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The lid is blowing off.
July 16, 2004 10:58 AM   Subscribe

The lid is blowing off. Tom Tomorrow reports that the story of the 107 imprisoned, tortured, and raped children in Abu Ghraib is beginning to break all over the world, as the US media remains in patriotic silence. We're already about to lose our first ally over this, Norway.
posted by badstone (84 comments total)

 
(With sincerest apologies to Ethereal Bligh and co. over this NewsFilter followup. Please move on to the Flash post beneath this.)
posted by badstone at 11:00 AM on July 16, 2004


What.
The.
Fuck.
COALITION OF THE WILLING?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 11:01 AM on July 16, 2004


This is what I hoped would happen: US media can try to ignore the story, but international media will go so ape over it that they'll find it near-impossible to keep their feigned ignorance up for much longer.
posted by reklaw at 11:04 AM on July 16, 2004


but wait! we got bobby fischer! mission accomplished!
posted by quonsar at 11:06 AM on July 16, 2004


This is on Tom Tomorrow's page, but props should go to Bob Harris, who's been doing a lot of the heavy bloglifting for him for a while.
posted by soyjoy at 11:10 AM on July 16, 2004


Hang on- I'm not defending or accusing anyone. But that story is dated July 8, and the story from Norway is dated July 6. Has anything developed since then, or am I being dense?
posted by jeff-o-matic at 11:18 AM on July 16, 2004


What's sad is even if this does get broadcast on the news here, we've been bombarded and desensitized through repetition already with so much torture news that no one will care.
posted by Peter H at 11:24 AM on July 16, 2004


we're much more interested in Mary-Kate by this point.
posted by Peter H at 11:27 AM on July 16, 2004


Given the dates, this probably should have been posted to the thread from yesterday (which is still very active). Hopefully the lid does blow off at some point, though.
posted by The God Complex at 11:28 AM on July 16, 2004


jeff-o-matic -- Not that MoveOn is a neutral party, but they do have this, dated July 15. Basically it's attributing to Seymour Hersh the claim that there exist videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Graibh.
posted by nickmark at 11:29 AM on July 16, 2004


Ummm... Just because the Norwegian branch of Amnesty International says they need to stop cooperating with the US militarily doesn't mean the Norwegian *government* will disengage from NATO or other US-supported commitments.

Which isn't to say that they won't be under tremendous pressure to do so. Like much of western Europe, most Norwegians would probably laugh or scowl if America, human rights and democracy are mentioned in the same sentence.
posted by kahboom at 11:35 AM on July 16, 2004


It's really making me sick that the US media is ignoring this. I've been vainly watching for it over the last few days. Moz thinks that they are waiting to have a huge story to release, rather than trickles of information, but damnit, something needs to be said, and soon.
posted by sugarfish at 11:43 AM on July 16, 2004


we've been bombarded and desensitized through repetition already with so much torture news that no one will care

Barring the release of video showing abuse in progress, I concur. Mere stories will be discounted as hearsay, and fail to make a dent in the popular consciousness.
posted by aramaic at 11:45 AM on July 16, 2004


right kahboom, unlike in the US, human rights groups in Europe actually have some influence upon their governments' policies.

jeff-o-matic - the previous post about this only referred to the Seymour Hersch speech, with no links to any corroborating reports which made people wonder how strong the evidence really is. i wanted to follow that one up with this post, which contains pointers to many actual press reports on this from around the world.

soyojoy - thanks for the info, didn't know about bob harris.
posted by badstone at 11:46 AM on July 16, 2004


Barring the release of video showing abuse in progress

Does anyone really believe that *any* organization is going to broadcast child rape? I just do not see that happening. I even have a hard time believing that it'd get put on the internet.

That said, I completely agree with those stymied by the lack of the US Press even acknowledging that this story exists. I've asked three different coworkers if they'd heard anything about it, and all I got in return was a puzzled look.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:53 AM on July 16, 2004


Barring the release of video showing abuse in progress

I couldn't help but laugh at the idea of that. In similar choppy-audio style as our embedded reporters in the warpath.

(still-frame image of prison, or face-shot of reporter with map of Iraq)

"Yes, he's completely dehumanizing him. Oh wait, oh wait ... There's a camera. They are shooting photos!"

FOX: "Tim, can you describe the positions?"
posted by Peter H at 11:59 AM on July 16, 2004


For all of you wondering when the video might come out: "German television aired footage of American abuse of children in jails in Iraq [on July 5th]." Right at the top of the Norway story.
posted by sfenders at 12:04 PM on July 16, 2004


German television aired footage...

...which means absolutely nothing inside the US. It's gotta be on Fox & CNN, or it won't matter.
posted by aramaic at 12:07 PM on July 16, 2004


That's an interesting interpretation. I thought it was more like "German television aired accusations of American abuse of children in jails".
posted by smackfu at 12:15 PM on July 16, 2004


...which means absolutely nothing inside the US. It's gotta be on Fox & CNN, or it won't matter.

Like Fox News would ever even admit that these tapes exist. They're still in denial over the Abu Ghraib photos, I hear.
posted by clevershark at 12:16 PM on July 16, 2004


Does anyone really believe that *any* organization is going to broadcast child rape?

No offense, but this site linked to dead babies about 12 hours ago. If it exists, someone on the internet will put it there.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:17 PM on July 16, 2004


Does anyone really believe that *any* organization is going to broadcast child rape?

raises hand. Oh hell yes, they would.

On preview: Not just the internet. If this video is out there I can garauntee you it will be on the cable news nets in some way, shape, or form.
posted by ChasFile at 12:19 PM on July 16, 2004


I can't avoid thinking about the National Review's famous "Kick One For Me" editorial re the Abu Ghraib beatings.
Looking forward to "Rape A Kid For Me" editorial


even if this does get broadcast on the news here, we've been bombarded and desensitized through repetition already with so much torture news that no one will care.

no.
not even the most brain-dead public (which I do not think the American public is at all, just the opposite, problem is the US is terribly badly served by her 'liberal media') can ignore (a policy of, or even single cases) child rape in US prisons. and anyway many women have been forced to strip for their torturers at Abu Ghraib, these are some of the photos that bwere not released, the "sexual stuff" Congressmen talked about. and many Iraqi women prisoners have accused their captors of rape, and at this point I'm willing to believe them more than I do believe Don Rumsfeld, so rape must have been pretty widespread.
assuming it has stopped now. maybe they just stopped taking pictures of rapes and beatings, who knows. modesty, you know.

anyway this is a political nuclear bomb: that's why the 'liberal media' in the US is trying so bad to spike this (remember kids, the commies down at CBS sat on 2 weeks on the Abu Ghraib photos, and immediately warned the Pentagon).

the American Torture thing has been de facto silenced as "a few bad apples". the American Child Rape story would not be so easy to smother, not at all. that's why the US media is so scared. nobody in the cowed-into-submission networks or the stenographical print media, frankly, has the guts to put a political bullet in the War On Terror's brain. because child rape in Abu Ghraib is exactly that. bang-bang, the War On Terror's dead. thanks to Rummy's arrogance, and to his Abu Ghraib thugs
posted by matteo at 12:25 PM on July 16, 2004


What percentage of the people of Iraq are aware of this story, do you think? 99% Or higher? How do you think they feel about it?

You know, if a foreign invader was doing this in my country... well, ask yourselves the same question. What would you do?
posted by Hogshead at 12:39 PM on July 16, 2004


How did the prisoner-beheading videos break? Weren't they being distributed online before the major US news channels aired them?

I'm thinking if people are able to do the same, even if not with actual footage at least overseas reports, this story may grow enough that even US media must say something about it.
posted by casarkos at 12:42 PM on July 16, 2004


Just because the Norwegian branch of Amnesty International says they need to stop cooperating with the US militarily doesn't mean the Norwegian *government* will disengage from NATO or other US-supported commitments.

Not just Norwegian AI is quoted:

"These types of attacks are absolutely unacceptable," said a spokesman for Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik. "They violate international law and are morally indefensible."

Odd Jostein Sæter of the prime minister's office told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Tuesday that Norwegian officials will react "both politically and diplomatically" to their US counterparts.
posted by jacobsee at 12:47 PM on July 16, 2004


It's really making me sick that the US media is ignoring this.
I agree, but I'd like to believe that they are checking and rechecking sources before putting out the story. We're likely to see more violence against Americans in the wake of this.

Does anyone really believe that *any* organization is going to broadcast child rape?
Well, Nick Berg's beheading and pictures of the other headless hostages were readily available, so I imagine bootlegs of the rape will probably show up online. It's officially child porn, though, isn't it? Anyone distributing or downloading it will (deservedly, IMO) be in deep shit.
posted by whatnot at 12:50 PM on July 16, 2004


No offense, but this site linked to dead babies about 12 hours ago. If it exists, someone on the internet will put it there.

Possession of pictures of dead babies isn't illegal.
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:52 PM on July 16, 2004


this isn't necessary "new" news about the videos of child rape, but the big story is the rolling ball of press coverage. it hasn't even hit the U.S. yet, but it's getting BIG play everywhere else.

fwiw, here's a streaming video (Real) of Hersh's speech at the ACLU event. (Hersh comes on around 1:08)
posted by mrgrimm at 12:54 PM on July 16, 2004


at this point I'm willing to believe them [Iraqi women prisoners] more than I do believe Don Rumsfeld

If credible sources are the issue, will a republican senator do?

"The American public needs to understand, we're talking about rape and murder here. We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience; we're talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges," said Sen. Lindsay Graham,R-S.C."

Something I'm finding really interesting about this is that a lot of this information has been out for weeks (this one for example is dated May 8.) Yet it's not until now that people in the US seem to be really noticing. For weeks after the photos came out, even with these quotes -- rape, assault, murder -- out in the open, many people still brushed it off as "only humiliation", or "just frat-boy hijinx," or just a few "bad apples". (As if that somehow made it acceptable.)

How did that happen?

Is it that we were all so shocked at the time by the fact that any abuse was occurring, that the sheer extent of what we were being told didn't sink in? Is it that we all focused on what we had photos of, and didn't hear what was just described without photos? Is it that now that we have the even-more-appalling child rape in the picture, that the just-plain-old-rape rape is that much easier to take in?
posted by ook at 1:08 PM on July 16, 2004


If it hasn't been posted already here is a article by Christopber Hitchens talking about further revelations of the "moral chernoybl" at Abu Ghraib. Hitchens has never been accused of being a squishy liberal with quotes such as, "the surest cure for fascism is hot lead."

The article is from June and I was expecting something immediately following his article and maybe the article from Der Spiegal is the beginning of the coming flood.
posted by jadepearl at 1:31 PM on July 16, 2004


matt drudge and i apparently have more important things to think about...
posted by armacy at 1:38 PM on July 16, 2004


Can I ask a question? If this story is 'exploding' overseas, why doesn't it show up on google news, which indexes both domestic and international news? I'm having a hard time finding stories about it, which is making me suspect that the left-wingers have tinky-winky antenna-hats made of tinfoil on...
posted by SpecialK at 1:41 PM on July 16, 2004


SpecialK - This story has been reported a number of times by US media - almost as a passing detail - in the overall Abu Ghraib torture scandal story.

It hasn't so far - God knows why - had much in the way of legs in US media coverage though.

In dejah420's previous related post, asparagirl ( no left winger ) mentions seeing mention of the rapes on MSNBC. Then, she said, they pull the mention.

I saved that story, and a few related ones too (from major US media, that is), which mentioned the rapes.

They are real, believe me. I'll hunt for them tonight if I get the chance.

Your "tinfoil hat" accusation looks very ugly on your head - almost like a form of complicity. Why wear it?
posted by troutfishing at 2:00 PM on July 16, 2004


Wow. I used "mention" 3 times there.

Anyway -

"The American public needs to understand, we're talking about rape and murder here. We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience; we're talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges." -- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on the torture at Abu Ghraib

Try this Google search, OK ?
posted by troutfishing at 2:06 PM on July 16, 2004


SpecialK: I'm not going to comment on whether or not this story is, in fact, exploding overseas: I don't know. You should keep in mind, however, the Google News indexes only English language news sources.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:15 PM on July 16, 2004


The torture at Abu Ghraib is on Fox News, you just have to look for the "Cost of Freedom" section. I am not making this up.
posted by the fire you left me at 2:19 PM on July 16, 2004


Trout - Hey, *I'm* not the one that sounds like a tinfoil-capped freeper clone that went screwy and got all liberal.

As for the google search, the only stories I can find about the rape and torture of CHILDREN are from unofficial media sources, and they all link to the stories linked from this thread. All of the stories in the google search link you gave me are about children in connection to the rape and torture of women at Abu Ghirab. Using google search (regular and news) and dogpile, I can't find one major news outlet, international or domestic, that has a current news story. This is what we called a "smokebomb" back in my newspaper days -- whole assloads of smoke, and there *might* be a tiny spark somewhere in the middle creating all of it.

If you can find a current story, or a sideways mention in a current story from a major news outlet, I'd like to see it. Please link to it here... but I can't find one, and that means that there's no "Media explosion". I mean, heck, I can't even find reports from the aid agencies that everyone's referencing. I could be wrong. It could be out there. My google-fu could be weak. I don't question that awful things happened over in the prisons, and I don't question that our soldiers did them. But the rape of children? This is a pretty big cart to be putting in front of what seems to be a pretty darned small horse.

On preview:
Mr_roboto: Keep in mind that google DOES index the english versions of overseas news sources, such as the norwegian website linked in the beginning of this post.
posted by SpecialK at 2:25 PM on July 16, 2004


Apparently the image of torture are more important than the fact of the torture. Everyone says the shit will hit the fan when the images come out. Well, why are we waiting for the images when we allready know what happened? We live in such a TC-centric culture that TV (the image) is more important than reality.
posted by stbalbach at 2:58 PM on July 16, 2004


Well, why are we waiting for the images when we allready know what happened?

For one thing, we don't actually know, we strongly suspect. Or "have reason to believe". Or "have heard that..."

Also, of course the image is more important than the reality! Haven't you seen people on vacation in the last decade or so? Everywhere you turn, people are (in my view) ruining the actual enjoyment of their vacation in order to more fully record it. While they're staring through a viewfinder, their life is passing in front of them.
posted by aramaic at 3:12 PM on July 16, 2004


stbalbach - Well, we don't know that it happened. See, pictures would actually be proof. All we have right now is a lot of smoke ... the only heat is coming from the flapping jaws of the conspiracy theorists and (note: NOT defending the US here, just asking for some skepticism and objectivity) those that are ready to believe anything bad about US soldiers' actions in Iraq.
posted by SpecialK at 3:19 PM on July 16, 2004


I think we're not seeing this on the news because, during an election year, the major news outlets get frightened about running anything that is not 100% substantiated that might effect the election. I recall the whole Dan Quayle drug dealer speaking from prison thing in the late 80's. If it had been something they could have substantiated, you bet they would have run it - scandal makes for great ratings and ratings trump support for a political party any day of the week. These are corporations, after all.

That being said, I think the US media beast is salivating over this and waiting for it to break open enough so that they have to address it.

In the meantime, where is Rumsfeld?
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:51 PM on July 16, 2004


The lid isn't blowing off yet. I made a FPP on MeFi about this on July 8th, and the lid is still on. This frustrates me more than you, I suspect, as I've been pushing for people to pay attention to it.

What amazed me, frankly, is the lack of attention that people (including MeFi'ers) gave this issue when it was first mentioned... but all it took was Seymour Hersh to make yet another statement (like he did previously at a speech at the University of Chicago, or on The O'Reilly Factor) about just how bad the stuff he saw was, and now everyone sees fit to say something.

Do you really *NEED* pictures? Do you need Seymour Hersh to spell it out for you, like he did at My Lai? How much trouble will our society be in if and when the Seymour Hersh's of this world aren't there for them anymore?

In other words, you can't count on the press to break this story. You've got to do it yourselves.

Do you think that this story is important and is being ignored? Good! About time! Now do something about it.

Post it to your weblog. Submit it for posting on all the other sites out there. Leave comments on other weblogs to let them know. Email your local reporters. Write a letter to the editor.

Anything is better than nothing, even if we never get any serious media attention on this story, because there are some serious issues here to be discussed about whose policies led to this problem. About censorship. About whether we can trust our government. If our government and our media won't allow for open debate on these issues, then we should do it ourselves.
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:06 PM on July 16, 2004


Post it to your weblog.

Done.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:21 PM on July 16, 2004


How many people are hoping this comes out so it does damage to your political enemies instead of stopping and punishing those that are the perpetrators?
posted by Mick at 7:12 PM on July 16, 2004


Mick: 1?10? 100? 1000? does the number matter? If exposure and outrage helps it to end - thats what we need. If secrecy and diplomacy and tact worked - well, I'd be in favour of that too (tho' how would I know...?) I'm sure you can see the quandary we're in.

We used to believe in the Universality of Human Rights, y'know.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:42 PM on July 16, 2004


How many people are hoping this comes out so it does damage to your political enemies instead of stopping and punishing those that are the perpetrators?

What type of fucked up person would it take to look at these allegations as a positive thing? Though there may be some twisted personalities here, I don't think anyone here could cloud their compassion so much as to take the least bit of (mixed) pleasure in child rape, no matter who it hurts or benefits. Just to remind you, in case you don't realize, we're talking about children having objects forcefully shoved up their anuses, causing pain and most likely bleeding or tearing, and permanent mental damage. As far as torture goes, it's hard to imagine something more damaging to a child's development. And if it's true, it will only cause more anger, pain, and death, among both Iraqis and the Americans serving there. It may even inspire more attacks on our homeland. Even though this is politics, I'm surprised you imagined such depravity among those who object to child rape.
posted by Llama-Lime at 8:11 PM on July 16, 2004


How many people are hoping this comes out so it does damage to your political enemies instead of stopping and punishing those that are the perpetrators?

You mean the "bad apples"? Give me a fucking break already.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:27 PM on July 16, 2004


Post it to your weblog.

Done on July 7. Interestingly, my normally very political friends didn't have an awful lot to say about it - and they run the gamut of political persuasions.

I could give a rip about whether this helps unseat Bush or not (though I certainly won't shed any tears for GWB if it does help unseat him). If this is true, we need to respond in a way that is appropriate. In light of how public these allegations have been abroad, we need to respond (IMO) in a way that demonstrates just as publicly that we don't approve of this sort of evil shit ever.

We're a country that sentences people to prison for months and years for consensual statutory rape. We're a country that impeached our president for lying about getting a blow job. If some of our soldiers actually did rape children and we ignored it, it would be a national shame.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:43 PM on July 16, 2004


Respondeat superior, Mick.
posted by PrinceValium at 8:48 PM on July 16, 2004


How many people are hoping this comes out so it does damage to your political enemies instead of stopping and punishing those that are the perpetrators?


It's a twofer. They're the same people.
posted by ook at 9:42 PM on July 16, 2004


Yeah, but what if major media sources around the world aren't reporting on it because IT DIDN'T HAPPEN? Put -that- in your pipe and smoke it.

Seriously. I asked for people to post CURRENT articles from GLOBAL MEDIA (that means anywhere in the world!) about US soldiers raping and/or torturing children in Iraq. No one responded. There's a few articles that have been posted here and have been pointed to endlessly by liberal fringe groups. It's only the fringe groups on both sides that are pointing to it. No one who I consider to be trustworthy (BBC, the Times, Associated Press, Reuters, et. al.) has even peeped about it. And, no, Fox isn't in that category.

I'm not a republican, I'm not a democrat. I'm not a conservative, I'm not a liberal. I stand on the middle of the fence and think carefully before I put weight, committment, voice, and time behind something.

All I ask is, SHOW ME SOME PROOF BESIDES HEARSAY and I will believe it. I will march in the streets against what our country has done, demanding it be changed. I will badger my congressbeing and squeak like the loudest squeaky wheel that ever needed some oil.

But no one should protest about this unless it actually happened. It's not worth posting to blogs unless it happened; if it didn't, you come off looking like a LGF conspiracy theorist asshole. Maybe people aren't talking about your blog post on this topic because they think you've gone a smidge off the deep end and they're too polite (or too used to rolling their eyes and moving on) to tell you?

My favorite gist from the above conversation: "The government is making the media squish it because it's an election year!" Wow... We control the european media? We control the pan-arabian media? We control the Associated Press and Reuters and all of the other international media bureaus that have people reporting night and day in English on TV and the web on iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq? Give me a fuckin' BREAK! I mean, shit, the TABLOIDS haven't even picked up this story. Aliens have landed yet again to return Elvis to us, but no, no child rape in Abu Ghirab mentioned...

I'm not calling bullshit on this story ... yet. I'm gonna start if I don't see some evidence one way or another. Stop and think what you're doing to your own reputation and credibility if you start "responding" before you see some proof besides what some dude said. Maybe the media's stopping and taking time to check and double-check their sources and facts? This is a pretty fucking weighty allegation that our nation, embodied in a bunch of soldiers, raped and tortured a bunch of kids on top of all of the other horrendous things we've already admitted we've done. Everyone here seems to have jumped up on the bandwagon and taken this as gospel already. Is your ability to think critically really this weak?!

Come on, stop protesting at the top of your lungs for just ONE second and THINK.
posted by SpecialK at 9:50 PM on July 16, 2004


SpecialK, if you've been paying attention (and people needing to get their news from MeFi may not be paying attention—right back at ya, badstone), then you know that everyone who's actually seen the footage from Abu Ghraib that the US military has accumulated is stunned and says that it's worse than anyone can imagine. There are quotes from congresscritters of all ideological stripes that say this—from way back when the photos first come to light. Sy Hersh has been saying this for months. Months.

I think a lot of people are surprised that the story hasn't already broken in a big way. But my guess is that the reaction of the congresscritters is revealing: the footage is so bad that even those who otherwise would push for its release are hesitating because they fear it's too inflammatory. Or some kind of reasoning to that effect. The reason this story isn't being shouted from the rooftops is because it's so bad, so much worse than one would expect, it's effectively unbelievable. That's a problem, actually. A lot of people will simply refuse to believe it.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:59 PM on July 16, 2004


Come on, stop protesting at the top of your lungs for just ONE second and THINK.

Metaphysician, think thyself.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:41 PM on July 16, 2004


"Yeah, but what if major media sources around the world aren't reporting on it because IT DIDN'T HAPPEN?"

We have a very credible reporter who have seen the videotape. We have the Taguba report, which has multiple witness' statements (which Maj. Gen. Taguba considered credible, and which apparently matched up with statements from others) confirming the acts which the reporter witnessed on tape.

What do we need before we can express outrage... a semen stain on a blue dress?

Here, I will share a post I have on my weblog on this, as it makes the facts clearer.
--------------------------

Iraqi boys videotaped being sodomized at Abu Ghraib.

This according to a speech today (RealPlayer, 1:31 into the program) by Seymour Hersh, the reporter who broke the story on the abuses documented in the Taguba report, and on the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.

"...basically what happened is that (there were) 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."

Seymour Hersh isn't the only witness to this. Apparently, Hayder Sabbar Abd, a former prisoner of Abu Ghraib, saw it too, as did Kasim Medahhi Hilas, who was considered highly credible by Gen. Taguba and testified in the report that he witnessed a man known by the inmates as Abu Hamid -- a translator employed by the Titan Corporation of San Diego -- rape an Iraqi boy. Here is a copy of Kasim Medahhi Hilas' full testimony. This was further documented in a special report by NPR's Marketplace.

"I saw the translator Abu Hamid, fucking a kid. His age would have been about 15 to 18 years. The kid was hurting very bad, and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard the screaming, I climbed to the door because on top it wasn't covered. And i saw Abu Hamid who was wearing a military uniform, putting his dick in the little kid's ass. I couldn't see the face of the kid because his face wasn't in front of the door. And the female soldier was taking pictures."

Another inmate, Thaar Dawod, describes more abuse of teenage Iraqis.
"They came with two boys naked and they were cuffed together face to face and Grainer [Corporal Charles Graner, one of the military policemen facing court martial] was beating them and a group of guards were watching and taking pictures from top and bottom and there was three female soldiers laughing at the prisoners."

These statements are part of the *FULL* Taguba report. What we have seen so far is little more than an executive summary. The full report has 106 annexes, and over 6000 pages.

The significance of these revelations and why they still matter is because on Aug. 18th, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld ordered Army Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller to conduct an inspection at Abu Ghraib, after Army officers in the field complained of getting no useful intelligence there. The result of these investigations led directly to an Oct. 12 memorandum by Gen. Sanchez, which gave military intelligence a greater degree of control over at Abu Ghraib, which essentially told them to take the gloves off, allowing interrogators to commit acts designed to "manipulate an internee's emotions and weaknesses."

Testimony by Col. Thomas Pappas in the Taguba report details the pressure he felt from higher levels in the Pentagon to extract more information from prisoners at Abu Ghraib. In his testimony, Pappas believed that "policies and procedures" at Abu Ghraib "were enacted as a specific result" of recommendations made by Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the former commander at Guantanamo.

Apparently, it's not just Seymour Hersh who thinks this story will break soon, but also conservative commentator Christopher Hitchens, who said recently...
"It's going to get much worse. The graphic videos and photographs that have so far been shown only to Congress are, I have been persuaded by someone who has seen them, not likely to remain secret for very long ....There will probably be a slight difficulty about showing these scenes in prime time, but they will emerge, never fear. We may have to start using blunt words like murder and rape to describe what we see. And one linguistic reform is in any case already much overdue. The silly word "abuse" will have to be dropped. No law or treaty forbids "abuse," but many conventions and statutes, including our own and the ones we have urged other nations to sign, do punish torture -- which is what we are talking about here at a bare minimum."
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:53 AM on July 17, 2004


How many people are hoping this comes out so it does damage to your political enemies instead of stopping and punishing those that are the perpetrators?

Compare that to the numbers that expressed similar outrage over the Catholic priest molestation story that peaked about a year ago and you might get an idea.
posted by shoos at 2:18 AM on July 17, 2004


"conservative commentator Christopher Hitchens"

Uh oh, let's not open that can of worms again. Can we all just agree to call him "asshole Christopher Hitchens" without stating whose asshole he is? Thanks
posted by Outlawyr at 4:38 AM on July 17, 2004


I wonder, does the same sort of thing happen on the right? That is, when a commentator or politician departs from the orthodoxy in any substantial and controversial way, they are immediately assumed to be opposition? McCain, in spite of his voting record, is an example, I think, of someone on the right whom many conservatives will no longer call their own because of a few high-profile deviations.

This really seems odd to me. It's oppressive. But I would think so since I am unorthodox in almost every sense. But this way of thinking does seem to me to divide the folks, like me, who are problem-solving oriented regarding policial and social issues from those who are group-identity-oriented.

Regardless, I, too, think "the asshole Christopher Hitchens" is appropriate. More than anything else, he's just sort of an asshole, attention-seeking contrarian. Anyway, in this context it's only relevant that Hitchens was very pro-Iraq-invasion.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:50 AM on July 17, 2004


insomnia_lj - thank goodness you were on top of that. I had to go and couldn't respond to specialk's attack.

There's an update of info - what major news sources have so far covered the story, at DailyKos :

"Summary of previous thread [ click on link for version with all the working links, at Kos' site ]

It looks like the Ed Cone story is getting traction in the blogosphere.

* Michael D pointed to his May 10th diary entry regarding a May 7th 'Countdown' MSNBC transcript that mentioned the rape video allegations.
* That NBC story, as far as I can tell, was picked up only by: Boston Herald, SacBee, SF Gate, and CNN for the American media.
* All of these stories were on May 8th.  There doesn't appear to be any followup in the major media on that stunning allegation (AFAIK). It does appear as if there was some desperate embargo called for by the administration.
* Hersh hinted at this previously on June 10th 'He said that after he broke Abu Ghraib people are coming out of the woodwork to tell him this stuff. He said he had seen all the Abu Ghraib pictures. He said, "You haven't begun to see evil..." then trailed off. He said, "horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run."' (via Brad DeLong).
* Ed Cone has a followup post.  He raises some a great question "why has Hersh not published this incredible stuff, and why did the world ignore the speech when it was made last week?"
* The only mention made was in this June 8th article at The New York Sun - " The veteran journalist, who exposed the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, said some of the most heinous actions by American soldiers had yet to be disclosed by the government. Mr. Hersh said the undisclosed evidence includes videos of young male prisoners being sodomized.".  This article was referred to by Jim Romensko which is supposed to be followed my mainstream journalists, however they ignored it.  Why?
* Salon.com has a better transcription of the video (starts at 1:31) than mine and it's a bit longer.  I've included it after the jump.  They also pose a lot of great questions that many brought up in the previous thread.
"

________________________

*" It does appear as if there was some desperate embargo called for by the administration. "*


blogosphere : Go git 'em!
posted by troutfishing at 5:24 AM on July 17, 2004


The story is still hidden, no major news source reporting it. Two exceptions: The Independent and El Mundo (scroll all the way down). Both quote Hersh and no other source. There are other links on Google News, but I do not consider them major.

Also, from Columbia Journalism Review, July 2004/August 2004
The Abu Ghraib story broke when we saw visual proof of torture. Why not sooner?

[S]cattered reports last summer and fall by the AP, Reuters, The Washington Post, and others alluded to mistreatment of prisoners, but none suggested the story's magnitude. Traditionally, Red Cross dossiers on breaches of the Geneva Conventions are secret, as a condition of the group's access to military prisons. But given the degree of the organization's frustration over all those months, it is surprising that little or nothing of the Red Cross's findings made its way into the press. Amnesty International, meanwhile, was under no such stricture, and was putting out press releases. One in July 2003 cited "reports of torture" by Coalition forces. Similarly, the contents of Major General Taguba's stark expose went undiscovered until the end of April, even though the Pentagon announced in January that his study was under way.

Reservists and National Guard troops in the prison were wholly unprepared for the task of dealing with detainees, as Major General Taguba and others pointed out. Some digging by the media in Baghdad might have exposed the dangers inherent in that situation. Systematic interviewing of released prisoners might have given correspondents a whiff of what was going on inside the prison.

Perhaps some news organizations were reluctant to believe that Americans engage in torture. One editor, David Frum of National Review, in a CNN interview, seemed to fear the global backlash. He said he wished the story had been told in text only, no photographs. We disagree. Hiding ugly truths to defend policy is out of place on news pages and newscasts. Michael Getler, the ombudsman at The Washington Post, wondered on May 9 why his paper "was slow off the mark on this story"; readers questioned, he wrote, why the Post "did not dig into this prisoner abuse scandal much earlier, and why it hesitated, after CBS and The New Yorker broke the story, to put it on the front page." Those are questions worth posing to virtually the entire U.S. journalism community.

Since the story broke, the press has pursued it aggressively -- and with a much-needed dose of skepticism, as the administration attempts to lay blame on a handful of soldiers. But regrettably and unnecessarily, the facts lay at the outer edge of journalism's radar screen for too long.
posted by MzB at 7:17 AM on July 17, 2004


MzB - Agreed : none but Hersh have been willing to come forward on record, so far, to talk about the footage.

But Hersh has staked a large measure of his reputation here, and Christopher Hitchens - who, regardless of what one thinks of him, does have his own sources - has said several days ago on Slate that the Ghraib child-rape story was going to really break very soon (link above, by insomnia_lj) :

"It's going to get much worse. The graphic videos and photographs that have so far been shown only to Congress are, I have been persuaded by someone who has seen them, not likely to remain secret for very long"

Think of this in terms of a recent Metafilter post of mine, Metafilter 33985 :

" "The most intriguing story in Washington these days is a subterranean conflict that reporters cannot cover because some of them are involved. A potent guerrilla insurgency has formed in and around the Bush presidency - a revolt of old pros in government who strike from the shadows with devastating effect. They tell the truth. They explode big lies. They provide documentary evidence..." - William Greider, on what could prove to be one of the defining power struggles of our time."

This is one of several posts I've done on this story - see also "Calling the Cleaner" (Metafilter 33390) and Metafilter 26991 :"Cooked intel revolts spooks - Spooks revolt : elements of the US intelligence community are between outrage and open revolt, and Veterans for Intelligence Sanity, a group of ex - CIA professionals led by Ray McGovern, a 27 year veteran of the CIA who used to brief George Bush Sr., has called for Dick Cheney's resignation in an open letter to GW Bush, reports Nick Kristoff. "You may not realize the extent of the current ferment within the intelligence community and particularly the CIA" they have warned Mr. Bush. At the heart of the matter is the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans (OSP)..."

______________________

I'm betting that someone (whose identity might never be discovered) is waiting for an appropriate time - maybe to counter an unexpected Bush Administration parry or gambit - to release this footage.

Soon. A month, maybe two, even three. But soon.
posted by troutfishing at 7:50 AM on July 17, 2004


I've also read mention of a facility distinct from Abu Ghraib that was used to imprison children. I don't have time to dig for it at the moment, but the Abu Ghraib facility might represent be - in terms of this particular story - a red herring.

This ongoing madness cannot long be sustained - so I wonder what the extended game plan of the Bush Administration is. If they assume a win in November, what would Jim Woolsey, Iraq's new Minister of Propaganda and Disinformation, Mr. "We're now in a WW4 to reshape the Middle East" (North Korea's on the docket too), be up to in '05 ?

Perhaps - for the neocons - since retreat is impossible, the only option would be to advance and open new fronts.

Think of that recent "Syrian terrorist dry run" disinformation piece (recently on Metafilter) .
posted by troutfishing at 7:59 AM on July 17, 2004


MzB - Agreed : none but Hersh have been willing to come forward on record, so far, to talk about the footage.

But Hersh has staked a large measure of his reputation here, and Christopher Hitchens - who, regardless of what one thinks of him, does have his own sources - has said several days ago on Slate that the Ghraib child-rape story was go to really break very soon (link above, by insomnia_lj)

""It's going to get much worse. The graphic videos and photographs that have so far been shown only to Congress are, I have been persuaded by someone who has seen them, not likely to remain secret for very long"

Think of this in terms of a recent Metafilter post of mine, Metafilter 33985 :

" "The most intriguing story in Washington these days is a subterranean conflict that reporters cannot cover because some of them are involved. A potent guerrilla insurgency has formed in and around the Bush presidency - a revolt of old pros in government who strike from the shadows with devastating effect. They tell the truth. They explode big lies. They provide documentary evidence..." - William Greider, on what could prove to be one of the defining power struggles of our time."

This is one of several posts I've done on this story - see also "Calling the Cleaner" (Metafilter 33390) and Metafilter 26991 :"Cooked intel revolts spooks - Spooks revolt : elements of the US intelligence community are between outrage and open revolt, and Veterans for Intelligence Sanity, a group of ex - CIA professionals led by Ray McGovern, a 27 year veteran of the CIA who used to brief George Bush Sr., has called for Dick Cheney's resignation in an open letter to GW Bush, reports Nick Kristoff. "You may not realize the extent of the current ferment within the intelligence community and particularly the CIA" they have warned Mr. Bush. At the heart of the matter is the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans (OSP)..."

______________________

I'm betting that someone (whose identity might never be discovered) is waiting for an appropriate time - maybe to counter an unexpected Bush Administration parry or gambit - to release this footage.

Soon. A month, maybe two, even three. But soon.
posted by troutfishing at 8:00 AM on July 17, 2004


Oops. My apologies for filling the blue up with redundant troutness.
posted by troutfishing at 8:01 AM on July 17, 2004


/me slaps trout with a trout
posted by quonsar at 8:20 AM on July 17, 2004


Al-Jazeera just broke the story. It's safe to say that the world's press know by now.
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:30 AM on July 17, 2004


Al-Jazeera.com is not a part of Al Jazeera satellite TV - there seem to be lots of unrelated al jazeera program-like activites.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:19 AM on July 17, 2004


insomnia_lj:

That's just Al-Jazeera.com reprinting a MoveOn.org statement. We can't even be sure they translated it into Arabic.
posted by Ptrin at 10:25 AM on July 17, 2004


Perhaps - for the neocons - since retreat is impossible, the only option would be to advance and open new fronts.

Think of that recent "Syrian terrorist dry run" disinformation piece (recently on Metafilter)


well, drudge has a link up now to a Iran-Al Qaeda connection.
posted by amberglow at 10:52 AM on July 17, 2004


And re: torture: it appears Georgie's been practicing for years and years. (Maybe we can get him show us the scars, a la LBJ)
posted by amberglow at 3:29 PM on July 17, 2004


amberglow - and that's a more substantiated connection (though still lesser than to Saudi Arabia, Yemen.....) which I'm suspicious they've been holding in reserve.

Watch Woolsey.
posted by troutfishing at 7:48 PM on July 17, 2004


(my thanks to Jim Lobe for that one)
posted by troutfishing at 7:49 PM on July 17, 2004


quonsar - goddamn! watch the direction of those scales, will you? One way, they're like silk, and the other.....a fishy apocalypse. I'm still sewing my cheek back on.
posted by troutfishing at 7:52 PM on July 17, 2004


aljazeera.COM is someone else.

That said aljazeera.NET the mideast news network has the story on its site now.
posted by skallas at 8:00 PM on July 17, 2004


Sorry about that.

This time for sure...!

And the Washington Times, too.
(And I thought Rev. Moon loved Bush. Hm...)
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:35 PM on July 17, 2004


THE BRIEFING ROOM OF THE PENTAGON, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA
11:40 A.M. EDT, FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2004
[...]
Q Senator Warner said yesterday after the meeting that there are new cases that have come to light, at least since the last time they were -- cases that they weren't aware of. Is that the case? What are these new cases? Cases of prisoner abuse.

MR. HENRY: I don't believe that Senator Warner spoke of that in context to the ICRC briefing. He may have been -- had other briefings that day that might have led him to that conclusion, but you have to check with Senator Warner on that, exactly what he's coming from.

Q I mean, do you know whether there have been cases of prisoner abuse that have come to light?

MR. HENRY: I think we're in a continual process of discovery as we do all the different assessments and investigations we're doing. New facts are coming in every day. I'm not privy to specifically what those facts are. But we are in a mode of information discovery right now on exactly what went on, in all aspects of the global war on terrorism in relationship to the detainee affairs. And I can't tell you specifically what might have come in or what might have gone to Senator Warner here in the last few days.
[...]
Q In a speech yesterday, Seymour Hersh said that there are videotapes that are in possession of the OSD that show Iraqi boys being sodomized. Are there videotapes that are in possession of the Office of the Secretary of Defense that show Iraqi boys being sodomized?

MR. HENRY: I have no -- I have absolutely no knowledge of that, or have I heard anything regarding that.



-----------------------------------------------------
United Press International - BAGHDAD, July 17 - "Reporter alleges sodomy at Abu Ghraib"

American journalist Seymour Hersh has said there are videotapes of American soldiers sodomizing young Iraqi boys at Abu Ghraib prison.

The investigative journalist, one of the first to break the story of prisoner abuses, said the Bush administration is holding the tapes of these acts, Aljazeera.net reported Saturday.

"The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling, and the worst part is the soundtrack, of the boys shrieking. And this is your government at war," he said.

There was "a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher," he said.
posted by MzB at 10:35 AM on July 18, 2004


Has anyone seen anything about this on LINK TV or on the Middle East news show Mosaic?
posted by Beansidhe at 12:49 PM on July 18, 2004


MzB - Hersh is forcing the story. he must either be risking a gambit or else he's sure of backup.

This will break.
posted by troutfishing at 9:04 PM on July 18, 2004


I'm interested to know how the government controls the networks to this extent? Surely child rape would be enough for most people - even those in the media - to recoil, and publish the details.
posted by wibbler at 3:12 AM on July 20, 2004


All I ask is, SHOW ME SOME PROOF BESIDES HEARSAY and I will believe it.

What SpecialK said.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:12 AM on July 20, 2004


here's some proof, from the Taguba report
posted by amberglow at 4:26 PM on July 20, 2004


wibbler - No strong control is necessary. Since the 1930's, according to Editor and Publisher Magazine - which commissioned a fairly rigorous study - major print media publications endorsed Republican candidates in the majority of US presidential elections and - by the most recent account, media owners and editors overall support George W. Bush by a strong majority.

It's a simple convergence of political interests, no more and no less.

However, the White House can - and routinely does - cut troublesome reporters and journalists off from regular official information channels and interviews with administration members. This method carries a bit of weight too as an auxiliary enforcement tool.
posted by troutfishing at 4:37 PM on July 20, 2004


SHOW ME SOME PROOF BESIDES HEARSAY and I will believe it.

So let's see. We have proof (in the form of photos and/or statements by members of the US Congress) of: rape of women prisoners, anal rape of male prisoners by lightstick, prisoners forced to perform fellatio on one another, prisoners attacked by dogs, and prisoners beaten to death. We have statements from the Red Cross, US journalists, and multiple US servicemen that there were children interned, and that children were physically abused. All that, fine.

But child rape, no way. It's going to take more than the word of a respected US journalist, and the Taguba report, for you to believe that one. Because those are just hearsay.

Is that pretty much what you're saying?
posted by ook at 5:18 PM on July 20, 2004


New classified documents implicate U.S. forces in rape and sodomy of Iraqi prisoners
posted by homunculus at 12:46 PM on July 31, 2004


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