Friday, April 30, 2004
Graphic photographs showing the torture and sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners in a US-run prison outside Baghdad emerged yesterday from a military inquiry which has left six soldiers facing a possible court martial and a general under investigation.
The scandal has also brought to light the growing and largely unregulated role of private contractors in the interrogation of detainees.
According to lawyers for some of the soldiers, they claimed to be acting in part under the instruction of mercenary interrogators hired by the Pentagon.
US military investigators discovered the photographs, which include images of a hooded prisoner with wires fixed to his body, and nude inmates piled in a human pyramid.
We used to send all the people we wanted tortured to Jordan, now we can just hire outside mercs to do it -- nice. Some other information that takes another chunk of our credibility and throws it into a ditch somewhere--
A military report into the Abu Ghraib case - parts of which were made available to the Guardian - makes it clear that private contractors were supervising interrogations in the prison, which was notorious for torture and executions under Saddam Hussein.
One civilian contractor was accused of raping a young male prisoner but has not been charged because military law has no jurisdiction over him.
Hired guns from a wide array of private security firms are playing a central role in the US-led occupation of Iraq.
The killing of four private contractors in Falluja on March 31 led to the current siege of the city.
But this is the first time the privatisation of interrogation and intelligence-gathering has come to light. The investigation names two US contractors, CACI International Inc and the Titan Corporation, for their involvement in Abu Ghraib.
No wonder when we look at the latest survey coming out of Iraq, they want us out. But you know, it's only saddam's thugs that are fighting. Isn't this the same pentagon that told us saddam had WMD's and they knew where they were?