their lives. The majority don't worship old movies stars. The majority could care less about Broadway musicals. The majority have their own ideas regarding politics,and don't follow the party line. The majority don't attend gay pride festivities. The majority (vast majority) don't attend circuit parties and don't belong to the kind of privileged socio-economic demographics that would allow attending exclusive circuit parties even if they wanted to.

    Posted by: dinotheone | Aug 2, 2009 1:34:46 AM


  22. If Iraqi soldiers can kill adorable, innocent puppies with glee they can certainly kill those sinful homos-snark-without remorse. Whether or not the charge is true remains to be seen but the people saying our military would never do such a thing are just clueless as to how much of an influence the dominionist christians have over it. Those folks would happily stone us to death to show how much they love Jeebus if they knew they could get away with it. I'm sure it's impossible to get away with it in a war torn country like Iraq.

    Posted by: brentbent | Aug 2, 2009 4:35:05 AM


  23. I'm just not sure why it's so hard to believe that American troops might do such a thing.
    An American hay sailor was just recently murdered by another American sailor.
    I'm not against "our boys" in Iraq, but they've been caught blowing away women and children in bed in the middle of the night. Why wouldn't they kill a couple of faggots?

    Posted by: Daniel Loftin | Aug 2, 2009 5:34:52 PM


  24. @DinoTheOne: Precisely. My comment was entirely sarcastic.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 2, 2009 6:22:34 PM


  25. Why is this hard to believe?
    Violence and hatred against gays is a fact of life in the U.S.A.

    Posted by: Lars | Aug 5, 2009 6:51:15 PM


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