Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

Iraqi abuse story boiling over again.

Iraqi boys videotaped being sodomized at Abu Ghraib.

This according to a speech today (RealPlayer, 1:31 into the program) by Seymour Hersh, the reporter who broke the story on the abuses documented in the Taguba report, and on the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.

"...basically what happened is that (there were) 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."

Seymour Hersh isn't the only witness to this. Apparently, Hayder Sabbar Abd, a former prisoner of Abu Ghraib, saw it too, as did Kasim Medahhi Hilas, who was considered highly credible by Gen. Taguba and testified in the report that he witnessed a man called Abu Hamid -- a translator employed by the Titan Corporation of San Diego -- rape an Iraqi boy. Here is his full testimomy. This was further documented in a special report by NPR's Marketplace.

"I saw the translator Abu Hamid, fucking a kid. His age would have been about 15 to 18 years. The kid was hurting very bad, and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard the screaming, I climbed to the door because on top it wasn't covered. And i saw Abu Hamid who was wearing a military uniform, putting his dick in the little kid's ass. I couldn't see the face of the kid because his face wasn't in front of the door. And the female soldier was taking pictures."

Another inmate, Thaar Dawod, describes more abuse of teenage Iraqis.
"They came with two boys naked and they were cuffed together face to face and Grainer [Corporal Charles Graner, one of the military policemen facing court martial] was beating them and a group of guards were watching and taking pictures from top and bottom and there was three female soldiers laughing at the prisoners."

These statements are part of the *FULL* Taguba report. What we have seen so far is little more than an executive summary. The full report has 106 annexes, and over 6000 pages.

The significance of these revelations and why they still matter is because on Aug. 18th, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld ordered Army Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller to conduct an inspection at Abu Ghraib, after Army officers in the field complained of getting no useful intelligence there. The result of these investigations led directly to an Oct. 12 memorandum by Gen. Sanchez, which gave military intelligence a greater degree of control over at Abu Ghraib, which essentially told them to take the gloves off, allowing interrogators to commit acts designed to "manipulate an internee's emotions and weaknesses."

Testimony by Col. Thomas Pappas in the Taguba report details the pressure he felt from higher levels in the Pentagon to extract more information from prisoners at Abu Ghraib. In his testimony, Pappas believed that "policies and procedures" at Abu Ghraib "were enacted as a specific result" of recommendations made by Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the former commander at Guantanamo.

Apparently, it's not just Seymour Hersh who thinks this story will break soon, but also conservative commentator Christopher Hitchens, who said recently...
"It's going to get much worse. The graphic videos and photographs that have so far been shown only to Congress are, I have been persuaded by someone who has seen them, not likely to remain secret for very long ....There will probably be a slight difficulty about showing these scenes in prime time, but they will emerge, never fear. We may have to start using blunt words like murder and rape to describe what we see. And one linguistic reform is in any case already much overdue. The silly word "abuse" will have to be dropped. No law or treaty forbids "abuse," but many conventions and statutes, including our own and the ones we have urged other nations to sign, do punish torture -- which is what we are talking about here at a bare minimum."

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