September 21, 2004

Remember Abu Ghraib

via Michael Froomkin and Talk Left, a female Abu Ghraib prisoner gives her story to the Guardian.

Alazawi says that American guards then made her stand with her face against the wall for 12 hours, from noon until midnight. Afterwards they returned her to her cell [not in Abu Ghraib]. "The cell had no ceiling. It was raining. At midnight they threw something at my sister's feet. It was my brother Ayad. He was bleeding from his legs, knees and forehead. I told my sister: 'Find out if he's still breathing.' She said: 'No. Nothing.' I started crying. The next day they took away his body."

The US military later issued a death certificate, seen by the Guardian, citing the cause of death as "cardiac arrest of unknown etiology". The American doctor who signed the certificate did not print his name, and his signature is illegible. The body was returned to the family four months later, on April 3, after the Abu Ghraib torture scandal broke. The family took photographs of the body, also seen by the Guardian, which revealed extensive bruising to the chest and arms, and a severe head wound above the left eye.

The prisoner claims that she was arrested after refusing to pay extortion to an Iraqi informant.

A US military spokesman said, "The fact that abuses occurred isn't really news any more. We know they did and those who are accused are being prosecuted for it."

Chew on that--these are not news. Wrist-slaps for seven enlisted soldiers are supposed to close the book on rape, torture, and murder. That is what the military would like you to think, but it is not what the world thinks, and it is not the truth.

Posted by Matt Weiner at September 21, 2004 10:25 AM