Children tortured in US detention in Iraq
The people of the US have only recently been allowed access to 106 previously classified annexes to the Taguba Report into the prisoner abuse at the now notorious Abu Ghraib prison. The documents back up the worst suspicions raised by the sickening images made public earlier this year. According to media reports, Brig. Gen Janis Karpinski — who has been singled out as the major scapegoat for the outrages — is hopeful that the truth about just how high up the chain of command the sanction for criminal abuse originated will come out at the trials of the accused soldiers. As bitter as these revelations and developments are, it appears that the US public is set to be rocked by revelations that over 100 children currently captive in US detention centres in Iraq (including at Abu Ghraib) have been tortured and humiliated. William Rivers Pitt of The New York Times recently lifted the lid on the story after the International Red Cross (IRC) released details of the detention of children. "Between January and May of this year, we've registered 107 children during 19 visits in 6 different detention locations", said IRC representative Florian Westphal in their report. The report gathered eyewitness accounts like those of Staff Sergeant Samuel Provance who saw a 16-year-old girl interrogated. Military police only halted their interrogation after the girl was half undressed. A 16-year-old boy was soaked with water, driven around in the cold, smeared with mud and then brought before his distraught father, who was also a prisoner. Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker magazine recently spoke at a convention of the American Civil Liberties Union. He has seen pictures and videotapes of abuse not yet shown in the US media. "The boys were sodomised with the cameras rolling, and the worst part is the soundtrack, of the boys shrieking. And this is your government at war." Mr Hersh points out that photographic and videotape evidence is currently in the hands of The New Yorker, The Washington Post, the US Congress and the White House. However, the US media has been slow to take up the story. While numerous international outlets like the German magazine Report Mainz have carried extensive coverage, the American press (with only a few notable exceptions) appears to be offering the US Administration a breather on the issue of torture in Iraq. "Where is the American news media? Where are the pictures? Who is responsible for this abomination? Torturing children in the name of freedom? Is this what we have become?" William Rivers Pitt has raised some important and uncomfortable questions for the minders of Bush, Rumsfeld & Co. The same journalist has highlighted a statistic in the Red Cross report of last May. It turns out that between 70 and 90 per cent of Iraqis being detained have been arrested "by mistake". The people, including children, being tortured in the most perverse manner imaginable in US detention centres are in most cases "innocent" of charges of violating the victor's justice.