16
Jul
2004

NEW CLAIMS OF SERIOUS ABUSES AT ABU GHRAIB SURFACE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jessica Smith or Bess Bezirgan
Friday July 16, 2004
Fenton Communications, (202) 822-5200

NEW CLAIMS OF SERIOUS ABUSES AT ABU GHRAIB SURFACE

Leading investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has told the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that videotapes were made of young boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison. The Bush administration is holding videotapes of these acts, said Hersh, a regular contributor to the New Yorker and other publications and who spoke this week at the ACLU’s annual membership conference.

"The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking," Hersh told the group, adding that there was "a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher."

President Bush has claimed that the prison abuse scandal in Iraq was just "conduct by a few American troops." But new reports of abuse provide evidence that the controversial intimidation tactics and inhuman treatment may have been approved at the highest levels of government. Congress is continuing to investigate the scandal.

Hersh’s latest information comes on the heels of a newly released 2002 Pentagon memo detailing that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld personally authorized the use of controversial prisoner interrogation tactics, including the use of dogs for intimidation, stripping prisoners of clothes and hooding them. Rumsfeld also ordered military officials to hold prisoners but not list them on prisoner rolls requested by the International Red Cross. And according to Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, who was the head of detention operations at Abu Ghraib, Rumsfeld "approved tactics at the prison" directly. As Newsweek reports, these memos and orders were signed off on by Rumsfeld, President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft and were part of a "secret system of detention and interrogation that opened the door to such methods" of abuse as seen in Iraq.

To see video of Hersh's speech before the ACLU, go to
//www.misleader.org/daily_mislead/Read.asp?fn=df07152004.html
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