Hidden or Not, Abu Ghraib Rapes Happened

Since the Obama administration went back on its promise to make public the newest set of photos from Abu Ghraib, there has sprouted a veritable bramble patch of conflicting reports about what is exactly in these pictures. London’s Daily Telegraph initially claimed that the photos being withheld showed instances of rape: “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,” the Telegraph reported. “Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.”

Then, only a few hours later, a Reuters article quoted the Pentagon ardently denying the Telegraph’s claims. "That news organization has completely mischaracterized the images," said Pentagon spokesman Brian Whitman. "None of the photos in question depict the images that are described in that article."

What seems to be at issue here is not necessarily whether or not the instances of rape and sexual abuse actually occurred, but whether or not it is these particular images that the Obama administration is withholding from the American people. So two larger questions still linger: Did prisoner rapes take place at Abu Ghraib? And are there pictures of these rapes?

Yes and yes, according to an article published in 2007 by Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker. An excerpt:

"Taguba said that he saw “a video of a male American soldier in uniform sodomizing a female detainee.” The video was not made public in any of the subsequent court proceedings, nor has there been any public government mention of it. Such images would have added an even more inflammatory element to the outcry over Abu Ghraib. “It’s bad enough that there were photographs of Arab men wearing women’s panties,” Taguba said.

So even if these photos aren't being hidden from the American people by Obama, where are they?

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