Friday, May 29, 2009

Will Sean Hannity Agree to Be Raped for Charity?

See here if you didn't get that.

I read an absolutely horrifying article about detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib a couple days ago. The Telegraph article has the following quote:

"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."

The Pentagon issued a statement the next day, reprinted from this Reuters article:

"That news organization has completely mischaracterized the images," [Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman] told reporters. "None of the photos in question depict the images that are described in that article." [emphasis added] White House spokesman Robert Gibbs added, "I think if you do an even moderate Google search you're not going to find many of these newspapers and truth within, say, 25 words of each other... ."

After parsing the language, these aren't exactly strongly worded denials. The White House says that the photos "in question" are those subject to the ACLU's pending lawsuit. They claim these photos in particular do not depict rape. However, it does not establish, or even claim that US soldiers and/or contractors did not rape anyone. It doesn't even confirm that no photos/videos of such conduct exist. In fact, it appears that they do, or at least did at one point.

"In an interview with the New Yorker magazine published in 2007, [Major General Antonio] Taguba [the officer in charge of the Abu Ghraib investigation] was quoted as saying that he saw a video of a male American soldier in uniform sodomizing a female detainee." - Reuters Article

Where is that video? I'm pretty sure that hasn't been released. And where is the rapist? If there's video footage of a soldier committing a rape, I sure as hell hope they prosecuted him. If they have, why hasn't anyone heard about it?

While they can nitpick over whether the specific photos subject to the lawsuit show rape, it seems pretty clear that photos and videos of such incidents exist, and that these things did happen.

We can argue over whether waterboarding is torture, but I don't know many people who support rape. Then again, Sean Hannity might refer to it as Extreme Double-Dog Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.

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