In the weeks since photographs of naked detainees set off the abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib, military officials have portrayed the sexual humiliation captured in the images as the isolated acts of a rogue night shift. But forced nudity of prisoners was pervasive in the military intelligence unit of Abu Ghraib, so much so that soldiers later said they had not seen ''the whole nudity thing,'' as one captain called it, as abusive or out of the ordinary. The detainees said leaving prisoners naked started as far back as last July, three months before the seven soldiers now charged and their military police company arrived at the prison. It bred a culture, some soldiers say, where the abuse captured on film could happen. Detainees were paraded naked past other prisoners and guards; some were ordered to do jumping jacks and sing ''The Star-Spangled Banner'' in the nude, according to a several witnesses. Also, a father and his grown son were stripped, then forced to stand and stare at each other. The International Committee of the Red Cross, visiting in October, found prisoners left naked in their cells for days, modestly trying to shield themselves behind cardboard from meals-ready-to-eat boxes. It is not clear how the practice emerged and, if it was official policy, exactly who authorized it.
The Sydney Morning Herald
United States soldiers at a prison outside Baghdad have been accused of forcing Iraqi prisoners into acts of sexual humiliation and other abuses. The charges, first announced by the military in March, were documented by photographs taken by guards in the prison. Some of the photographs, and descriptions of others, were broadcast in the US on Wednesday by a CBS television news program and were verified by military officials. Of the six people reported in March to be facing preliminary charges, three have been recommended for courts martial. The program reported that poorly trained US reservists were forcing Iraqis to conduct simulated sexual acts in order to break down their will before they were turned over to others for interrogation. In one photograph naked Iraq prisoners stand in a human pyramid, one with a slur written on his skin in English.
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Fifteen years ago, the bombs started falling on Baghdad. While the initial overthrow of Saddam Hussein was relatively quick, the Iraq War itself was anything but. For nearly nine years, occupying coalition troops tried to work with Iraqis to secure and rebuild in the face of mistrust, poor post-invasion planning, U. The Iraq War caused more than , deaths, cost trillions of dollars, and its repercussions continue to have strong effects in the region, on foreign policy, and on thousands of families to this day. Smoke covers government buildings in Baghdad on March 21, , during a massive U. Smoke billowed from a number of targeted sites, including one of President Saddam Hussein's palaces, an AFP correspondent said. President George W. Bush announced that the U.
T he images of torture at Abu Ghraib shocked the world when they emerged nearly 15 years ago. Bound and naked men piled on top of each other in a pyramid. Hooded prisoners connected to electrical cables. A barking dog held inches away from a face fixed in terror. Just as memorable as the horror of the victims were the smiling American soldiers present in many of the images. Their grinning faces symbolised a kind of unthinking cruelty that came to define the war for a generation of Iraqis. The photographs tell a story, but they do not tell the whole story. While a handful of US soldiers were punished for their role in the scandal, others were not. For the victims, there is unfinished business. To this day, it still has contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars with the US Department of Defence.