Thursday, May 28, 200909
The White House and the Pentagon have ridiculously denied the facts of their own internal military investigation by claiming that photos taken at Abu Ghraib and other detention facilities do not show prison guards raping women and children, in a continuation of the Obama administration’s zealous mission to protect the perpetrators of the Bush torture program who broke national and international law.
As we reported earlier today, in an interview with the London Telegraph, Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq, confirmed the details of his original army report, that the unreleased photos showed rape and sexual abuse of women and minors.
“At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee,” reports the Telegraph, adding, “Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.”
Taguba also verified the credibility of eyewitness statements from other detainees that described an American-Egyptian male translator in uniform raping teenage boys.
“These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency,” Taguba told the Telegraph.
Taguba was only reiterating the results of a 2004 military investigation into the torture scandal, which he was appointed to undertake by CENTCOM, and yet the Pentagon and the White House have today laughably attempted to deny the facts of their own internal investigation.
The government is trying to pull off a crude bait and switch ploy in claiming that certain photos they considered for release but decided to keep private do not show the rape of women and children. The facts of Taguba’s military report detail that rapes did occur and they were photographed by other prison guards. By claiming that a certain restricted selection of photos do not show rape, the government is trying to enforce the notion that no rapes occurred whatsoever.
They are also setting up a strawman argument by blaming British newspapers and in particular the London Telegraph for falsely reporting that the photos show rape, without mentioning the fact that the newspapers are merely reporting what the military’s own investigator, U.S. Army Major General Antonio Taguba, told them was in the official military report into the torture scandal.
It’s a crude con game that a 5-year-old could pull apart.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the Daily Telegraph newspaper had shown “an inability to get the facts right,” reports Reuters.
How can they get the facts wrong when they are merely relaying what CENTCOM’s own appointed investigator told them?
“That news organization has completely mischaracterized the images,” Whitman told reporters. “None of the photos in question depict the images that are described in that article.”
Again, in framing the issue in this context, the Pentagon is attempting to absolve itself and discredit the fact that U.S. prison guards did rape women and minors, a subject that is only now getting wide coverage, much to the chagrin of the criminally complicit Obama administration, despite it being explained in black and white in Taguba’s military report over five years ago.
Taguba merely confirmed to the Telegraph what was in his original report, eyewitness statements from other detainees that described an American-Egyptian male translator in uniform raping teenage boys, while others took pictures.
Among the graphic statements, which were later released under US freedom of information laws, is that of Kasim Mehaddi Hilas in which he says: “I saw [name of a translator] ******* a kid, his age would be about 15 to 18 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn’t covered and I saw [name] who was wearing the military uniform, putting his **** in the little kid’s ***…. and the female soldier was taking pictures.”
Further details were also made public by New Yorker investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, who in July 2004 told an ACLU conference,
“Some of the worst things that happened you don’t know about, okay?” said Hersh. “Videos, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib … The women were passing messages out saying ‘Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened’ and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It’s going to come out.”
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs similarly chastised the Telegraph for quoting the military’s own investigator, stating that the “article is wrong and mischaracterizes the photos that are in question.”
Asked if he had actually seen the photos, Gibbs replied, “I have not seen the photos,” proving that his phony righteousness was not based on reality but what he had been told to say by his bosses.
In perpetrating this charade, the Obama White House is merely advancing its mission to protect Bush officials and CIA agents from prosecution for torture and sexual abuse. As we have discovered, this is because top Democrats like Nancy Pelosi are complicit in the illegal torture program because they gave their approval for it to be instituted in the first place.
Watch the clip of Gibbs running defense for people who rape children below courtesy of Raw Story.