Abu Ghraib again
Citizens for Fair Legislation
For Immediate Release
July 25, 2005
CFL ALERT: BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO LOBBY AGAINST LEGISLATION THAT WOULD BAR TORTURE AND INHUMANE TREATMENT OF PRISONERS.
This weekend the Pentagon blocked images from Abu Ghraib, in violation of a federal court order, that have been described by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as "blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhumane."
Republican Senators who have seen the images said they contained scenes of "rape and murder." The Pentagon refuses to release these images on the basis that it is bad PR for the United States. This comes at the heels of intensive lobbying efforts by the Bush administration to block legislation that would bar the U.S. military from engaging in "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of detainees, from hiding prisoners from the Red Cross, and from using interrogation methods not authorized by a new Army field manual. Take a moment to send our prewritten letter to the President and to your Representatives telling them that you are appalled that the American public is being kept in the dark about the abuse of Iraqi detainees
and that you are outraged that the President is refusing to take measures to ensure these abuses don't occur again.
* A military report on the abuse at Abu Ghraib states that the images the Pentagon is blocking show detainees being threatened, sodomized with chemical lights and forced into sexually humiliating poses. After viewing these images, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told reporters, "'The American public needs to understand
we're talking about rape and murder here. We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience." A report by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba on the abuse says videotapes and photos also show naked detainees forced to masturbate while being photographed and videotaped, of guards having sex with female detainees, young boys
being sodomized and Iraqi women forced to expose their breasts for American soldiers. New York Times reporter, Seymour Hersh, who helped uncover the scandal, said in a speech before an ACLU convention:
"...There are women there. Some of you may have read they were passing letters, communications to their men....The women were passing messages saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened. ...Boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it's going to come out."
*Last week Vice President Cheney met with Republican Senators that publicly expressed frustration about the administration's failure to hold senior military officials responsible for the abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. At that meeting Cheney stated his opposition to congressional intervention regarding the treatment of
detainees at either Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo. Later the White House issued a statement stating that President Bush would veto a $442 billion defense bill if representatives continued to attempt to impose restrictions on what the military can and cannot do to detainees. That statement appeared to be directed at Republican Sen. John McCain who began circulating a letter to look into legislation that would
outline the treatment of detainees held by the U.S. military. Sen. McCain's provisions would require that all foreign nationals in U.S. custody be registered with the Red Cross and would also prohibit "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" of anyone in U.S. custody.
*Please take a moment to write to your representatives to express outrage at the treatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib and tell them that you resent that the Pentagon is keeping the American public in the dark about what is happening in Iraq. Tell the President that you expect him to stop taking measures in support of the crimes that happened at Abu Ghraib. By blocking legislation meant to prevent torture, rape and cruel and unusual punishment the White House is clearly indicating approval for the barbaric treatment of men, women and children held in U.S. run detention centers.