The whole thing is sickening because it just goes to show you that any branch of the military is capable of being stupid and arrogant enough to torture captives and photograph them for fun. And they seem to relish in the abuse, which they clearly don’t think will get them into trouble.
Photos that appear to show commandos in Iraq sitting on hooded and handcuffed detainees are seen on a commercial photo-sharing Web site operated by a woman who said her husband brought the photos from Iraq after his tour of duty. The Navy SEALs have launched a criminal investigation into the photographs. Date stamps on some photos suggest they were made in May 2003, which could make them the earliest evidence of possible abuse of prisoners in Iraq. (AP Photo)
An Associated Press reporter found more than 40 of the pictures among hundreds in an album posted on a commercial photo-sharing Web site by a woman who said her husband brought them from Iraq after his tour of duty. It is unclear who took the pictures, which the Navy said it was investigating after the AP furnished copies to get comment for this story.
These and other photos found by the AP appear to show the immediate aftermath of raids on civilian homes. One man is lying on his back with a boot on his chest. A mug shot shows a man with an automatic weapon pointed at his head and a gloved thumb jabbed into his throat. In many photos, faces have been blacked out. What appears to be blood drips from the heads of some. A family huddles in a room in one photo and others show debris and upturned furniture.
“These photographs raise a number of important questions regarding the treatment of prisoners of war (POWs) and detainees,” Navy Cmdr. Jeff Bender, a spokesman for the Naval Special Warfare Command in Coronado, said in a written response to questions. “I can assure you that the matter will be thoroughly investigated.”
The photos were turned over to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which instructed the SEAL command to determine whether they show any serious crimes, Bender said Friday. That investigation will determine the identities of the troops and what they were doing in the photos.
Some of the photos recall aspects of the images from Abu Ghraib, which led to charges against seven soldiers accused of humiliating and assaulting prisoners. In several of the photos obtained by the AP, grinning men wearing U.S. flags on their uniforms, and one with a tattoo of a SEAL trident, take turns sitting or lying atop what appear to be three hooded and handcuffed men in the bed of a pickup truck.
A photo found posted on a commercial photo-sharing Web site operated by a woman who said her husband brought the photos from Iraq after his tour of duty appears to show prisoners in the back of a truck with a foot atop one of the detainees. The Navy SEALs have launched a criminal investigation into photographs that appear to show commandos in Iraq sitting on hooded and handcuffed detainees, and photos of what appear to be bloodied prisoners, one with a gun to his head. (AP Photo)