May 05, 2004

The Post-Saddam Horrors of Abu Ghraib

Today's Times of London--a centrist, mainstream UK paper--has a large, banner headline simply entitled "America's catalogue of torture."

The article details some of the horrific tortures that took place while Abu Ghraib was under U.S. control.

The Times clearly plucked the information directly from the Taguba report.

Here's the mind-numbing list the Times enumerates:

Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees;

Threatening detainees with a charged 9mm pistol;

Beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair;

Threatening male detainees with rape;

Allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell;

Sodomising a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick;

Using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.

The intentional abuse of detainees by military police personnel included:

Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing;

Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time;

Forcing naked male detainees to wear women’s underwear;

Forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped;

Writing “I am a Rapist” on the leg of a detainee alleged to have raped a 15-year-old fellow detainee, and then photographing him naked.

This is, perhaps, the biggest outrage my country has committed in my lifetime.

I am deeply ashamed that U.S. commanders (whether civilian or military) allowed forces under their control to engage in such bestial behaviour.

We need more than a Bush apology.

Heads (senior ones) need to roll. Big time. And soon.

UPDATE:

Some readers question whether this is the "biggest outrage" the U.S. "has committed in my lifetime" and bring up My Lai. Please note that B.D. is 31 and wasn't yet born in 1970.

Of course, the mere fact that we automatically think of My Lai in the context of the Abu Ghraib horrors speaks volumes.

Posted by Gregory at May 5, 2004 01:56 PM
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