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Abu Ghraib Revisited

Ernesto Cienfuegos, La Voz de Aztlan

February 2, 2007

Los Angeles, Alta California - January 31, 2007 - (ACN) During the trial of Pfc. Lynndie England, now doing three years in a military prison for her part in the Abu Ghraib prison war crimes, she was asked if there were other things that happened at Abu Ghraib, things that were not photographed, she said, "Yes." When asked if there were worse things that happened, she again said "Yes," but would not elaborate.

While testifying before a Senate panel on May 7, 2004, the now discredited Donald Rumsfeld confirmed that certain videotapes and photographs of the horrific sexual tortures at Abu Ghraib have yet to be released. "If these are released to the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse," Rumsfeld admitted.

What do these not yet released videotapes and photographs show? The answer is now slowly but surely surfacing as people who know are beginning to talk. The truth about these videotapes and photographs in the Pentagon's custody is more horrific than anything made public so far.

The videotapes and photographs that have not yet been made public depict, according to former Abu Ghraib prisoners, bestial US intelligence interrogators and military police personnel raping and sodomizing Iraqi children as young as 11 years old. Some of the new information became known this week when a former Abu Ghraib prison guard posted a video on YouTube.Com confessing to the repeated gang rape of a 15 year old Iraqi girl in custody. The video at http://youtube.com/v/HZuaiZr6YBU was promptly removed after it was making the rounds on the Internet but a transcript survived. The following is a transcript of the most relevant sections:

Voice of the guard at Abu Ghraib and another person is heard
------------------------------------

....girl, she was probably like 15 years old. Yeah, she was hot dude. The body on that girl, yeah, really tight. You know, hadn't been touched yet. She was fucking prime. So....

***

One of the guys started pimping her out for 50 bucks a shot. I think at the end of the day he'd made like 500 bucks before she hung herself.

Really?

Yeah. (laugh)

She hung herself? How's come she hung herself?

I don't know. She wasn't happy. (laugh)

***

In their culture, it's really shunned upon if you get raped. I guess she would have been stoned to death by her people. It's fucked up.

She was fucked anyway, I guess. In more ways than one.

(more laughing)

***

You didn't get shit from the CO, did you?

No, not until those fucking pictures came out. After then the biggest rule was no fucking cameras.

***
End of Transcript

The information on the above videotape is collaborated by Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. He has maintained that the Pentagon has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison. "The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking," Hersh said. Seymore Hersh first gained worldwide recognition in 1969 for exposing the My Lai massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War.

More collaborative statements concerning the sexual torture of children at Abu Ghraib have been made by the surviving prisoners themselves. The following is an excerpt from a statement provided by Kasim Mehaddi Hilas, Detainee #151108, on January 18 2004:

"I saw [name deleted] fucking a kid, his age would be about 15 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard the screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn't covered and I saw [name deleted] who was wearing the 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 a female soldier was taking pictures. The sodomizer [name deleted], I think he is [deleted] because of his accent, and he was not skinny or short, and he acted like a homosexual (gay). And that was in cell #23 as best as I remember."

The following is another testimony of sexual torture of Iraqi children from a statement provided by Thaar Salman Dawod, Detainee #150427, on January 17, 2004:

"I saw lots of people naked for a few days getting punished in the first days of Ramadan. They came with two boys naked and they were cuffed together face to face and Grainer 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. The prisoners, two of them, were children. I don't know their names."

One of the most horrific incidents at Abu Ghraib is told by a 16 year old Iraqi girl in her own words. Nadia, in tears, narrated her story:

"I was visiting one of my relatives, and suddenly the American forces attacked the home and started to inspect it. They found some light weapons. So, they arrested all people in the home including me. I tried to explain to the interpreter, who was accompanying the American patrol, that I am just a visitor. However, my trials failed. I cried, begged them, and I lost consciousness from fear when they took me to Abu Ghraib prison.

Nadia continues "they put me alone in a dark and dirty prison cell. I expected that I will be released soon, especially when the investigation proved that I hadnít committed a crime"

Nadia elaborated while tears poured down her cheek, a telling sign of just how much she has suffered.

"The first day was so burdensome. The cell was malodorous, humid and dark, and this condition increased the fear inside me more and more. The laughs of the soldier outside the cell made me even more scared. I was afraid of what would happen to me. For the first time I felt that I was in a difficult gridlock and that I had entered an unknown world that I would not get out of.

In the middle of these different feelings, I heard a voice for an American soldier woman who was speaking in an Arabic language. She said to me: "I didnít imagine that the weaponsí traders in Iraq are women." When I started to explain to her the circumstances of the situation, she beat me cruelly. I cried and shouted "By Allah! I am oppressed, By Allah! I am oppressed"

The soldier showered me with insults in a way that I have never thought possible or that I would ever be subjected to under any circumstances. Then, she started to deride me saying that she was monitoring me all the day via the satellite, and that they can track their enemies even inside their own bedrooms by American technology.

Then she laughed and said: "I was watching you when you were making love with your husband." I replied in a confused voice "But I am not married".

She beat me for more than one an hour and she forced me to drink a glass of water, and I knew later that they put a drug in it. I regained my consciousness after two days to find myself naked. I knew immediately that I have lost something that all the laws in the earth will not be able to return it to me once again. I had been raped. A hysterical fit attacked me and I started to hit my head violently against the walls till more than five American soldiers head by that soldier women entered the cell and started to beat me, and they raped me alternately while they laughing and listening to a loud music.

Day by day the scenario of raping me was repeated. And every day they invent new ways that are crueler than the prior ways."

She went on describing the horrible acts of the American criminals:

"After about one month, a Negro soldier entered my cell and threw me two pieces of American military clothes. He said in weak Arabic language to wear them. After he put a black bag on my head, he led me to a public toilet where there are pipes for cold and hot water and he asked me to bathe. He then closed the door and left.

I was so exhausted and feeling pain, and despite the tremendous number of the bruises in my body, I poured out some water on my body. Before I finish my bath, the Negro soldier came in. I frightened, and I hit him in the face with the water bowl. His reaction was so tough. He raped me cruelly and spit on my face, then he left and returned with two soldiers who returned me to the cell.

The treatment continued that way, to the extent that sometimes I was raped ten times in a day, the matter which affected my health negatively."

Nadia continued in revealing the American horrible actions made against the Iraqi women, saying:

"After more than 4 months, a woman soldier woman came, and I concluded from her conversation with other soldiers that her name is Mary. She said to me "now you have a golden opportunity, since an officer who has a high position will visit us today, if you deal with him positively, you would be released, especially because we are sure you are innocent."

I replied, "If you are sure of I am innocent, why you donít release me?"

She screamed in nervousness, "The only way that guarantees your releasing is to be positive with them."

She took me to the public toilets, and she supervised my bath while she was holding a thick stick, hitting me by it if I didnít perform her orders. Then, she gave me makeup, and warned me not to cry and ruin my makeup. Then she took me to an empty small room where there was nothing but a cover on the floor, and after one an hour she came accompanied with four soldiers who was holding cameras. She took off her clothes and she harassed me as if she was a man. The soldiers were laughing and listening to a noisy music, and taking photographs to me in all poses, and they were emphasizing on my face. The woman asked me to smile otherwise she is going to kill me, and she took a gun from one of her colleagues and fired four bullets near my head, and swore that the fifth bullet will be fired in my head.

After that, the four soldiers raped me alternately the matter which made me lose my consciousness. When I regained the consciousness I found myself in the cell and the traces of their teeth, nails and cigarettes are in everywhere in my body."

Nadia stopped narrating her tragedy to wipe her tears, then she continued: "After one day Mary came and told me that I was cooperative, and I will be released but after I watch the film that they have shot. I was in pain when I saw the film, and she (Mary) said: "you have been created for the sole purpose for us to enjoy". At the moment I became very anger and I attacked her although I was afraid of her reaction, and I would kill her except for the interfering of the soldiers. When the soldiers released me she showered me with hitting, then they left me.

After this incident, nobody harassed me for more then one month; I spent that period in the praying and invocation to Allah, the All-Mighty who has all power, to help me.

Mary came with some soldiers who gave me the clothes that I was wearing when they arrested me and took me to an American car. Then they threw me on the highway road after giving me 10,000 Iraqi Dinars.

I went to a home that was near the place where I have been thrown out and since I know the reaction of my family, I preferred to visit one of my relatives to let them know what happened after my absence. I knew that my brother had held a consolation board for me for more than 4 months, and they considered me as a dead person.

I understand the knife of shame is waiting for me. So, I went to Baghdad where I found a good family who lodged me, and I worked with this family as a maid and governess for their children.

Nadia wonders in pain, regret and bitterness:

"Who will quench my thirst? Who will return my virginity? What is the offense of my family and kin? I have inside me a baby, and I donít know who his father is."
---------------
End of Nadia's story

There is no doubt that the US has committed war crimes in Iraq of unspeakable horror. The fact is that what occurred at the Abu Ghraib prison have not been isolated incidents. Similar cases have occurred throughout Iraq. One of many cases occurred in Mahmudiya in March of 2006 when a 14 year old girl was gang raped after her parents and her 5 year old sister were massacred by drunk US occupation soldiers. The soldiers entered the young girl's home and forced her father Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, her mother Qassim Hamza and her sister Hadeel Qassim Hamza to an adjoining room. One soldier shot her parents and sister in the head and then all proceeded to repeatedly rape her. After raping her, the US soldiers poured kerosene on her and burned her to death. These rape and killings are among the most heinous in a series of cases by the US occupiers that have tarnished the American military.

Who should pay for these war crimes? Has there been justice in the Abu Ghraib torture crimes? Two of the worse Abu Ghraib torturers received mere 10 and 3 year sentences but one was only a sergeant and the other a private first class. How about the higher ups? Have they been responsible for these war crimes as well? How about Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney and yes even George Bush?


:: Article nr. 30291 sent on 03-feb-2007 10:11 ECT

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