The New Yorker magazine has given us a reminder that the public knows only a fraction of what happened at Abu Ghraib prison and who was involved in the sytemic torture of prisoners captured by American troops.
By now the picture of the hooded prisoner standing on a box with electrodes fastened to his body has become iconic of the depravity of the jailers but there's more, much more and those responsible have been shielded by the Bush administration.
The two-star Army General who led the first military investigation into human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq claims that when his boss, Donald Rumsfeld, told Congress that he'd only just seen the prison pictures, he was wilfully misleading them. According to Major General Antonio Taguba, the pictures and his report had already been in the Pentagon for several weeks by the time Rumsfeld testified. In other words, either Rumsfeld did see the pictures or he deliberately chose not to see them to cover his ass. I guess that's what is called the "ostrich defence."
Okay, let's see. Rumsfeld, the ultimate micromanager, commissioned the report and then didn't look at it or the pictures until it all broke loose in the media? Right.
Major General Antonio Taguba also claimed in an interview with The New Yorker magazine published yesterday that President George Bush also "had to be aware" of the atrocities despite saying at the time of the scandal that he had been out of the loop until he saw images in the US media.
Taguba passed his own judgment on the former defense secretary, "Rumsfeld is very perceptive and has a mind like a steel trap. There's no way he's suffering from CRS - Can't Remember Shit. He's trying to acquit himself."
And what pictures they were. Taguba says the images kept from the public and not even mentioned in the trials included such interrogation techniques as an American soldier sodomizing a female Iraqi detainee and images of sexual humiliation between a father and son.
Taguba complains that he was instructed only to investigate the military police at the prison and go no further. "Somebody was giving them guidance but I was legally prevented from further investigation into higher authority. I was limited to a box." He adds: "Even today ... those civilian and military leaders responsible should be held accountable."
And how was Taguba rewarded for his investigation? You guessed it, forced retirement.
Taguba's candid revelations tell us a lot about the Bush regime, our Stephen Harper's American Idols. And, from the top down, those "civilian and military leaders responsible" still control our lead partner in the Bush "war on terror."