Friday, February 17, 2006

Leaked Abu Ghraib Report Revelas Full Extent Of Abuse

From The Guardian:

Nearly two years after the first pictures of naked and humiliated Iraqi detainees emerged from Abu Ghraib prison, the full extent of the abuse became known for the first time yesterday with a leaked report from the US army's internal investigation into the scandal.

The catalogue of abuse, which was obtained by the online American magazine Salon, could not have arrived at a worse time for the Bush administration, coinciding with yesterday's United Nations report on abuse of detainees at Guantánamo, the release of a video showing British troops beating up Iraqi youths, and lingering anger in the Muslim world over cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.

Bush administration officials had already been fending off a new wave of anger about the torture of detainees - following the airing of graphic images from Abu Ghraib on Australian television - when Salon posted a story on its website yesterday saying it had obtained what appears to be the fullest photographic record to date of the abuse.

It said the material, gathered by the army's criminal investigation division, included 1,325 photographs and 93 video clips of suspected abuse of detainees, 546 photographs of suspected dead Iraqi detainees, as well as 660 images of adult pornography, and 29 pictures of US troops engaged in simulated sex acts. Based on date stamps, all were recorded between October 18 and December 30 2003, the same timeframe as the original scandal.

The website published 18 pictures from the prison. Aside from the ritualised images of humiliation - naked Iraqi men kneeling or lying on the ground alone or in a heap or wearing women's underwear on their heads - they also reveal the apparent normality of those bizarre scenes within Abu Ghraib. One of the pictures shows an army sergeant standing calmly to fill out paperwork on a wall. Behind him is a hooded, naked detainee. Another photograph shows Staff Sergeant Ivan Chip Frederick - who was tried for his role in the abuse scandal - trimming his fingernails beside an Iraqi who is standing on a box wearing a hood and electrical wires.

There are also images of physical violence: a blood-streaked cell, and a picture of the battered face of a corpse packed in ice. "The DVD also includes photographs of guards threatening Iraqi prisoners with dogs, homemade videotapes depicting hooded prisoners being forced to masturbate, and a video showing a mentally disturbed prisoner smashing his head against a door. Oddly, the material also includes numerous photographs of slaughtered animals and mundane images of soldiers travelling around Iraq," Salon said.

The magazine said it thought the material included all of the pictures that originally surfaced when the abuse became known in April 2004, as well as the pictures aired on Australian television. Human rights organisations have been fighting for months for the army to release a full record of the abuse at Abu Ghraib. Salon said it received the material from a member of the military who had spent time at the jail and was familiar with the investigation.

The first official response from Washington as well as Baghdad was concerned as much with the impact these new pictures of abuse could have in the Middle East at a time when anger against the west is high. A Pentagon spokesman said the release of additional images of abuse "could only further inflame and possibly incite unnecessary violence in the world".


And the motherfuckers running the country, the people who either ordered these horrific acts or just enabled them (wink, wink) through their "post-9/11 interrogation policies" throw their hands in the air when forced to confront these photographs and say, "How dare somebody in the military endanger national security by leaking these photos and this report to the press!"


And to be frank, while these Abu Ghraib photos are from a few years ago and the low-level perpetrators have already been "punished" for the crimes, we don't know the extent of the abuse that is still taking place in US prison facilities in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba or the secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe.

Because the Administration refuses to allow Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, or the United Nations into these places, I'd bet some there are some horrific things still happening in the name of America.

And these fuckers are just getting away with it. Nobody is holding them accountable, the Republican leadership in the Senate and the House continuously manages to short circuit any independent investigation into the administration's activities in either the prison abuse scandals or the spying scandals, and the Democrats do not have enough power to force real investigations
into these matters.

Which is why it is so imperative for the Democrats to win back the House, the Senate, or both this November.

This is also why Karl Rove and George W. are going to do everything possible to keep the GOP in control of the Congress.

Expect wedge issues (gay marriage, war on terrorism), expect election irregularities, expect millions of dollars to be used on negative advertising and scorched earth politics.

Unless Rove is taken out in the CIA leak case, the November midterms are going to shape up to be the mother of all midterms for both the Dems and the GOP. Because if the GOP cannot keep control of the House and Senate, so many of these motherfuckers are going to get frogmarched for all of the bullshit and crimes against humanity they have perpetrated for the last five years.

And that means starting with fucking Don Rumsfeld.

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