Suppressed Abu Ghraib Photos Published Down Under; Pentagon Has Videos of Children Screaming While Being Sodomized

Photo: SBS/Dateline

Photo: SBS/Dateline

Somehow, the Sydney Morning Herald obtained some of the additional Abu Ghraib photos that the Obama administration is in US court trying to keep hidden as it fights an ACLU Freedom of Information lawsuit. Fifteen of the 60 are published on-line Saturday (Sydney time) by the newspaper.

Is it because we’ve become inured to photos of Americans torturing prisoners of war that I don’t have the same violent, angry reaction to this latest batch as I did when the first Abu Ghraib pictures were leaked? Have I watched that same video loop of a jump-suited Army volunteer being waterboarded too many times to feel the same intense nausea at images of what George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the Inquisition priests authorized in my name? Did seven years of a constant drip-drip-drip on my head as each new piece of information leaked out of yet another crime against humanity desensitize me to the horror of what we became?

America finally jumped the shark, dooming us and our time to be remembered in history as the moment when we joined a long list of nations whose self-betrayal led to our own collapse. And why do I not feel an Arctic chill blain down my back when I think of this horrific possibility, or how and why it happened? Why we let it happen?

I am revolted by my own lack of revulsion.

Mourning In America
Meanwhile, Daily Kos is reporting Seymour Hersh saying the US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

“The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking,” the reporter told an ACLU convention last week. Hersh says there was “a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher.”

This may be the reason behind President Obama’s decision this week to fight releasing the images and video tapes.

Hersh was speaking to the ACLU’s 2004 America At A Crossroad membership conference last week. According to Kos, Hersh also said,

Some of the worse that happened that you don’t know about, ok. Videos, there are women there. Some of you may have read they were passing letters, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib which is 30 miles from Baghdad [...]

“The women were passing messages saying “Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened”. Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it’s going to come out.

charley-james.jpg

It’s impossible to say to yourself how do we get there? Who are we? Who are these people that sent us there?

As Dick Price wrote to me, whatever moral high ground we once held is gone. Maybe forever. We should all be in mourning for America.

Charley James
The Progressive Curmudgeon

LA Progressive

Comments

  1. NavyDavy says

    you know this argument over torture would be a mute point if shrub and his administrations would have just read a Intelligence briefing titled “bin laden determined to strike inside the united states” the attack probably would not have happened, but you can pretty much gaurantee that the Idiot from Texas and the moron from Montana put more American Citizens in danger and the next time a member of our Military is captured and tortured we will have no place to complain especially reichwingers like yourself….

  2. barry says

    Terrorist barbarism is self-evident. We all know of Daniel Pearl, 9/11, the London tube and Bali bombings. We call these acts horrific and barbaric because they are. Some attempt to contextualize these acts within a geopolitical and/or socoireligious framework – not to excuse, but to understand them. To see how they could have arisen, what motivates the brutality. The acts remain reprehensible, barbaric, but to defeat a threat you must understand as much as possible about the threat. Armchair pundits may decry this egg-headed approach to violence, perhaps not realizing that such questions are explored by the military, intelligence agencies and by the executive. This is done to make more effective strategies.

    Some also attempt to contextualize the apparently barbaric actions that WE do. The weakest argument is to make some equivalence with the crimes against us. But as Charlie points out, it is morally corrupt to let the crimes of others instruct our own behaviour. If, as the previous administration regularly avowed, the terrorists want to destroy our way of life, then we help them every time we withdraw from our principles.

    That is a sketch of a moral argument, but I have a more passionate, personal one.

    If we fail our principles because we fear they will not be enough, then we are craven. If our values cannot survive crises, then we are fair-weather idealists not worthy of them. We are not what we say we are, and defending our ‘way of life’ is a smokescreen for something more primal.

    Superior power tempts abuse. Fighting the good fight requires discipline. If we cave, we’re bloody cowards, little better than the bastards who attacked us. Years of IRA bombings and the London tube bombing, and the British didn’t go weak at the knees or excuse inhumane acts perpetrated by their (or other) government. The moral core that defines that country didn’t waver under attack. Possibly because the British have endured attacks on their country far more devastating, and threats to their nationhood more perilous than the US, and survived them.

    Nothing to do with bleeding-hearts. It’s to do with moral fibre, and that takes guts. Selling out is easy – unless you never had the moral fibre to begin with. The US has championed the good fight in the past, leading the way on various fronts. I see the Bush II era as an aberration in what is, relatively, an exemplary nation in the modern world.

  3. el gabacho loco says

    last two posts dead on.

    Just to put it in my own words, this was an inside(global elite)job bush and clinton and their cohorts knew of in advance and helped co-ordinate the murder of their own citizens http://www.patriotsquestion911.com

    The vatican, the kings of spain, and the northern kingdoms along with the isle of man, the queen of england, barbara bush, evil dick cheney and their international counterparts and associates have been playing good americans since they murdered Kennedy. Not only do they sodomize kids here, but have been raping torturing and murdering children for satanic purposes everyday. http://www.vaticanassassins.org

    They even eat them.

    But hey the sooner we hit bottom the sooner we can get up

  4. joe bell 2 ellis st woburn ma says

    DAN ROSS ;DOES NOT FLOSS HIS TEETH ” ,I AM 75 ,NAVY VET 1952-1956 ,BORN BEFORE THE ww 2. WAS IN THE SERVICE FOR KOREAN WAR, PROTESTED THE VIETNAM WAR WITH MY 70 YR.OLD FATHER IN LAW (BACK THEN ).VIETNAM ,LIKE IRAQ,WAS /IS NOT OUR FIGHT.”NAM ” WAS OUR FRIEND IN WW2 ,SAFEKEEPING OUR MILITARY FROM THE JAPANESE. THEY ASKED US TO BACK THEM FOR THE U.N. WE REFUSED BECAUSE OF THE FRENCH.JUST LIKE REAGAN / BUSH PLAYED IRAQ AGAINST IRAN WHILE THEY DOUBLED CROSS IRAQ AT TIMES TO HELP IRAN. BUSH WAS THE LEADER OF THE IRAN / CONTRA WHERE EVERYONE FELL IN LOVE WITH “OLLIE”GOLLY “NORTH. SO MANY MILITARY OFFICERS BROKE THE CONSTITUTIONAL LAWS FOR PERSONAL GAIN ;JUST AS WE HAVE IN IRAQ.DOES MR. ROSS KNOW HOW MANY LIES (935) THAT BUSH / CHENEY TOLD THE COUNTRY ABOUT IRAQ . AFGHANISTAN WAS JUST A PLOY TO PUT OUR MILITARY IN PLACE FOR THE “HOLY THAN THOU ” CRUSADE AGAINST “OIL RICH “IRAQ. THE BUSH’S HAVE BEEN IN THE OIL BUSINESS SINCE BEFORE WW 2 ,WHEN PRESCOTT WAS FURNISHING HITLER ,NOT ONLY WITH OIL ,BUT MONEY . BUSH 41 WITH HIS EXTENSIVE CONNECTION ,CIA, NAVY VET, AMBASSADOR TO CHINA . CHAIRMAN OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ,BIG TEXASS OIL MAN . ETC.ETC. WE HAVE NO BUSINESS IN THE MIDDLE EAST (LET ISRAEL SINK ,LIKE THEY TRIED TO SINK THE USS LIBERTY (1967) FIRING FROM PLANES ON AN UNARMED SHIP FLYING THE AMERICAN FLAG. I BELIEVE THEY AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE GONE TO HELL (99%) HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE HELL THE BUSHES ARE DOING ,HAVE DONE TO THIS COUNTRY ,DELIBERATELY . STUDY YOUR HISTORY .LOOK UP WEBSTER TARPLEY AND WAYNE MADSEN .FOR STARTERS .

  5. says

    Americans have certainly lost their moral compass and this is why they are not shocked by the torture of other human beings. There is no longer any sense of compassion or empathy for other living beings. All is greed, selfishness, and hatred. The torture of prisoners is against the law in the US, and also against the Geneva Convention Laws, and is a WAR CRIME. There is a REASON torture is against the law. It is cruel, uncalled for, and monstrous abuse of defenseless human beings and goes against the teachings of Jesus Christ. Which is to treat your brother as you would be treated yourself.

    Not only that, but the war against Iraq is a war based on deliberate and knowing falsification of intelligence reports, and is therefore, based on LIES. This war is a pre-emptive war against a non-aggressive nation, which is a war crime in itself, and is illegal. Seems most people are forgetting that little detail! It is NEVER ok to torture other human beings. And all of you hatred-filled and evil people that think it is all right, then you are totally bereft of humanity and compassion, and you are pathetic.

  6. says

    To Dan Ross and Dan Swan …

    Thanks so much to both of you for reading my article. I’m puzzled why you feel that the United States should be and act as barbaric as terrorist organizations. I was taught that America is something more, something better; alas, during the Bush years we turned out not to be.

    I’m also pleased that you read progressive websites and post comments on pieces you find here. It’s your absolute right to disagree with me, no matter how puerile your comments, and to do so publicly. But perhaps you can answer a question that’s been nagging at me:

    Progressive sites suchas this one, AlterNet, HuffPo and others allow anyone to comment regardless of their point of view. So why do moderated right wing web sites not allow comments to be posted? Every time I try responding to something on RedState.com, as one example, I am blocked from doing so.

    Charley

  7. Dan Swan in Orange County says

    Which terrorist group pays you? They don’t think twice about torturing someone or killing thousands. How come you don’t write about what they do instead of always writing about how terrible the US is?

  8. Kelly says

    Some of these photos are old – I’ve already seen them back in the Bush era, if these photos are new to you, you are watching way too much tv.

  9. Vincent Auto says

    5-18-09… Just What Do You Think Is Going On Here In Evil USA Over 2000 + Children Disappear Each Day Enslaved Prostituted Most Are Raped, Killed,Choked With Rope Round Their Necks, Mouthes Taped Shut While Some Pervert USA Child Molester Sodomizes Them To Death…

    They Can’t Even Scream For Help Not Alone Breathe…

    There Bodies Are Never Found—-GUESS WHY!?

    Your Greed Mongering Politician$ Medical Doctors, Filth Are Doing Same Thing…

    Its Always The Atrocities In Of Other Country’s…Humans Make Me Sick…You All Turn Look The Other Way…

    You Like Most All Live In Vacuum Somewheres In That Little Corner Of Your Own (Brain) World…

    MeanMotherUSA…

  10. Marcel Kincaid says

    “This is beyond waterboarding, this is criminal activity.”

    Waterboarding is torture and is criminal activity.

    As for Dan Ross and his ilk (a very large number, tragically): they are mentally ill. They are also utterly wrong about the facts, which they simply don’t care about. They WANT to torture, and the fact that torture is illegal, immoral, and doesn’t produce reliable intelligence doesn’t matter to them. Nor does the fact that a number of victims of U.S. torture DID die. And of course not only did Iraq have nothing to do with ObL, but he and Saddam (who was our man, our buddy and ally before the Gulf War) were enemies.

  11. Joe Maizlish says

    The cruelties practiced on the captives are a logical outcome of policies such as resource theft and attempts at control of the politics and lives of others. When the victim peoples resist, the underlying abusive principles show themselves in direct physical cruelty.
    As we face up to and reject the abuses let’s also identify and reject the abusive policies which set the pattern, and create alternatives at whatever cost and change such change requires of us as individuals and as a society.

  12. Liz says

    DAN ROSS< PROUD AMERICA
    I’m sorry, but I can’t find the words to respond to such a frighteningly blinkered “US-centric” view. Lots of Europeans have also lost loved ones in this conflict (conflict, not war, if terminology means anything) but do not follow this way of thinking.

  13. says

    I think that keeping the photos and videos secret may be because the Obama administration plans to bring criminal charges against the perpetrators. Release of the evidence would hopelessly bias any possible jury and allow the criminals to escape justice.

    Note that medical personnel were present at some of the torture sessions. Would you want such a person for YOUR doctor or nurse? Their names need to be published so that statle licensing boards can take appropriate disciplinary action against these “professionals”.

    Finally, I believe that much of the sodomizing must have been done with some kind of instrument. Not everybody in the U.S. military is capable of sodomizing young boys in filthy conditions.

    Keep in mind that both candidates in the November presidential election disavowed torture. I’m sure that if McCain knew as much as Harman and Pelosi, hell would have been raised. Of course, I wouldn’t put it past Cheney to have McCain rubbed out.

    Torture is onl one reason the Republicans are out of power. Let them keep their party pure, their cause Christian, their family planning by abstinance. Let them issue social security numbers to each and every one of the 500,000 frozen embryos now waiting to lead a christian life. Let the Republicans prosecute all abortion as murder. Let the Republicans and Dominionists join the Federalist, Anti-Masonics, Whigs, Know-Nothings, Populists, and Dixiecrats on the dustheap of dead American political parties. We are headed toward a one-party system, and internal debate within the Democratic party is where the action is.

    Do you think Rush Limbaugh is a moral person?

    On the other hand, what’s the Oz immgration quota for Americans (with Chinese wife)?

  14. Rusty Cuss says

    Two things, one for history guy. The man tapped to lead the plot against the White House, was not a Colonel. He was a senior Major General in the Marine Corps, awarded two medals of honor. He declined his first one so did not achieve 3. MacArthur was the first choice, but he, along with Patton put down the “Bonus March” in Washington, under Hoover.

    These allegations and the tapes of screaming children being raped in front of their parents, was outed by Randi Rhodes (I’m sure through Sy Hersch) over 2 years ago. Hersch had all this when Abu Ghraib first came to light. Randi did a great job of putting it on the air then.

  15. Su says

    Unfortunately, Dennis, we are not overwhelmingly sickened. Public opinion is in fact relatively split on torture. Not that this makes it right in any sense, just that it may account for why there isn’t a strong reaction.

    Americans are generally optimistic. We want to believe that if our government tortures people there’s a darned good reason for it, that only bad guys get tortured, etc. Here is a Wash Post/ABC poll on the subject:

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_04/017930.php

    So we’re about 50/50 on torture, but we do favor an investigation. As optimists, we assume that an investigation will prove that our government did nothing illegal or immoral. And then we can all go back to sleep.

  16. Judith A. Graham says

    I’m an American citizen and I’m appalled!!! Sodomizing children!!! I’m deeply ashamed!! >:-(

  17. DAN ROSS< PROUD AMERICA says

    I am SICK AND TIRED of you bleeding heart LIBERTARDS saying everything the USA did in Iraq was terrible. It was a WAR, people – SHIT HAPPENS! We LIBERATED A COUNTRY! Doesn’t that count for something? Not to YOU idiots! Bush did what he had to do to keep us safe. If torturing a few people meant no more attacks then GOOD FOR TORTURE. Anyway, the “victims” knew they wouldn’t be killed so what’s the big deal if they coughed up info in the long run? When we get attacked again, is OSAMA BIN OBAMA going to sing a folk song for us? NO! He will start torturing to get the truth out of the bastards! WATCH AND SEE. Until then, SHUT UP!!!!!!

  18. says

    It isn’t a Democrat and a Republican thang anymore. It is American morality vs Generva Convention humanity at question.
    Does America have a moral compass or not?
    Are we culpable or not? Did our legislators sit by the wayside instead of taking responsibility for what they saw? Were politicians (adults) lead to believe the American public (are like children), they “handle the truth.”
    I understand from other “alternative news” that the pictures aren’t of just young boys being sodomized but that there are women in these pictures also! I can remember a CSPAN presentation where Palast was standing outside of the tunnel that the representatives walk through to get on the main walkway and the disgusted looks on some of the assemblypersons were as though they had “just seen a ghost”. I don’t know why the media doesn’t find this footage and play it on the regular news. It was apparent to me that these politicians had seen something that was appauling. Why Pelosi says she doesn’t know, is beyond me. Why she said she will never prosecute Bush et. al. was also one of the first statements that she made. John Conyers had the goods on the Bush team then, and was told “hold off”. Will someone with guts find out why all this deal making was being made when Pelosi came into office and cut the “wrangling” to find fault.

    You might be able to find the footage through Amy Goodman on DemocracyNow! also. Nervie, Santa Clarita Valley

  19. says

    I think you raise an important point – how we as a culture are possibly desensitized to torture. I noticed quite clearly over the past eight years how torture scenes started to become routine on TV dramas and in film from everything from Alias to Slumdog Millionaire.

    In every case, our TV heros and heroines are tortured yet suffer no long term psychological effects. Or our fictional villians are tortured for justified reasons. I believe this is one of many reasons our culture feels a level of disconnect with the real torture around the world, including the routine sodomy of children in Afghanistan.

    Charley James – thanks for continuing to probe the most difficult questions.

  20. annieR says

    This is way beyond the pale. If these stories are true, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Gonzalez, and the memo writers need to be put on trial. I support my President, and I trust his motives completely, but we must find out if these heinous crimes are true and who is responsible. George W. Bush indulged in branding fraternity pledges with red-hot clothes hangers. Apparently he enjoys inflicting pain. How far a stretch is it to the scenes in Abu Ghraib?

  21. marie vogel says

    It is no use trying to cover-up more evidence of the barbaric practices in Abu Grab. After all what has leaked out people’s imagination suspect there is much worse then already published; especially when the government tries to hide additional evidence.
    Trying to hide the rest is a sad move to try to save the idealistic image of USA. It is too late for that. The only sensible thing left is immediate close and withdraws from the places where this has been taken place and bent our arrogant heads, apologizing big-time at the United Nations for what has been done.
    What rights do we have to criticize the Muslims when we have behaved like this (and who knows, still do?)?

  22. says

    If I’m not mistaken, History Guy, Bush 41 was head of the CIA and ambassador to Japan before becoming vice president – not sure of the order. But it almost doesn’t make any difference because perhaps the main function of the US Embassy in Tokyo is to serve as the CIA’s Pacific base for listening in on China and North Korea, and running operations in the Far East.

  23. History Guy says

    Bush and his family have a long history of anti-American activities.

    His grandfather Prescott Bush was an aid to Hitler and part of the Business Plot to depose FDR and install a fascist dictatorship in the US before being turned in by the colonel they picked to be their frontman. No matter how many talking heads on TV try to deny it, it is in the Congressional Record and Bush’s bank was seized under the Trading with the Enemy Act.

    Your homework for tonight is: What did Bush’s dad do before he became Vice President?

    Do you know? :)

  24. Dennis White says

    Georgianne and others
    “We” have not totally lost our moral compass. I believe the overwhelming majority of Americans are sickened by the evil deeds that were perpetrated and encouraged by the neo-conserative kabal that temporarily usurped power in this country. Thank God they have now been discredited.

  25. Susan says

    I am sickened by your Abu Ghraib accounts/photos. I think we’re all in a state of shock and maybe that’s why you don’t react. We are benumbed by the horror.

  26. Pete in Tarzana says

    If any of this is even half-true, prison garb manufacturers are going to have a huge bunch of new customers. This is beyond waterboarding, this is criminal activity. I’m disgusted. Completely.

  27. Georgianne Nienaber says

    Whew! This answers my continuing questioning as to why the US does not seem to care about what is happening to the innocent in Congo. We have totally lost our moral compass. I am more that disheartened.

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