Hersh: US GIs sodomised Iraqi boys

A US writer, who first revealed the abuse scandal at the Abu Ghraib prison, says there are videos of American occupation soldiers sodomising Iraqi boys there.

    New cases of abuse at Abu Ghraib continue to be revealed

    Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said the Bush administration was holding the tapes of these acts.

    "The boys were sodomised with the cameras rolling, and the worst part is the soundtrack, of the boys shrieking. And this is your government at war," he told the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) earlier this month.

    There was "a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher," he added.

    US President George Bush claimed the prison abuse scandal, in which US soldiers sexually humiliated and tortured Iraqi detainees was just "conduct by a few American troops".

    More evidence

    But new reports of abuse indicate the intimidation tactics, including torture, may have been approved at the highest levels of government.

    Hersh first broke the story that shocked the world three months ago. Since then, new cases of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib have emerged.

    US soldier Jeremy Sivits - who was involved in piling naked inmates on top of each other - was sentenced to one year in prison and discharged from the army for his role in the abuse of Iraqi detainees.

    Top US officials signed off memos
    approving the torture

    He was the most lightly charged of the seven soldiers ordered to stand trial, although he is also accused of manhandling detainees.

    The now notorious photograph of naked Iraqi detainees forced to form a human pyramid of bodies and being sexually humiliated has outraged the world.

    Hersh's revelation follows a newly released 2002 Pentagon memo in which Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld personally authorised 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.

    According to Newsweek magazine, these memos and orders were signed by Rumsfeld, Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

    Anti-war poll

    In other news, a majority of Americans surveyed said Washington should not have launched war against Iraq.

    Fifty-one per cent of respondents in the New York Times/CBS News poll said Washington should have stayed out of Iraq, a jump from 46% in April, May and June.

    Sixty-two per cent said the war, launched last year, was not worth the cost in lives lost.

    Down three per cent from last month, 45% said the war was a good idea.

    And only 37% said they approved of Bush's conduct of the war compared with 58% who disapproved.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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