The Abu Ghraib photos that Barack Obama is trying to suppress apparently show U.S. soldiers raping Iraqi prisoners, a British paper is reporting. The depicted sexual assaults — of a woman and a man — are in a batch of photographs that reveal even more abuse at the Baghdad-area facility where uniformed Americans violated codes of conduct and decency.
Given the extent of mistreatment already documented in previous images, which were released in 2004, the new photos should (unfortunately) come as no surprise. Salon magazine published hundreds of images from the original Abu Ghraib file, and these photos still manage to shock — especially the ones that didn’t get a lot of media attention. In fact, the relatively tame ones also have a sinister edge to them, such as this one showing Army reservist Sabrina Harman posing with an alleged prostitute:
Harman is smiling as if she’s next to a tourist site. In the photos that follow, the alleged prostitute is forced to take off her top and pose on a white chair. Harman, Lynndie England, and Charles Graner were all convicted for their actions. It’s Graner who’s apparently in the following Abu Ghraib photo (used by Wikipedia in its entry on Abu Ghraib), which shows an Iraqi prisoner with writing on his leg that says, “I’m a rapeist.”
The misspelling is another sign of the backgrounds of those who committed the Abu Ghraib abuse. As many pundits have pointed out, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and it’s still possible that Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush and other American higher-ups will face their day in court for the violations that happened at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and other places whose doings have been recorded for posterity.