Thursday, May 28, 2009
It only took five years, but the mainstream media has finally acknowledged the truth behind why certain photos and videos from the infamous Abu Ghraib prison camp have been blocked from public release – they show U.S. soldiers and other prison guards raping female detainees as well as children.
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.
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.”
“These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency,” Taguba told the Telegraph.
Taguba’s confirmation that the photos depict rape mean that President Obama could only have been lying when he claimed, “I want to emphasize that these photos that were requested in this case are not particularly sensational, especially when compared to the painful images that we remember from Abu Ghraib.”
As we reported last week, such horrors have been on the record for years, yet corporate media coverage of the Abu Ghraib scandal still frames the entire issue in the context that the “abuse” consisted merely of college fraternity-style humiliation and stacking prisoners in human pyramids.
In reality, the very worst of the torture has never been seen and it includes raping women and children, as well as brutally beating detainees to death.
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.”
Following his refusal to release the unseen photos, the ACLU charged that President Obama “has essentially become complicit with the torture that was rampant during the Bush years by being complicit in its coverup.” The Obama administration has also sought to protect intelligence officials involved in torture from prosecution at every turn.