Torture of Iraqi POWs

Because We Respect Human Rights

(Updated May 10, 2004, 1:55 PM PST)


"The U.S. is committed to the worldwide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example. I call on all governments to join with the U.S. and the community of law abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating and prosecuting all acts of torture." 

George W. Bush, U.N. Torture Victims Recognition Day, June 26, 2003

The following are excerpts from an investigation by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba (which was ordered by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of Joint Task Force-7. (Complete text of the Taguba report is posted at the MSNBC site.) In addition, several detainees also described the following acts of abuse, which under the circumstances, I find credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses

a. Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees;

b. Threatening detainees with a charged 9mm pistol;

c. Pouring cold water on naked detainees;

d. Beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair;

e. Threatening male detainees with rape;

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

g. Sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick.

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

(T)he intentional abuse of detainees by military police personnel included the following acts:

a. Punching, slapping, and kicking detainees; jumping on their naked feet;

b. Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees;

c. Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing;

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

e. Forcing naked male detainees to wear women’s underwear;

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

g. Arranging naked male detainees in a pile and then jumping on them;

h. Positioning a naked detainee on a MRE Box, with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his fingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric torture;

i. Writing “I am a Rapest” (sic) on the leg of a detainee alleged to have forcibly raped a 15-year old fellow detainee, and then photographing him naked;

j. Placing a dog chain or strap around a naked detainee’s neck and having a female Soldier pose for a picture;

k. A male MP guard having sex with a female detainee;

l. Using military working dogs (without muzzles) to intimidate and frighten detainees, and in at least one case biting and severely injuring a detainee;

m. Taking photographs of dead Iraqi detainees.

These findings are amply supported by written confessions provided by several of the suspects, written statements provided by detainees, and witness statements.

The various detention facilities operated by the 800th MP Brigade have routinely held persons brought to them by Other Government Agencies (OGAs) without accounting for them, knowing their identities, or even the reason for their detention. The Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center (JIDC) at Abu Ghraib called these detainees “ghost detainees.”

On at least one occasion, the 320th MP Battalion at Abu Ghraib held a handful of “ghost detainees” (6-8) for OGAs that they moved around within the facility to hide them from a visiting International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) survey team. This maneuver was deceptive, contrary to Army Doctrine, and in violation of international law.
The following photo seems to match the description "Positioning a naked detainee on a MRE Box ... and attaching wires to his fingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric torture":

Coalition 'tortured Iraqi POWs'

Interrogation 101: Israel willing to train U.S. military
"Israel has offered to train U.S. military and intelligence personnel in the interrogation of Iraqi prisoners of war. ... Israeli Security Agency has been authorized ... to offer training in the interrogation of Arabic-speaking prisoners regarding Iraq's WMDs." (Note the article date: March 27, 2003)

Israel imprisons, abuses Palestinian youths
"More than 300 Palestinian teens are routinely subjected to physical and psychological abuse in Israeli prisons now, two human rights groups charged Monday." (Note: In Israel, it's legal to torture [gentile] suspects.)

The Professor of Torture - Alan Dershowitz's Mad World
(Dershowitz, a Jewish 'civil rights' and 'civil liberties' activist, is the chief lobbyist trying to make torture legal in the States.)

The Israeli Torture Template
"With mounting evidence that a shadowy group of former Israeli Defense Force and General Security Service (Shin Bet) Arabic-speaking interrogators were hired by the Pentagon under a classified 'carve out' sub-contract to brutally interrogate Iraqi prisoners at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison, one only needs to examine the record of abuse of Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners in Israel to understand what Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld meant, when referring to new, yet to be released photos and videos, he said, `if these images are released to the public, obviously its going to make matters worse.' "

Abu Ghraib Defendants: Pawns in a Game

The S&M War

Dogs of war
"She said her daughter had told her by telephone that `nothing happened which wasn't ordered by higher up'. `They are trying to pin all of this on the lower ranks. My daughter was just following orders.' "

US military confirms existence of horrific pictures and video
"There are even suggestions that the murder of a prisoner has been recorded. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham ... questioned Mr Rumsfeld on Friday about why the abuse had not been detected earlier."
The abuse was "detected" a year ago by the Red Cross, which officially complained to both the US and UK.

Ironic Difference
"It's ironic that at a time when the whole world is disgusted by pictures of Iraqi prisoners being abused by thugs and sluts in American uniforms, an American doctor in Germany reports that Thomas Hamill was reasonably well-treated by his Iraqi kidnappers."

Soldiers Back in U.S. Tell of More Iraqi Abuses
"Three U.S. military policemen who served at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison said on Thursday they had witnessed unreported cases of prisoner abuse and that the practice against Iraqis was commonplace."

Ex-Iraq interrogator says many prisoners innocent
"A former U.S. interrogator at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib jail says that many of its prisoners are innocent Iraqis, picked up at random by U.S. troops and questioned by underqualified intelligence officers."
Here is the picture: The US is grabbing people at random and throwing them into the torture dungeons.

Rape Rooms: A Chronology

Tapes Show Abuse of 9/11 Detainees
"Hundreds of videotapes that federal prison officials had claimed were destroyed show that foreign nationals held at a New York detention facility after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were victims of physical and verbal abuse by guards, the Justic Department's inspector general said yesterday."

"The U.S. and Israel have been torture interconnected in the Middle East for quite a long time. Those now infamous hoods -- finally infamous because of the dramatic pictures from a U.S.-run prison in Iraq -- have long been used by the Israelis in prisons where Palestinians are treated far worse but the world has looked the other way for decades now."

Red Cross Sought Action on Prisoner Abuse
"The international Red Cross said Thursday that it had repeatedly asked U.S. authorities to take action over alleged prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison before recent revelations about the way detainees were treated."
So, claims that the highest levels of the US Government did not know what was going on are more lies.

Red Cross Sought Action on Prisoner Abuse
"The international Red Cross said Thursday that it had repeatedly asked U.S. authorities to take action over alleged prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison before recent revelations about the way detainees were treated."
So, claims that the highest levels of the US Government did not know what was going on are more lies.

Israeli lessons for the US in Iraq
"It is not secret at all, there are many Israeli experts on torture in Iraq who are transferring to the Americans their accumulative experience of thirty seven years of torturing and mistreating Palestinians."

FLASHBACK: Bush rejects Guantanamo Bay torture claims


Red Cross: US Systematically Abused Prisoners
"The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says the abuse it found in Iraq's US-run prisons was systematic and amounted to torture, adding it first raised concerns with the US more than a year ago."

Bush and Blair say they are shocked by the abuse
... but they knew about it two years ago. Despite Bush attempting to portray himself as ill-informed of the true extent of the abuse and torture, the White House has been fully aware for the past year of the violations of the Geneva Convention committed by its personnel in Iraq.

U.S. fails to block U.N. anti-torture vote

Bremer knew, minister claims

Top brass 'picked man who ordered torture'
"The torture tactics used to "soften up" Iraqi detainees at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib jail began under orders from the highest level of the US defence administration, it was claimed yesterday."

Image by image, confession by confession, the horror emerges
"Until their publication shocked the world, these pictures were dismissed by the Pentagon as the work of 'six morons who lost the war'. Now the White House says it is as shocked as anyone about what they reveal, and that a few bad apples have poisoned the reputation of a nation. But yesterday the first evidence emerged of systematic abuse of Iraqis. In this special report, we follow the trail from 9/11, the detention camps of Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay to the shame of Abu Ghraib."

Red Cross Was Told Iraq Abuse 'Part of the Process'
"The Red Cross saw U.S. troops keeping Iraqi prisoners naked for days in darkness at the Abu Ghraib jail in October, and was told by the intelligence officer in charge it was 'part of the process,' a leaked report said on Monday. The International Committee of the Red Cross also described British troops forcing Iraqi detainees to kneel and stomping on their necks in an incident in which one prisoner died."

Blair: no prior knowledge of abuse claims
Amnesty International and the Red Cross complained over a year ago, but Bush and Blair insist they never knew.

Chain of Command

FLASHBACK: U.S. Pledges to Avoid Torture
"The Bush administration pledged yesterday for the first time that the United States will not torture terrorism suspects or treat them cruelly in an attempt to extract information..." BULL BISCUITS!

Troops have been abusing Iraqis for a year: Amnesty

Another Iraq Prison Cited in Army Lawsuit
"A Canadian civilian who claims he was falsely imprisoned, tortured and injured by Army interrogators shortly after the U.S. invasion of Iraq last year is suing the Army for $350,000. "

Arab anger at Iraq torture photos
You think only Arabs are angry? That's insulting to the rest of the civilized world.

Stopping the Abuse of Detainees
"Photographs of American soldiers laughing over naked Iraqi prisoners of war piled atop one another are a revolting disgrace, all the more so because evidence of torture and ill treatment of individuals detained by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is not new."

Army Has 20 Open Iraqi Prisoner Probes

Bremer 'knew of abuse in November'

Former Iraqi human rights minister Abdel Basset Turki said today US overseer Paul Bremer knew in November that Iraqi prisoners were being abused in US detention centres. ...

Since January, 17 people have been implicated in the scandal, including the general who ran the [Abu Ghraib] prison system in Iraq. Pictures of the abuse obtained by media outlets last week have caused outrage around the world.

But Turki said he had not been aware of the activities uncovered in the US Army probe when he met Bremer.

The US-dominated Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) has cited human rights as a motivating factor in the invasion last spring to oust the authoritarian regime of Saddam Hussein.
Humiliating prison photo shocks soldier's friends at home

Family defends soldier accused of abusing Iraqi prisoners
"Their son, they say, attempted to warn his Army superiors that Iraqi prisoners were being mistreated. The Army, they say, is now trying to deflect blame onto him. 'They're trying to cover up these war crimes and use my nephew as expendable. I'm not going to allow that,' Lawson said."

30 More Torture Scandals Probed

US abuse worse than Saddam's, say inmates
There's something to be proud of.

The Pictures That Lost The War
"According to the British soldiers, the military police have found a video of prisoners being thrown from a bridge, and a prisoner was allegedly beaten to death in custody by men from the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment."

Torture At Abu Ghraib
"A fifty-three-page report … written by Major General Antonio M. Taguba and not meant for public release, was completed in late February. Its conclusions about the institutional failures of the Army prison system were devastating. Specifically, Taguba found that between October and December of 2003 there were numerous instances of "sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses" at Abu Ghraib. This systematic and illegal abuse of detainees, Taguba reported, was perpetrated by soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company, and also by members of the American intelligence community."

Tales from Abu Ghraib

Soldiers say pictures are 'tip of the iceberg'
"British soldiers in Iraq swapped hundreds of photographs of civilians being mistreated, according to new claims made in the Daily Mirror." You think that's cool, look what we did to these kids! Oooh, AWESOME!

Iraqi Prison Photos 'Beyond Disgust' - Arab League

Troops Behaviour 'Out of Control'
"Maybe the officers don't know what is going on but everybody else does. I've seen hundreds of pictures."

US media alibis for torture in Iraq
"Photographs of the sadistic torture of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of US troops became front-page news around the world after their release last week. Only in two countries were they largely suppressed by the media—the United States and Iraq itself." That was true until today, when the US media finally started dealing with the issue. They could hardly ignore it, with the photos of torture on every computer in the world by now.

‘Sadistic torture ordered by U.S. military’

FLASHBACK: In Torture We Trust?
"The recent capture of Al Qaeda leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is the latest indication that the taboo on torture has been broken. In the days after Mohammed's arrest, an unnamed official told the Wall Street Journal that US interrogators may authorize ‘a little bit of smacky-face’ while questioning captives in the war on terrorism."

There is an interesting and overlooked dimension to this torture scandal. Despite a year of torturing Iraqi prisoners, the American torturers have had no more luck finding real weapons of mass destruction than the torturers of Torquemada had finding real witches. QED one of two cases aplies. Either torture does not work, or there really were no Iraqi WMDs. The US continues to use torture, so clearly they think it does work. That leaves only one possible conclusion. Meanwhile, those photos of tortured prisoners will be how history judges the US for the next century.

US turns to torture to crack prisoners of war
‘But this is okay, see? Hitler's and Stalin's and Saddam's torturers are all BAAAD, but our torturers are GOOD because we're doing this for mom, the flag, and apple pie. That makes it okay. Really.’

U.S. Accused of Torture in Iraq
Sun accused of rising this morning.

FLASHBACK: US finds strange bedfellows in UN vote on torture
"Washington has found itself on the same side as Cuba, Libya, and Syria, among other states, in trying to block a proposal before the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva designed to give more teeth to the Convention Against Torture." Bush can drop the phony look of surpirse at the Iraqi POW pictures. The fact is that use of torture was being set as US policy long ago.

Torture commonplace, say inmates' families
"He told me: 'Mum, they are taking our clothes off. We are nude all the time. They are getting dogs to smell our arses. They are also beating us with cables.' "

FLASHBACK: US demands total impunity on war crimes
"In May, the US formally rejected the treaty establishing the ICC, the first permanent international institution dedicated to trying cases of genocide, war crimes and other human rights abuses." Now we know WHY the US wanted to be exempt from war crimes trials.

Bush's Torturous Logic
"George Bush is shocked, shocked that there is torture being used by U.S. forces on Iraqi prisoners of war, in direct violation not only of basic human rights but of the Geneva Convention on Treatment of Prisoners of War of which the United States is not only a signatory, but a founding writer. So shocked that he had his Pentagon try to get CBS not to show the pictures of the shocking behavior."

Obviously, the US efforts to exempt itself from war crimes trials before the war should prove that the use of torture is not only not a surprise, but was planned from the very start.

Attempt To Claim Pow Abuse Pictures Fails
Photo surfaces showing that British in Iraq DO wear the floopy hat shown in abuse photos.

Abuse may have been 'order'
"Abuse of Iraqi prisoners that sparked worldwide condemnation may have been ordered by US military intelligence to extract information from the captives, and was possibly more cruel than officially acknowledged, The New Yorker magazine and Britain's daily Guardian reported on Saturday."

British troops in torture scandal
"The controversy over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners deepened last night when photographs were released apparently showing the torture of a POW by a British soldier."

Iraqi Prison Photos Mar U.S. Image
"This is the straw that broke the camel's back for America," said Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the Arab newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi. "The liberators are worse than the dictators."

Accused Soldiers Didn't Know Geneva Rules
"The six U.S. soldiers facing courts-martial in connection with mistreatment of detainees at an Iraqi prison did not receive in-depth training on the Geneva Conventions, which govern the handling of captives, a military spokeswoman said Friday." (Note that nobody is being coirt-martialed.)

Shame of Abuse By Brit Troops
"A hooded Iraqi captive is beaten by British soldiers before being thrown from a moving truck and left to die."

UK troops in Iraqi torture probe
Oh the delicious timing. Only hours after the UK described photos of Americans abusing Iraqis, a photo of a British soldier urinating on an Iraqi hits the front pages! The abuse is not isolated. It is systemic. And this is how Americans and British will be judged by the rest of the world for decades to come.

Shopworker ‘sickened’ by POW photos
"One of the images allegedly showed an Iraqi, bound and gagged, hanging from a rope on a fork-lift truck." Looks like Amnesty International is right, abuse of POWs by coalition forces is system-wide.

Controversy Swirls Over Humiliation of Iraqi Prisoners

POWs Were Paraded Naked In Public A Year Ago

Amnesty: Iraqis Complain of Torture by U.S. Forces
"Iraqis detained by U.S. troops have complained of torture and degrading treatment, Amnesty International said Wednesday. There were also reports of troops shooting detainees, the London-based human rights watchdog said in a report based on interviews with former prisoners of the Americans across Iraq."

Torture of Iraq Prisoners Prompts Wave of Revulsion

Arab TV stations broadcast images of U.S. forces humiliating Iraqi prisoners
Somehow I think the price of crude oil is about to go up. The US Government has become a severe liability for the American people.

Torture pictures 'the end' for USA in Iraq
"Chilling TV pictures of Iraqi prisoners being tortured and abused by US soldiers will damage Britain and signal the 'end of the story' for America in Iraq, it was claimed today. The pictures taken by US soldiers guarding Iraqis were broadcast on TV news bulletins in the US last night. The graphic photos show hooded and naked prisoners being abused, some sexually, with US soldiers smiling and looking on."

Iraqi torture images 'will damage Britain'

US war crimes: how troops tortured Iraqi prisoners

Arab Stations Show Iraqi Prisoner Images

Photos show jail abuse by US troops
This is the top story around the globe — except for the US media, which remains focused on Michael Jackson's court appearance.

US general suspended over Iraq prison abuse
"A senior US military spokesman says Brigadier General Janis Karpinski was suspended from her duties in late January after six US soldiers were indicted for mistreating prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison."

US military in torture scandal
"Graphic photographs showing the torture and sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners in a US-run prison outside Baghdad emerged yesterday from a military inquiry which has left six soldiers facing a possible court martial and a general under investigation."

Iraq: Torture not isolated -- independent investigations vital
The torture captured on photographs appears to be just one example of a pattern of systemic abuses.

Iraqi abuse photos spark shock
The world reacts in horror to prisoner abuse that would make a Nazi blush. Meanwhile, the US media frets about Michael Jackson's arraignment.

Six coalition personnel charged over alleged Iraq prisoner abuse
"He said footage showing alleged abuse might be shown on US television later on Wednesday but rejected suggestions that the announcement of the charges was linked to the public exposure which the case might receive."

CBS Airs Alleged GIs Abuse of Iraqis

Abuse of Iraqi POWs By GIs Probed

US general suspended over abuse
"A US general has been suspended in Iraq over the alleged abuse of prisoners by US troops in jails she ran."

The Picture That Became An Icon of the Iraq War

FLASHBACK: Is the US military torturing Iraqis with electricity?

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