Just more fraternity hijinks….
This is how we go about winning hearts and minds in Iraq:
Previously secret sworn statements by detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq describe in raw detail abuse that goes well beyond what has been made public, adding allegations of prisoners being ridden like animals, sexually fondled by female soldiers and forced to retrieve their food from toilets.
The statements provide the most detailed picture yet of what took place on the cellblock. Some of the detainees described being abused as punishment or discipline after they were caught fighting or with a prohibited item. Some said they were pressed to denounce Islam or were force-fed pork and liquor. Many provided graphic details of how they were sexually humiliated and assaulted, threatened with rape, and forced to masturbate in front of female soldiers.
“They forced us to walk like dogs on our hands and knees,” said Hiadar Sabar Abed Miktub al-Aboodi, detainee No. 13077. “We had to bark like a dog, and if we didn’t do that they started hitting us hard on our face and chest with no mercy. After that, they took us to our cells, took the mattresses out and dropped water on the floor and they made us sleep on our stomachs on the floor with the bags on our head and they took pictures of everything.”
The prisoners also provided accounts of how some of the now-famous photographs were staged, including the pyramid of hooded, naked prisoners. Eight of the detainees identified by name one particular soldier at the center of the abuse investigation, Spec. Charles A. Graner Jr., a member of the 372nd Military Police Company from Cresaptown, Md. Five others described abuse at the hands of a solider who matches Graner’s description.
“They said we will make you wish to die and it will not happen,” said Ameen Saeed Al-Sheik, detainee No. 151362. “The stripped me naked. One of them told me he would rape me. He drew a picture of a woman to my back and makes me stand in shameful position holding my buttocks.”
Kasim Mehaddi Hilas, detainee No. 151108, told investigators that when he first arrived at Abu Ghraib last year, he was forced to strip, put on a hood and wear rose-colored panties with flowers on them. “Most of the days I was wearing nothing else,” he said in his statement.
Hilas also said he witnessed an Army translator having sex with a boy at the prison. He said the boy was between 15 and 18 years old. Someone hung sheets to block the view, but Hilas said he heard the boy’s screams and climbed a door to get a better look. Hilas said he watched the assault and told investigators that it was documented by a female soldier taking pictures.
“The kid was hurting very bad,” Hilas said.
We came to bring them freedom. Instead we gave them the home version of HBO’s Oz… but without the humanity.