During the last week of April 2004 nine allegedly bogus images depicting the brutal rape of two Iraqi women surfaced on an Arab web site. Within days the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal exploded into the headlines. Americans were shocked by PG-13 images of abuse and "The Taguba Report" was made public. This left me to ask, "Is this just coincidence or damage control?"
Amnesty International seems to feel the Taguba Report was never meant for the public but was partially released as digital images found it's way into the "public domain". They said, in an open letter to President Bush,
"Amnesty International is concerned that the Taguba report was not intended for public release, and that the administration's current response has only come once the report and the photographic evidence came into the public domain."
WORLDNETDAILYWorldNetDaily reported that the Iraqi rape pictures were bogus because they could be found on the porn site "Iraqi Babes". Although Linda MacNew, the owner of the porn site admitted in the WND story that she couldn't tell if the images were fake or real.
"MacNew told WND she was not able yesterday to verify conclusively that the photos, which she said were produced by the Hungarian "Sex in War" site, were legal or illegal -- meaning whether the women involved were without question porn actresses or were actually raped on camera"
Of course if the images were real a good form of damage control, from a Military Intelligence point of view, would be to have them turn up on a porn site as porn.
These pictures are not typical of most porn. The women are wearing no make up. They appear truly distressed and good acting is not a trademark of porn.
At that time I paid to join "Iraqi Babes" to see for myself and found an accompanying video clip which depicted comical looking "Iraqi soldiers" being forced to watch the rape. I never saw the "Iraqi soldiers" in the same frame as the women and they were probably spliced in to give the video the "cheesy" look of real porn. The video also showed the young girl penetrated anally with only some spit from her rapist for lubrication. The soundtrack consisted only of loud rock music.
WATER BOARDING?This picture undeniably depicts the use of water torture although it was taken before "The Taguba Report" and torture stories were made public. It shows an interrogation that is too close to the more commonly used and officially authorized "water boarding" to be mere coincidence in my opinion.
From the Taguba Report:
"When he returned later, Wisdom testified: I saw two naked detainees, one masturbating to another kneeling with its mouth open..."
The following image seems to show a technique taken right from the above quote in the Taguba Report. The technique of dehumanizing a prisoner by making him (or her) kneel naked as an open mouthed "receptacle".
These pictures have haunted my conscience for five years. I believe they are most likely real. But even if they are fakes they are well done enough to illustrate the horrors of torture.
It would be disingenuous to say that releasing torture photos to the American public would endanger the lives of U.S. personnel. The Iraqis know better than us what we are doing there. They don't need pictures to know their neighbors and relatives are being arrested, interrogated and humiliated.
President Obama now wants to ban the publishing of POW torture photos. Is this so he can hide his own possible future war crimes?
No nation that calls itself civilized would even have to debate whether the use of torture is justified. Left unopposed it's use only gets progressively more brutal and more frequent. What we should all consider seriously is that minds that can justify torture's use overseas can just as easily justify it's use here at home.
In a report issued by the International Red Cross:
It said some coalition military intelligence officers estimated "between 70 per cent and 90 per cent of the persons deprived of their liberty in Iraq had been arrested by mistake."