“… authorize torture as a method of interrogation, and rape logically becomes part of the continuum of efforts to break down a prisoner’s self-esteem.”

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Quote from here, in reference to this article, which notes: “Photographs of alleged prisoner abuse which Barack Obama is attempting to censor include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse …” Here is an excerpt:

At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.

Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.

Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts.

Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.

Allegations of rape and abuse were included in his 2004 report but the fact there were photographs was never revealed. He has now confirmed their existence in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

The graphic nature of some of the images may explain the US President’s attempts to block the release of an estimated 2,000 photographs from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan despite an earlier promise to allow them to be published.

Maj Gen Taguba, who retired in January 2007, said he supported the President’s decision, adding:”These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency.

Here is another excerpt:

It was thought the images were similar to those leaked five years ago, which showed naked and bloody prisoners being intimidated by dogs, dragged around on a leash, piled into a human pyramid and hooded and attached to wires.

Mr Obama seemed to reinforce that view by adding:”I want to emphasise that these photos that were requested in this case are not particularly sensational, especially when compared to the painful images that we remember from Abu Ghraib.”

The latest photographs relate to 400 cases of alleged abuse between 2001 and 2005 in Abu Ghraib and six other prisons. Mr Obama said the individuals involved had been”identified, and appropriate actions”taken.

I guess we are just supposed to trust Obama about this. I don’t. But since men and children were reportedly raped, not “just” women, organizations like the ACLU have been active in trying to get access to the photos. See also.

–Ann Bartow

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