Washington, D.C. 03 October (Asiantribune.com):
Rape of Iraqi Women by US Forces as Weapon of War: Photos and Data Emerge
In March 2006 four US soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division gang raped a 14 year old Iraqi girl and murdered her and her family —including a 5 year old child. An additional soldier was involved in the cover-up.
One of the killers, Steven Green, was found guilty on May 07, 2009 in the US District Court of Paducah and is now awaiting sentencing.
The leaked Public Affairs Guidance put the 101st media team into a "passive posture" — withholding information where possible. It conceals presence of both child victims, and describes the rape victim, who had just turned 14, as "a young woman".
The US Army's Criminal Investigation Division did not begin its investigation until three and a half months after the crime, news reports at that time commented.
This is not the only grim picture coming out of Iraq U.S. forces being accused of using rape as a war weapon.
The release, by CBS News, of the photographs showing the heinous sexual abuse and torture of Iraqi POW's at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison opened a Pandora's Box for the Bush regime wrote Ernesto Cienfuegos in La Voz de Aztlan on May 2, 2004.
Journalist Cienfuegos further states “Apparently, the suspended US commander of the prison where the worst abuses took place, Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, has refused to take the fall by herself and has implicated the CIA, Military Intelligence and private US government contractors in the torturing of POW's and in the raping of Iraqi women detainees as well.”
At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.
Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.
Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts.
Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.
Allegations of rape and abuse were included in his 2004 report but the fact there were photographs was never revealed. He later confirmed their existence in an interview with the Daily Telegraph in May 2009.
The London newspaper further noted “graphic nature of some of the images may explain the US President Obama’s attempts to block the release of an estimated 2,000 photographs from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan despite an earlier promise to allow them to be published.”
Maj. Gen. Taguba, who retired in January 2007, said he supported the President’s decision, adding: “These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency.
“The mere description of these pictures is horrendous enough, take my word for it.”
In April, Mr. Obama’s administration said the photographs would be released and it would be “pointless to appeal” against a court judgment in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
But after lobbying from senior military figures, Mr. Obama changed his mind saying they could put the safety of troops at risk.
In May, he said: “The most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to inflame anti-American public opinion and to put our troops in greater danger.”
In April 2004, new photographs were sent to La Voz de Aztlan from confidential sources depicting the shocking rapes of two Iraqi women by what are purported to be US Military Intelligence personnel and private US mercenaries in military fatigues. It is now known, Cienfuegos wrote in May 2004, that hundreds of these photographs had been in circulation among the troops in Iraq. The graphic photos were being swapped between the soldiers like baseball cards.
Asian Tribune carries here three of the ‘Rape’ photographs which have brought criticism that the U.S. forces in Iraq have used rape as a weapon of war.- Asian Tribune -