Abu Ghraib abuse photos 'show rape'
Photographs of alleged prisoner abuse which Barack Obama is attempting to censor include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse, it has emerged.
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
Instead of coming from some radical Human Rights organization, this information is coming from a former U.S. Army General, the man who headed the investigation into the Abu Ghraib scandal - and was prohibited from looking at the involvement of higher-ups in these crimes.
Is it rather interesting that John Yoo publicly and specifically argued that *THIS WAS LEGAL*.
John Yoo publicly argued there is no law that could prevent the President from ordering the torture of a child of a suspect in custody – including by crushing that child’s testicles.
This came out in response to a question in a December 1st debate in Chicago with Notre Dame professor and international human rights scholar Doug Cassel.
Cassel: If the President deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?
Yoo: No treaty.
Cassel: Also no law by Congress. That is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo.
Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.
Geneva doesn't prevent that although it says there will be NO AFFRONTS TO PERSONAL DIGNITY or threats against the family of a detainee? The UN Convention Against Torture doesn't prevent that? 18 USC 2340 (The Torture Statute) and the 18 USC 2441 (The War Crimes Statues) don't outlaw this?
If so, then nothing is outlawed.
The Memo in question is Here (pdf), in it Yoo argues essentially that the Torture Statute only applies if you intent is to "cause severe physical harm" - but if you have some other reason/excuse, the law doesn't apply.
The infliction of pain must be the defendants precise objective.
Although the Torture Convention specifically argued that purposes of "pain inflicted for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person a confession of information... is prohibited" - Yoo tries to argue this away with the argument that words "specifically intended" are included within the ratification documentation of the treaty as approved by Congress.
He argued that since the intent was to gain information or cooperation from the subject, or even a third party as opposed to the simplistic sadistic goal of causing pain for it's own sake, it's legal.
Rob bank and keep the money = Illegal. Rob a bank and give the money to charity = Legal. Rape a child for shits and giggles = Illegal. Rape a child to get their parents to infiltrate the insurgency and report back to you = Legal.
And since Yoo put this view into a memo and it was stamped as valid by the Justice Deptartment, it's pretty hard to argue complete ignorance when exactly what he wrote - is what happened in Iraq.
Maj Gen Taguba’s internal inquiry into the abuse at Abu Ghraib, included sworn statements by 13 detainees, which, he said in the report, he found “credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses.”
Among the graphic statements, which were later released under US freedom of information laws, is that of Kasim Mehaddi Hilas in which he says: “I saw [name of a translator] ******* a kid, his age would be about 15 to 18 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn’t covered and I saw [name] who was wearing the military uniform, putting his **** in the little kid’s ***…. and the female soldier was taking pictures.”
Let me point out again, that various prior memos by Yoo claiming that Geneva didn't apply to the Taliban or al Qaeda were never written or amended to include civilians detained in Iraq who very clearly would be covered by Geneva and any actions such as these would clearly be - a War Crime!
General Taguba agrees:
Maj. Gen Taguba saw the horrors first hand during his Abu Ghraib investigation and he believes the Bush administration is guilty of war crimes.
In a preface to a report by Physicians for Human Rights on prisoner abuse and torture in U.S. military prisons Taguba wrote: "There is no longer any doubt that the current administration committed war crimes. The only question is whether those who ordered torture will be held to account."