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August 03, 2004

Why the Silence on Abu Ghraib?

Rolling Stone has obtained the classified documents revealing the details of far worse abuse and torture than we saw in the infamous photos. The details are chilling. It's graphic, so be warned before going to the extended entry

In one sworn statement, Kasim Mehaddi Hilas, detainee number 151108, said he witnessed a translator referred to only as Abu Hamid raping a teenage boy. "I saw Abu Hamid, who was wearing the military uniform, putting his dick in the little kid's ass," Hilas testified. "The kid was hurting very bad." A female soldier took pictures of the rape, Hilas said. . .

Another prisoner, Abd Alwhab Youss, was punished after guards accused him of plotting to attack an MP with a broken toothbrush. Guards took Youss into a closed room, poured cold water on him, pushed his head into urine and beat him with a broom. Then the guards "pressed my ass with a broom and spit on it," Youss said. . .

after several beatings so severe that he lost consciousness, Waleed was forced to lay on the ground. "One of the police was pissing on me and laughing at me," the prisoner said. He was placed in a dark room and beaten with a broom. "And one of the police, he put a part of his stick that he always carries inside my ass, and I felt it going inside me about two centimeters, approximately. . .

And the report makes clear that higher level officers knew about the conditions in the prison, yet they have not been disciplined:
the classified annexes indicate that responsibility for the torture extends at least as high as several top-ranking officers in Iraq who have yet to be disciplined or removed from command. Maj. Gen. Barbara Fast, who remains director of military intelligence in Iraq, was aware of the conditions at Abu Ghraib and received regular reports from officers at the prison. Lt. Col. Steven Jordan, who directed intelligence at the prison, admitted to Taguba that he did not actually report to the British colonel who was supposedly his supervisor. "On paper, I work directly for him," Jordan told Taguba. "But between you, me and the fence post, I work directly for General Fast." Fast is currently under investigation, but unlike lower-ranking officers and soldiers, she has not been reprimanded or charged in the abuses.
Why is the rest of the press so quiet on this new round of revelations?

Posted by Nathan at August 3, 2004 01:18 PM