Rumsfeld warns Iraq against use of 'shields'
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned Iraqi military commanders Wednesday that using human shields against U.S. bombs would be punishable as a war crime. The threat from the Pentagon followed intelligence reports that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has told leaders of his Baath Party that he plans to drive up civilian casualties by using human shields in any U.S. invasion. Even the use of voluntary human shields would be a war crime, Rumsfeld said. That prospect arose as about 100 mostly European antiwar activists arrived in Baghdad to stand between a U.S.-led force and schools and other sites. The tactic of using human shields is part of a larger strategy including putting military arsenals beneath schools, mosques, orphanages and cultural sites so that an attacker would also kill civilians, defense officials say. Full Story