“An offer they can’t refuse…”

Yahoo! News posted this report about the US military’s arrest of the wife and daughter of Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, a lifelong Saddam associate who is No. 6 on the list of most-wanted Iraqis.

[U.S. 4th Infantry Division spokesman Lt. Col. William] MacDonald gave no details on why the wife and daughter were seized, but American forces have frequently arrested relatives of fugitives to interrogate them on their family member’s whereabouts and as a way of putting pressure on the wanted men to surrender.

Did they do anything wrong? Have they broken laws? Or have we resorted to the tactics of the guys with the broken noses? Are we bringing democracy to Iraq or are we bringing the Iraqi people the morally-bankrupt strong-arm tactics of the organized crime world? It’s a rhetorical question… I know the answer.

UPDATE: USA Today reports that Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush died today while undergoing interrogation by US troops.

He was pronounced dead by a U.S. military physician. The cause of death and interrogation techniques are under investigation, but Mowhoush’s head was not hooded during questioning, the 82nd Airborne said. The statement did not give his age.

Happily, I’m pretty unfamiliar with military interrogation techniques, but why was the Army spokesman so quick to assure the press that the subject wasn’t hooded?