Nature of Abu Ghraib abuse


Nature of Abu Ghraib abuse

This article describes in more detail the Nature of the Abu Ghraib abuse.

Background

"For more details on the background, investigations, responses etc, see Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse."

Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, deputy director of coalition operations in Iraq, said: "I'd like to sit here and say that these are the only prisoner abuse cases that we're aware of, but we know that there have been some other ones since we've been here in Iraq."

The story and the photographs were carried as front-page news in many newspapers across the world and featured as the lead story on the broadcast media globally, causing outrage and dismay from many international observers. Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the influential London-based Arabic-language newspaper "Al-Quds Al-Arabi", said, "The liberators are worse than the dictators. This is the straw that broke the camel's back for America."

Details

Hashem Muhsen, one of the naked men in the human pyramid photo, said they were also made to crawl around the floor naked and that U.S. soldiers rode them like donkeys. After being released in January 2004, Muhsen became an Iraqi police officer.

Joseph M. Darby reported that Frederick, on one occasion, "had punched a detainee in the chest so hard that the detainee almost went into cardiac arrest". In letters and e-mails to family members, Frederick repeatedly noted that the military-intelligence teams, which included C.I.A. officers and linguists and interrogation specialists from private defense contractors, were the dominant force inside Abu Ghraib.

A video diary of a prison guard recounts having venomous snakes bite the prisoners, sometimes resulting in death, throwing stones at the prisoners, and prisoners being shot for minor misbehavior. [http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=542742004]

Sergeant Samuel Provance from Alpha Company 302nd Military Intelligence battalion, in interviews with several news agencies, reported the sexual abuse of a 16-year-old girl by two interrogators, as well as a 16-year-old son of an Iraqi general who was driven through the cold after he had been showered and who was then besmeared with mud in order to get his father to talk. He also pointed out several techniques used by interrogators that have been identified as being in violation of the Geneva Convention. He spoke to the media, even against direct orders, about what he knew about at the prison (largely from conversations and interactions with the interrogators). He explained that he did so because there was "definitely a cover-up" underway by the Army. He was administratively flagged and had his top secret clearance suspended in retaliation by the Army. A detailed statement by Sgt. Provance concerning these and numerous other abuses at Abu Ghraib and his treatment by the army is available. [ [http://www.humanrightsfirst.info/pdf/06214-usls-provance-statment.pdf My name is Samuel Provance and I grew up Williamsburg, Virginia ] ]

New photos and videos revealed by the Pentagon to lawmakers in a private viewing on the 12th of May showed attack dogs snarling at prisoners, Iraqi women forced to expose their breasts, and naked prisoners forced to have sex with each other, the lawmakers revealed.

Seymour Hersh, an investigative journalist with "The New Yorker", said there are tapes of Iraqi boys being sodomized by guards, and that these tapes are being held by the Bush administration. "The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling, and the worst part is the soundtrack, of the boys shrieking," he claimed to a conference of the ACLU in July 2004. However, Hersch subsequently clarified in print that he had merely read a report of an Iraqi guard committing sodomy while a female servicemember took photographs, and expressed regret for what he claimed was an exagerration of fact. See: Seymour Hersch#criticisms.

The New York Times, in a report on January 12, 2005, reported testimony suggesting that the following events had taken place at Abu Ghraib:
*Urinating on detainees
*Jumping on detainee's leg (a limb already wounded by gunfire) with such force that it could not thereafter heal properly
*Continuing by pounding detainee's wounded leg with collapsible metal baton

Quotes from prisoners

* "They said we will make you wish to die and it will not happen [...] They stripped me naked. One of them told me he would rape me. He drew a picture of a woman to my back and makes me stand in shameful position holding my buttocks." — Ameen Saeed Al-Sheik, detainee No. 151362
* "'Do you pray to Allah?' one asked. I said yes. They said, 'F you. And F him.' One of them said, 'You are not getting out of here health [y] , you are getting out of here handicapped. And he said to me, 'Are you married?' I said, 'Yes.' They said, 'If your wife saw you like this, she will be disappointed.' One of them said, 'But if I saw her now she would not be disappointed now because I would rape her.'" [...] "They ordered me to thank Jesus that I'm alive." [...] "I said to him, 'I believe in Allah.' So he said, 'But I believe in torture and I will torture you.'" — Ameen Saeed Al-Sheik [http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A43783-2004May20?language=printer]
* "They wanted us to feel as though we were women, the way women feel and this is the worst insult, to feel like a woman." — Dhia al-Shweiri, former Abu Ghraib prisoner under both Ba'ath and US occupation. He is now a militant in the "al-Mahdi Army".

Taguba's report, April 2004

In January 2004, Sergeant Joseph Darby, a U.S. Army MP, discovered digital images of apparent detainee abuse on a CD-ROM. He reported the pictures to his superiors, prompting coalition commander Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez to order United States Army Major General Antonio Taguba, to investigate. Two further investigations were also launched.

Taguba's 53-page report, classified "Secret" and dated April 4, 2004, concluded that U.S. soldiers had committed "egregious acts and grave breaches of international law" at Abu Ghraib. [http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/reports/2004/800-mp-bde.htm] Taguba found that between October and December 2003 there were numerous instances of "sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses" of prisoners. In violation of Army regulations, intelligence officers asked military police to "loosen up" inmates before questioning. The report estimates that 60% of the prisoners at the site were "not a threat to society" and that the screening process was so inadequate that innocent civilians were often detained indefinitely. Guards invented their own rules and supervisors approved of their actions. Personnel lost track of prisoners, did not count their prisoners, and kept no records regarding dozens of escapes. The facility held too many inmates and supplied too few guards. Training of those on guard was insufficient, and superiors neglected to visit the facilities in person. Top military personnel disagreed on whether military police or military intelligence should be in charge. Prisoner treatment varied between shifts and between compounds.Taguba cited numerous organizational and leadership failures at Abu Ghraib. Reservists tasked with guarding the prison population were inadequately trained, and Taguba faulted senior commanders for failing to address these deficiencies. Specifically, intelligence officers and members of one company, the 372nd Military Police Company, based in Cresaptown, Maryland, in charge of security, took part in the documented abuses.

Taguba's report cited numerous examples of inmate abuse, including:

*Punching, slapping, and kicking detainees; jumping on their naked feet.
*Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees.
*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 while being photographed and videotaped.
*Arranging naked male detainees in a pile and then jumping on them.
*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.
*Writing "I am a Rapeist" [sic] on the leg of a detainee alleged to have raped a 15-year old fellow detainee, and then photographing him naked.
*Placing a dog chain or strap around a naked detainee's neck and having a female soldier pose for a picture.
*A male MP guard raping a female detainee.
*Taking photographs of dead Iraqi detainees and MPs posing with cheerful looks.
*Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees.
*Threatening detainees with a loaded 9mm pistol.
*Pouring cold water on naked detainees.
*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.
*Sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick.
*Using military working dogs (without muzzles) to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting and severely injuring a detainee.

References


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