Cross-posted at DailyKos.

The Pentagon is satisfied? You bet! Did the media show us the same story over and over about some Iraqi journalists? Of course! Where did all that network and press pressure get those supposedly abused journalists? Nowhere!

From Reuters, March 23, 2005:

In a letter to Reuters, the Pentagon says it will not reopen an investigation into the case of three unembedded Iraqi journalists who say US soldiers tortured and sexually abused them while they were working for the London-based news service last year.

“I’m very disappointed that the Department of Defense has chosen not to reopen a clearly flawed investigation into a very troubling incident,” Reuters Global Managing Editor David Schlesinger said. …

According to a Reuters story in 2004, the Iraqi journalists were forced by U.S. forces to:

  • insert a finger into their anuses and then lick it
  • put shoes in their mouths
  • make demeaning gestures — that they won’t describe out of embarrassment — as soldiers laughed, taunted them and took photographs

Additional abuses listed below : : :

The detainees, who were released after three days, also told Reuters in 2004 (reprinted at that:

The soldiers told them they would be taken to the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, deprived them of sleep, placed bags over their heads, kicked and hit them and forced them to remain in stress positions for long periods.

The Reuters employees weren’t the only journalists abused:

An Iraqi journalist working for U.S. network NBC, who was arrested with the Reuters staff, also said he had been beaten and mistreated, NBC said. ..

Reuters and network executives responded in 2004:

“We would welcome a reinvestigation and hope that it is complete, objective and thorough,” said Reuters spokeswoman Susan Allsopp in London. “The earlier indication to us was that the matter was closed.”

“We’ve been frustrated by the lack of action by the military on this and we welcome any move to look into it further,” said NBC vice-president Bill Wheatley in New York.   

The Reuters journalists first told Reuters of the ordeal after their release, but only decided to make it public in May when the US military said there was no evidence they had been abused, and following the exposure of similar mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib. Aljazeera/Reuters, Oct. 2004

Let me imagine what Rummie would say — if I can possibly channel him: “Do we regret any abuse? You BET! Is it going to happen sometimes! Maybe! Would we punish those who did it? OF COURSE!!!”

Can we validate ACLU accusations? If anybody can, I’d be glad to look into it. But I doubt anybody can.” (Actually, that last bit is a near-direct quote from a live press conference with Rummie right now on CNN.)

The Pentagon told Reuters it was satisfied with the results of its initial investigation, which did not include interviews with the three Iraqis. It concluded its letter to Reuters by recommending that media organizations embed their reporters with US military units.

Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division detained the three Reuters employees in January 2004 while covering the downing of an American helicopter by rebels near Fallujah. The journalists say soldiers beat them and subjected them to sexual humiliation similar to that practiced by US jailers at Abu Ghraib prison around the same time. They were released without charges three days after being detained. Reuters, March 23, 2005:

AFTER ALL: The complainers ARE Iraqis, so what do you expect.

0 0 votes
Article Rating