Tuesday, July 06, 2004


Via No More Mister Nice Blog: Here's a story that hasn't yet broken in the American press, but then we Americans are an optimistic, forward-looking people and Abu Ghraib is So Last Month. A German TV magazine, citing IRC reports, alleged that over a hundred Iraqi children have been imprisoned at Abu Ghraib and other holding facilities, and at least some of them have been abused at the hands of American troops. From Der Spiegel, translated by the Blue Lemur:
According to “Report Mainz,” a German television magazine, ” 107 children were registered held between January and May while in custody in at least six different internment centers,” Florian Westphal, speaking for the International Red Cross told the magazine in Geneva.

The number of imprisoned children held could be higher, Westphal said . . . .

An as-yet unpublished document from June 2004 states, “Children, which in Basra and Karbala had been arrested because of alleged activities directed against the coalition.. were routinely transferred into internment in Umm Kasr. Concern was expressed as to the classification of these children as legitimate detainees, their indefinite internment without contact of family members, and their denial of due process.”
From the Norwegian English-language newspaper Aftenposten:
The Norwegians joined the Red Cross and Amnesty International in calling for an immediate end to the abuse, and release of the underage prisoners, some of whom are as young as 12 years.

In one case, a girl around age 15 was said to have been shoved up against a wall by a group of male soldiers who proceeded to manhandle her. They then started ripping off her clothes, and she was half-naked before military police broke in.

In another case, a boy aged 15 or 16 was stripped naked and sprayed with water before being placed in an open truck and driven around in the cold night air last winter. He then was covered with mud.

"These types of attacks are absolutely unacceptable," said a spokesman for Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik. "They violate international law and are morally indefensible" . . . .

The head of Amnesty International in Norway said Tuesday that Norway should not continue its military cooperation with the US after the reports of child "torture" were revealed.
And by the way, did you know that John McCain made an ad endorsing George Bush? Let's watch it again.

UPDATE (via Lambert at Corrente): We retract our blanket criticism of the American press. One newspaper, the L.A. Times, appears to be on the case, albeit obliquely -- focusing not on the crime (which surfaces in paragraph 20), but on the coverup:
The prospect of bombshells and damaging investigative reports coming out during the height of the political campaign or around the conventions is a concern for both the Bush administration and the Republicans who control both houses of Congress. But complicating it all is the contentious case of documents allegedly missing from an investigative report by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba on abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad . . . .

[Sen. John] Warner warned Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in a letter last month that he planned to call as many as a dozen administration and military officials to testify, in what Senate sources said then would be as many as seven hearings. Among those on alert for a possible appearance, Warner wrote: L. Paul Bremer III, until recently the U.S. civil administrator in Iraq; Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith; Pentagon general counsel William J. Haynes Jr.; Maj. Gen. Barbara Fast, director of intelligence for U.S. operations in Iraq; and Fay . . . .

Relations have soured between the Pentagon and senators who insist that they have been denied key documents in the investigation promised since May.

Among the missing documents, according to a Senate source, are two of 12 enclosures attached to a transcript of an interview of Col. Thomas M. Pappas, commander of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade at Abu Ghraib. One of them, Enclosure 9, addresses how the unit handled reports by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The other, Enclosure 11, outlines at least three investigations for possible nonjudicial punishment after the alleged abuse of two girls, ages 13 and 14, taken to the prison in the middle of the night by CIA agents, the Senate source said.

However, Pentagon managers insist there are no missing documents. They said there was a perception that documents were missing because some items were not provided to the committee when they were publicly accessible — such as the Army's field manual, later provided on a computer disk at the committee's request, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

| | Technorati Links | to Del.icio.us