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Pentagon Denies That Prison Photos Depict Rape

Posted on May 28, 2009
abu ghraib torture

This photo was one of the pictures of U.S. abuse of Iraqi prisoners that generated worldwide outrage when they were made public in 2004.

The Pentagon has denied claims made by a former U.S. general that the detainee abuse photos President Obama refuses to publish depict scenes of rape and torture. The rebuttal came only hours after Britain’s Daily Telegraph published retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba’s story. “That news organization has completely mischaracterized the images,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told the press Thursday.


The Pentagon on Thursday denied a British newspaper report that photographs of Iraqi prisoner abuse, whose release U.S. President Barack Obama wants to block, include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the Daily Telegraph newspaper had shown “an inability to get the facts right”.

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By squeaky jones, May 29, 2009 at 10:22 am Link to this comment
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Who is not a war criminal?  Obama, apparently, is if you look at what is happening under his nose. American Democracy will kill ya. Squeaky.

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By hippie4ever, May 29, 2009 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Robert, we are in fundamental agreement but your assertion that rape cannot result in death or serious bodily injury, is factually wrong. It may, especially if the rape is anal and perferates the small intestine. Bacteria can spread into the bloodstream, poisoning the victim. I’m going offline now, to cry.

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By Robert, May 29, 2009 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

Was Rape an Enhanced Interrogation Technique?

By Jacob G. Hornberger

May 28, 2009 “fff”—“There are those who argue that U.S. officials who authorized waterboarding and who performed waterboarding should not be held criminally accountable, notwithstanding the fact that the U.S. government prosecuted Japanese military personnel who waterboarded U.S. POWs during World War II. Their reasoning goes as follows: Since the president’s attorneys redefined torture to mean only those actions that threaten death or serious injury to bodily organs, waterboarding did not meet that redefinition.

What about rape? It would seem that rape, like waterboarding, would not meet the Bush administration’s redefinition of torture. Rape doesn’t threaten death or serious injury to bodily organs. Should U.S. officials who authorized enhanced interrogation techniques be let off the hook for rapes committed by U.S. officials as part of enhanced interrogations of detainees?

That of course begs the question: Were people raped as part of the U.S. government’s enhanced interrogation techniques?

Well, think back to the Abu Ghrab photos and videos, which depicted sordid sexual acts being committed by U.S. personnel on Iraqi prisoners. You may have forgotten that there was a particular set of photos and videos that were never released to the public because they depicted acts that were apparently much worse than anything that was shown in the photos that were released. Therefore, U.S. officials decided to keep those particular photos and videos under lock and key.

What do those photos and videos reflect? We don’t really know, but according to an article dated July 15, 2004, on, Seymour Hersh is quoted as saying in a speech to the ACLU:

  Debating about it, ummm ... Some of the worst things that happened you don’t know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib ... The women were passing messages out saying “Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened” and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It’s going to come out.

The Salon article concludes with the following paragraph:

  (Update: A reader brought to our attention that the rape of boys at Abu Ghraib has been mentioned in some news accounts of the prisoner abuse evidence. The Telegraph and other news organizations described “a videotape, apparently made by US personnel, is said to show Iraqi guards raping young boys.” The Guardian reported “formal statements by inmates published yesterday describe horrific treatment at the hands of guards, including the rape of a teenage Iraqi boy by an army translator.”)

It should be noted that that batch of photos and videos is a different batch from the ones that the Obama administration is now doing its best to keep secret. The rationale for keeping both batches secret is that the photos and videos will inflame anger and hatred among foreigners against the United States. It’s difficult to imagine how the photos and videos that are being kept secret could be much worse than the Abu Ghraib photos and videos that were released, but one distinct possibility is that they show people being raped.”

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By tropicgirl, May 29, 2009 at 7:18 am Link to this comment


This is the saddest day for Obama that I can imagine. This is perhaps the LOWEST AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT HAS EVER SUNK. HOW DARE HE? I am crying inside. There is no doubt that they were children and women, THERE ARE TOO MANY WITNESSES, but doing it to anyone is beyond words.

The best thing to do is NOT to let this go, and blog it all over. THE WHITE HOUSE MUST PRODUCE THE PHOTOS TO DEFEND ITS LYING SACK OF CRAP DENIAL.

Otherwise, by their actions, WE KNOW they are lying and there are children being raped.

We must see the photos to know the who, where, what, how and why. This can only be gleaned from the photos.


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By AbuMubarak, May 29, 2009 at 4:36 am Link to this comment

Well, I guess it’s easy enough to prove, rape or not rape.  Let’s go to the pictures. 

But we can’t do that, now can we?

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By diamond, May 29, 2009 at 1:32 am Link to this comment

Hi-larious my friends. And you know what amuses me most of all? These are the same people that so many people on TD refuse to admit were capable of the 9/11 attacks and the anthrax attacks because they’re such decent, God-fearing, law-abiding citizens. Taguba is an honest and decent man but the people who sodomized these children are not. Simple as that. Cheney can rampage around claiming it was all done to protect America until his stupid, fat face turns blue but that’s just a lie. Yet another one. Like George W. Bush saying ‘America does not torture.’ No? Well Taguba says America does and has and he is far more trustworthy than the Pentagon. As a matter of fact no one should even be surprised. America has invaded 17 countries and bombed 22 since 1945. America spends $267 billion a year on its military, more than the next 12 nations put together. And still the Pentagon and the CIA don’t feel safe. Well, I suppose if you go around sodomizing other people’s children and torturing their mothers it would be extremely hard to feel safe. One B-52 stealth bomber costs $1 billion: for that amount of money you could restore sight to 31,446,541 adults through cataract operations, remove 1 million landmines and create 1,150,510 clean water wells for 3,030,303 communities of up to a thousand people. Genuine national security can never be obtained by torturing and killing other people - or their children. I would have thought that was obvious. And all this media palaver about North Korea just makes me snicker. After what’s happened to Iraq and Afghanistan and the constant threats against Iran KIJ would have to be crazy NOT to want nuclear weapons. There are lots of third world countries that will want them now. They know why Pakistan was not invaded.

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By Robert, May 28, 2009 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

Another Outrage

By Cindy Sheehan

May 26, 2009

“The pictures of the dead and maimed Iraqi children were gruesome. War is gruesome. War is never pretty but the Iraqi war has been “Sanitized for your protection.” It’s not enough that adult males have been tortured but thousands of women and children have also been imprisoned and cruelly treated.

I think it’s pretty gruesome that the US Military has held up to 6000 juveniles in its torture prisons in the Middle East and there has been rape and torture reported to individuals as young as 10 years old! How can any human being torture another human being, much less a child? These kinds of stories remind me of the most horrendous slasher movies that I can think of, but they are not the pretend product of twisted fantasy, but factual and mind-blowingly real.

Former US Soldier, Steven Green, was recently given life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2007 rape, mutilation and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Mahmoudiya, Iraq. Not only was Green the ringleader in the rape and murder; the squad also killed her family.

Unfortunately, even though Green was a “bad apple,” the situation we find ourselves in is an entire salad of rotten fruit and incidences like this one are not uncommon, but rarely reported.”

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By Folktruther, May 28, 2009 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

the reports are worse than are stated here. Some of the people raped are children.  With people watching and photographs being taken.  and, according to Seymour Hirsh, boys being sodomized and screaming on camera.

US policy has been that Terrorists come in all ages.  The Israelis routinely torture Palestinian children, as well as murder them.  this has apparantely been systematically imported to the US.  It may be done by soldiers as well, as exemplified by the five soldiers that raped a 13 year old girl, and then killed her, her younger sister and her parents.

Obama has now set himself firmly on the path of normalizing Bushite policies.  He has apparently transferred the tortures and rapes to client-state operatives. So he is covering up the Bushite crimes.

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By Bill, May 28, 2009 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve seen numerous photos on the Internet depicting GIs doing absolutely unholy things to Iraqis, including sodomy. Are these photos genuine? Are they part of the photo stash Obama does not want released?

Wear black, hippie4ever? I say wear it with sackcloth and ashes. This country’s fucked.

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By Andy, May 28, 2009 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People who take up war as a career are generally not nice people. Why would you trust the US military…ever, about anything?
From Operation Northwoods to the pre-war lies to this.
Armies lie, cheat, rape, torture, kill, maim, destroy its part of war. It’s what they do.

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By Jim Yell, May 28, 2009 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I believe the General before I would believe the Pentagon.

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By hippie4ever, May 28, 2009 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

It comes down to credibility and the Pentagon has none. Every word drooling from their talkingheads is a fabrication, a misinformation, a diversion, a baldfaced lie. They raped, they beat, waterboarded, shocked, drugged; used sensory deprivation, water torture, electric prods… anything you can imagine took place and it wasn’t “enhanced.” Having your humanity stripped from you isn’t interrogation.

and what’s that sound? It’s the Pentagon shredding photos and reports. This July 4, wear black.

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