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Thread: Iraqi Abuse Photos Spark Shock

  1. #1
    Before we begin... I'm surprised no one has posted this already and if they have.. sorry but I must have missed it.


    Iraqi abuse photos spark shock

    Images of US soldiers allegedly abusing Iraqi prisoners at a notorious jail near Baghdad have sparked shock and anger.

    Politicians in the US, Britain and the Middle East expressed disgust at the images, broadcast on US television, and called for those responsible to face justice.

    CBS News said it delayed the broadcast for two weeks after a request from the Pentagon due to the tensions in Iraq.

    Last month, the US army suspended 17 soldiers over alleged prisoner abuses.

    'Appalled'

    Six soldiers - including a brigadier general - are facing court martial in Iraq, and a possible prison term over the PoW pictures.

    A spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he was "appalled" and described the incident as regrettable.

    "Nobody underestimates how wrong this is, but these actions are not representative of the 150,000 coalition soldiers in Iraq. We shouldn't judge the actions of coalition soldiers as a whole by the actions of a few," he said.

    Abu Ghraib prison was much feared in Saddam Hussein's era

    US Republican congressman, Jim Leach - who had opposed the war - said: "The US has historically prided itself on treating prisoners of war with decency and respect.

    "This has to be investigated and accountability obtained within the American military justice system."

    Adnan Al-Pachachi, a member of the Iraqi Governing Council, said it would create a great deal of anger and discontent among Iraqis already concerned about security in the country.

    But he rejected a comparison with the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad during the days of Saddam Hussein.

    "I don't think you can compare the two. Saddam Hussein's prisoners were not only tortured but executed. It was much worse than what is there now."

    The graphic images include one of a hooded and naked prisoner standing on a box with wires attached to his genitals. CBS said the prisoner was told that if he fell off the box, he would be electrocuted.

    Another shows naked prisoners being forced to simulate sex acts. In another, a female soldier, with a cigarette in her mouth, simulates holding a gun and pointing at a naked Iraqi's genitals.

    Blair condemns abuse

    CBS's flagship 60 Minutes programme said it had been pressured by the Pentagon not to show the images, until the photos started circulating elsewhere.

    "The Pentagon was really very concerned about broadcasting the pictures, and I think they had good reason," said 60 Minute executive producer Jeff Fager.

    "The idea that there are hostages being held in Iraq concerned us quite a bit in terms of broadcasting them. It wouldn't take long to get on Al-Jazeera at all."

    Mr Fager told the BBC's Today programme the pictures were initially brought to the attention of US military in Iraq, and formed the centrepiece of proceedings against the soldiers.

    'No training'

    One of the suspended soldiers, Staff Sergeant Chip Frederick, said the way the army ran the prison had led to the abuse.

    "We had no support, no training whatsoever. And I kept asking my chain of command for certain things... like rules and regulations," he told CBS. "It just wasn't happening."

    He said he did not see a copy of the Geneva Convention rules for handling prisoners of war until after he was charged.

    Deputy head of coalition forces in Iraq, Brig Gen Mark Kimmitt told CBS the army was "appalled" by the behaviour of its soldiers.

    He said the suspected abusers "let their fellow soldiers down".

    Meanwhile, a new opinion poll for the New York Times and CBS News suggested dwindling support among Americans for the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    Only 47% of 1,042 Americans questioned believed invading Iraq was the right thing to do, the lowest support recorded in the polls since the war began.
    source

    This is the guy who was made to stand on a box and had wires attached to his genitals.



    I've seen other images on TV from the CBS program which are also described in this article but I've been unable to find them on the web, probably due to the highly unpleasant content.

    edit: found them







    Another thing that I found surprising was this quote from one of the accused soldiers

    Staff Sergeant Chip Frederick, said the way the army ran the prison had led to the abuse.

    "We had no support, no training whatsoever. And I kept asking my chain of command for certain things... like rules and regulations," he told CBS. "It just wasn't happening."

    He said he did not see a copy of the Geneva Convention rules for handling prisoners of war until after he was charged.
    Is this guy lying or are US troops really that poorly supported by their superiors when it comes to missions that don't involve fighting? Or is this a symptom of a bigger disease? i.e that the post war plan was poorly thought out and the US is sorely unprepared for the scenario it's now facing?

    More importantly what effect, if any, will this have on the situation in Iraq and the Middle East once Al-Jazeera starts showing these pictures? (Thats assuming they haven't already, I couldn't find any mention of the story on the English section of their website) I think we can all agree that this is not the way to win hearts and minds.

    To sum up..

    a) What do you think the impact of this incident will be?

    B) Is it a one off incident by a few sickos in the US military or is it a symptom of a deeper military problem? Poor training? Poor planning at a higher level?

    c) Are these individuals a bunch of psychos who happened to meet up with each other in Iraq or does this incident say something about US society in general?

    one more..

    d) Does this mean we should be concerned about how the prisoners in Cuba are being treated? I'm referring to the prisoners who havent been given a trial or been found guilty of any crime yet. The British guys released from Cuba made similar allegations of mistreatment when they came back to Britian, but afaik their accusations were taken with a mountain of salt. Should we be examining their allegations in more detail now?

    My answers to the above are...

    a) Pretty damn serious, it may blow over eventually or it could lead to more Najaf / Fallujah type situations. I would expect a serious worsening of relations between the US military and moderate Iraqi civilians though. This might just be enough to motivate moderate Iraqis to join people like Muqtada al-Sadr in Najaf. The timing certainly couldnt be any worse.

    B) Don't know. I was hoping someone with experience in the US military could fill in the blanks. Taking into account factors such as the high number of friendly fire incidents you could make a case for poor training. I suspect poor planning for this scenario may be the culprit though.

    c) Not sure. It would be a stroke of extraordinary bad luck for 6 or 7 psychopaths to all meet up in the same place at the same time, and you have to admit America as a whole has become a lot more paranoid and vengeful these days. Then again.. perhaps being in a foreign country away from the judging eyes of your friends and family loosens your morals in relation to torturing people... I would be interested to see the input from Americans on this one.

    d) Undecided. Really depends on the answer to question c.

    I'm preparing myself for the inevitable accusations of anti-Americanism.. (perhaps this is why it hasn't been posted yet?) however it would be nice if we could stick to the topic/facts for at least 5-10 minutes before we start tearing chunks out of each other like wild animals.

    PS

    On the plus side this incident was reported by an American soldier who was completly sickened by what he saw. I suppose that means not all of you are raving lunatics then (j/k)

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
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    Well firstly i think it may inflame Iraqi hatred of American soilders even more so. Although these couple of idiots who did these things do not represent all of the American troops in Iraq, many Arabs will just use it as another reason to add to their list to claim that Americans are 'evil'

    Yes, I also read about the British prisoners who were released from the prison in Cuba. They didnt only describe mistreatment in that prison but also when they were being held somewhere in the middle east..cant remember exactly which country. I'll try an find the article..

    The fact that these incidents occured is not that much of a surprise. But it came at the worst possible timing. As the Americans struggle to control the voilence in Fallujah (and the rest of Iraq), their popularity isnt going to be helped by this...

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    Rat Faced's Avatar Broken
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    Another source

    One of the suspended soldiers, Staff Sergeant Chip Frederick, said the way the army ran the prison had led to the abuse.

    "We had no support, no training whatsoever. And I kept asking my chain of command for certain things... like rules and regulations," he told CBS. "It just wasn't happening."

    He said he did not see a copy of the Geneva Convention rules for handling prisoners of war until after he was charged.

    This is total and utter crap.

    The UK, as part of its NATO obligations, lecture each and every serviceman annually as to the "Rules of Engagement".

    This includes The Geneva Conventions.

    Every nation that is part of NATO is supposed to give this training to all soldiers annually, whether Regular or Reserve.

    Last i heard the USA were in NATO.

    The guy is not some green private, he's a Staff Sergeant...I cant see any way that he could have missed every single lecture on the Rules of Engagement and still made that rank.

    At that Rank, he's quite possibly resonsible for giving the training in the 1st place.



    Let me make it clear though... every Army has its psycho's.

    Most US Troops are honourable men, even the ones that arent "career" soldiers, but just trying to get a good College Education.

    Its also a truism that soldiers fit for nothing else, often get lumbered with this type of job (and no, im not saying all Guards are crap either, even here its a minority, just a higher proportion)


    What this is going to do, polically, is make the whole thing that much more difficult.

    Something that their comrades in Iraq now will not thank them for.

    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    @ratfaced

    Well..if what you say is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, that guy has just screwed up any chance he had at a court martial.

    I wish I'd seen that Guardian report before I posted the BBC one, it does have more important information. Due to the seriousness of the extra information regarding private contractors I think a quote is in order.

    US military investigators discovered the photographs, which include images of a hooded prisoner with wires fixed to his body, and nude inmates piled in a human pyramid.

    The pictures, which were obtained by an American TV network, also show a dog attacking a prisoner and other inmates being forced to simulate sex with each other. It is thought the abuses took place in November and December last year.
    ...
    Hired guns from a wide array of private security firms are playing a central role in the US-led occupation of Iraq.

    But this is the first time the privatisation of interrogation and intelligence-gathering has come to light. The investigation names two US contractors, CACI International Inc and the Titan Corporation, for their involvement in Abu Ghraib.

    Titan, based in San Diego, describes itself as a "a leading provider of comprehensive information and communications products, solutions and services for national security". It recently won a big contract for providing translation services to the US army.

    CACI, which has headquarters in Virginia, claims on its website to "help America's intelligence community collect, analyse and share global information in the war on terrorism".

    According to the military report on Abu Ghraib, both played an important role at the prison.

    At one point, the investigators say: "A CACI instructor was terminated because he allowed and/or instructed MPs who were not trained in interrogation techniques to facilitate interrogations by setting conditions which were neither authorised [nor] in accordance with applicable regulations/policy."

    Colonel Jill Morgenthaler, speaking for central command, told the Guardian: "One contractor was originally included with six soldiers, accused for his treatment of the prisoners, but we had no jurisdiction over him. It was left up to the contractor on how to deal with him."

    She did not specify the accusation facing the contractor, but according to several sources with detailed knowledge of the case, he raped an Iraqi inmate in his mid-teens.
    While we can lay the blame of abuse on the individuals responsible, surely allowing private contractors, (who are not liable under any jurisdiction) to interrogate Iraqi's constitutes gross negligence on behalf of high ranking decision makers?

    Indeed...

    "It's insanity," said Robert Baer, a former CIA agent, who has examined the case, and is concerned about the private contractors' free-ranging role. "These are rank amateurs and there is no legally binding law on these guys as far as I could tell. Why did they let them in the prison?"
    Rape, sexual humiliation, torture, private contractors, answerable to no-one, given free reign over detainees..... I suspect this can of worms will get a lot worse before it gets any better.

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    Originally posted by Rat Faced@30 April 2004 - 17:30
    This is total and utter crap.

    The UK, as part of its NATO obligations, lecture each and every serviceman annually as to the "Rules of Engagement".

    This includes The Geneva Conventions.






    I read this article on the Beeb website yesterday.

    Rat,

    Welcome to America. That excuse is what the lawyers are going to use to defend these little fuckers.

    Just like people who sue McDonalds for making them fat and for coffee being too hot, America is swarming with people who are being taught to take no responsibility for their lives or actions.

    I swear warning labels are all over everything now to protect manufacturers from lawsuits.




    Warning: This bottle was not intended to be broken over a counter and shoved up the rectum or swallowed. It should not be used as an additive to baby food. In fact, please put the bottle down, and buy something else.

    I mean really Rat, I am sure these boys were shocked to learn that wires around the genitals weren't considered appropriate. I guess they just can't trust their instincts.

    And these people are of course the minority that are going to be held high to represent the majority.

    You find these people not only in the military, but also concentrated in the any nations police force and particularly in State prisons.

    I call it GED(highschool diploma equivalent for drop outs) with a gun. People with little education, given power. Who is going to complain that they kick convicted rapists and murders? It is a cruel power trip.

    I've met this type myself when pulled over for speeding. "Well looky what we have here bubba, a smart college boy, apparently he ain't so smart as to understand the speed limit. Son, what hell were you thinking".

    "Well, officer, I was thinking that if everyone were as lawabiding as myself, speeding tickets and removing cats from trees would be all you did. Isn't your motto "to protect and serve", not "harrass and annoy".

    "You shut up boy, or your going to jail!"

    People with self esteem problems due to minimal education, failure with women, or little pee-pee's, like to take there frustrations out in this way.
    Aren't we in the trust tree, thingey?

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    Rat Faced's Avatar Broken
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    Alas Hobbes,

    this truism regarding power is Universal

    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    does anyone remember the eyebrow raising around the world at Bushes refusal to sign up to the International Criminal Court ? I thought at the time it was more to protect his own arse

    ICC and immunity for Americans

    I have just seen Bush on CNN and he is not backing away from this particular case, in fact he has condemed it, subject to confirmation of facts ( for once i agree 100 % .... the facts need to be confirmed first )

    I agree that troops should be given certain protections from prosecution in conflict situations, however not from the sort of things that are alledged to have occured here.

    itís an election with no Democrats, in one of the whitest states in the union, where rich candidates pay $35 for your votes. Or, as Republicans call it, their vision for the future.

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    BigBank_Hank's Avatar Move It On Over
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    This is truly a sad situation and couldn't have been brought forward at a worse time. I hope that these morons get prosecuted to the fullest extent.

    This isn't the first case where private individuals have been brought in without proper training. FOX did a story about a month ago on the subject of proper training and they couldn't get any straight answers from the employers. It seems that there is such a demand for these people over there that their just sending people over without proper training. Problem is that there isn't a screening process for these individuals to go through before they get on a plane.

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    update:

    It appears some UK troops do not want to be outdone by the USA when it comes to torturing prisoners. I won't quote the entire report but instead I've included the most important parts and a link to the full article.


    UK troops in Iraqi torture probe

    The Ministry of Defence has launched an investigation into allegations that British soldiers have been pictured torturing an Iraqi prisoner.

    The photographs, obtained by the Daily Mirror newspaper, show a suspected thief being beaten and urinated on.



    The Mirror says the pictures were handed over by British soldiers who claimed a rogue element in the British army was responsible for abusing prisoners and civilians.

    Speaking on condition of anonymity, the soldiers from the Queen's Lancashire Regiment told the paper no charges were brought against the unnamed captive.

    They allege during his 8-hour ordeal he was threatened with execution, his jaw broken and his teeth smashed.

    'Losing war'

    After being beaten and urinated on, he was driven away and dumped from the back of a moving vehicle, the soldiers claimed.

    They added they did not know whether he survived.

    The reason for making the photos public was, they said, to show why the US-UK coalition was encountering such fierce resistance in Iraq.

    One told the paper: "We are not helping ourselves out there. We are never going to get them on our side. We are fighting a losing war."
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3675215.stm

    I wonder.. if we were in the position of the Iraqis how would we react?

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
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    You'd hate the fuking Americans guts.. and you sure as hell wouldnt just hate those that did it to you.. you'd hate them all

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