NEW YORK, July 11 /PRNewswire/ — The case files of 26 abused detainees,
interviewed by military criminal prosecutors in the Abu Ghraib scandal, were
obtained by Newsweek this month. Charge sheets and interrogation reports show
13 of the victims were there for criminal offenses ranging from theft to rape.
At least eight of the other 13 who were initially picked up as terrorists were
later ordered released without any charges.
In the July 19 issue (on newsstands Monday, July 12), Assistant Editor
Julie Scelfo and Baghdad Bureau Chief Rod Nordland report that not only did
military police torture prisoners at Abu Ghraib, they often tortured the wrong
prisoners. Newsweek unmasks the victims behind the infamous photos that came
out of Abu Ghraib: MPs allegedly ordered Hussein Mohsen Matar to masturbate,
and rode on his naked back as he crawled on all fours. He was an accused
thief. Haqi Ismail Abdul-Hamid, famously menaced by a snarling dog, had at
least kicked an Iraqi policeman and threatened to kill Coalition soldiers. But
he was ordered released as a mental case.
Wrote one military investigator in his notes on Cpl. Charles Graner Jr.,
who is one of the six MPs facing charges in the scandal: “the biggest S.O.B.
on earth,” a comment he underlined twice. Terrorist suspect Mohammed
Habibullah’s interrogator noted his statements were “sketchy and unreliable at
best,” and added, “NEVER leaving unless it’s to the loony bin.” Noor, a
detainee whose full name is being withheld by Newsweek, was forced to expose
her breasts and genitalia and is shown in the MPs’ pictures giving a forced
smile for Graner, who sources believe was the photographer. Subsequently a
letter signed by a woman named Noor circulated widely in Baghdad saying she
had been raped and impregnated by American soldiers, and begging the
resistance to “please kill all of us.”
Prisoner Satar Jabar’s photograph, showing him hooded and wired up, has
become familiar to Iraqis, who derisively call it “the Statue of Liberty.” Far
from being a dangerous insurgent, however, Jabar, 24, was an accused car
thief, Newsweek reports.
“This is a prison that was clearly out of control,” says Joseph Margulies,
an attorney who represented Guanatanamo detainees in their successful Supreme
Court appeal. “There was either a deliberate or a negligent breakdown within
the prison such that they don’t even know who’s there.” The U.S. military is
reviewing the deaths of 32 Iraqis in detention, many of them at Abu Ghraib.