Following up on this BoingBoing post about allegations by journalist Seymour Hersh of rape and sexual abuse of minors at Abu Ghraib prison Iraq — there appears to be evidence for those claims in supporting statements that accompany the Taguba Report.
What most of us have seen of the report are excerpts from the 50-page summary. In fact, there are well over 6,000 pages in the report itself, including statements by and interviews with witnesses. Among them, testimony from an Iraqi prisoner that would appear to substantiate Seymour Hersh's claims that boys were sodomized at Abu Ghraib. Maj. Gen. Taguba evidently found these statements credible — they supported statements from interviews with soldiers and other witnesses.
At the end of this post are links to digital copies of two documents from the Taguba report, hosted on the Washington Post website. Is it possible that they document the exact incidents to which Hersh referred? Excerpt from statement provided by Kasim Mehaddi Hilas, Detainee #151108, on January 18 2004:
I saw [name deleted] fucking a kid, his age would be about 15 – 18 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard the screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn't covered and I saw [name deleted] who was wearing the military uniform putting his dick in the little kid's ass. I couldn't see the face of the kid because his face wasn't in front of the door. And the female soldier was taking pictures. [name deleted], I think he is [deleted] because of his accent, and he was not skinny or short, and he acted like a homosexual (gay). And that was in cell #23 as best as I remember.
Another testimony alleging abuse of minors from a statement provided by Thaar Salman Dawod, Detainee #150427, on January 17, 2004:
I saw lots of people getting naked for a few days getting punished in the first days of Ramadan. They came with two boys naked and they were cuffed together face to face and Grainer was beating them and a group of guards were watching and taking pictures from top and bottom and there was three female soldiers laughing at the prisoners. The prisoners, two of them, were young. I don't know their names.
Here's a update (sub required) on Capitol Hill plans for hearings on new (and as-yet unreleased) material documenting torture at Abu Ghraib. And there's this snip from a CBS interview with "leash girl" Pfc. Lynndie England, the guard seen grinning and pointing at Iraqi prisoners in the infamous photos:
When England was asked if there were other things that happened at Abu Ghraib, things that were not photographed, she said, "Yes." When asked if there were worse things that happened, she said "Yes," but would not elaborate.
Update: A recent Associated Press item on plans for new abuse-related hearings quotes Sen. John Warner as saying that new Iraq prisoner abuse incidents come to light "each day":
More cases of possible mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners have come to Congress' attention and need investigation by the Pentagon, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Thursday. Sen. John Warner, R-Va., also said that L. Paul Bremer, the former head of the American-led occupation in Iraq, may testify about prison abuse at a congressional hearing next week.
"I'm not trying to, you know, drop a little hint here. I'm just saying … each day that comes along, new incidents that occurred in the past" are revealed and will need to be investigated, Warner said. … Warner spoke to reporters after his committee had a private, classified briefing on the status of several Defense Department investigations into abuse stand. He gave no further details on what new allegations came up during the briefing.