American citizens held since 2003 at the Abu Ghraib military prison may be
among those imprisoned and tortured by the US military in Iraq. The American
General in charge of U.S. prisons in Iraq, Brig.
Gen Janis Karpinski, said in September 2003 that Americans
being held at the Abu Ghraib prison were being interrogated
by US military intelligence. The prisoners, said Karpinski, spoke with
Now that photographs
of US torture victims have been displayed on the front pages of numerous newspapers,
the fate of the other 12,000 detainees in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison has
become a focus of concern.
US Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, who is no longer in Iraq, commanded the 800th
Military Police Brigade. It is unclear whether she has been suspended
or will face charges, but she has not
been relieved of her command. Six members of the Brigade she commanded
are facing criminal charges in an investigation that has taken three months
and is still not at a stage where the US military will comment on the identities
of the personnel being charged.
The torture pictures leaked
to the TV program 60 Minutes do not include other pictures still being
withheld by the US military that reportedly
show bodies of prisoners beaten to death and being attacked by guard dogs.
However, the New Yorker magazine has revealed
that it has in its possession a secret U.S. Army report
on the horrors taking place at Abu Ghraib prison detailing, in the words of
the leaked report, "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses."
The secret Army report admits to the rape and sodomizing of prisoners and the
burning of prisoners with liquid chemicals. Its report was completed a month
after the Army’s internal investigation of torture at Abu Ghraib prison
began in January, but has remained classified.
Will the full extent of the horrors of Abu Ghraib prison ever be reveled or
will the atrocities at Abu Ghraib remain incomplete, known only from a few leaked
pictures and documents? This is a question that will probably be answered in
the near future.
Amnesty International, an organization that has been investigating "frequent
reports of torture" in Coalition prisons, said
the torture pictures were, "not an isolated incident," and that there
was a "real crisis of leadership in Iraq .…" Amnesty has joined
the growing chorus of voices demanding an independent inquiry: "There must
be a fully independent, impartial and public investigation into all allegations
of torture. Nothing less will suffice."
Brigadier General Ricardo S. Sanchez, who bears ultimate responsibility
for US military actions in Iraq, has refused to discuss the issue of personal
responsibility — including his own — and his spokesman Brigadier General Mark
Kimmitt has implied
that the names of those responsible may never be released.
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