Sunday, June 17, 2007

Ghosts of Abu Ghraib

I read an infuriating article that Seymour Hersh wrote for the New Yorker that once again opens the door on Abu Ghraib and lets the skeletons out of the closet.

I would advise everyone to read it.

Here's a good excerpt:
Taguba said that he saw “a video of a male American soldier in uniform sodomizing a female detainee.” The video was not made public in any of the subsequent court proceedings, nor has there been any public government mention of it. Such images would have added an even more inflammatory element to the outcry over Abu Ghraib. “It’s bad enough that there were photographs of Arab men wearing women’s panties,” Taguba said.
And here's another good one:
“I followed the bread-crumb trail,” Schmidt, who retired last year, told me. “I found some things that didn’t seem right. For lack of a camera, you could have seen in Guantánamo what was seen at Abu Ghraib.”
Both of these excerpts are the words of the investigators the military itself tasked with getting to the bottom of the systemic abuses of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. And the article explains how they were called liars by their superiors in the effort to save face and protect the upper-echelons of the Pentagon and how they were forced out of their military service.

Here's another good excerpt. In this one, Taguba is at a meeting with Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and others and is asked if this was abuse or torture. And this was the response of the lead military investigator:
In the meeting, the officials professed ignorance about Abu Ghraib. “Could you tell us what happened?” Wolfowitz asked. Someone else asked, “Is it abuse or torture?” At that point, Taguba recalled, “I described a naked detainee lying on the wet floor, handcuffed, with an interrogator shoving things up his rectum, and said, ‘That’s not abuse. That’s torture.’ There was quiet.”
This story is truly infuriating.

Read it.


UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has posted some video of Seymour Hersh talking about this on television today on their site. Check that out here.

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