Abu Ghraib Cover-up Intensifies
by Chris Farrell
Abu Ghraib investigation whitewash I
reported on last week is intensifying as the Defense Department
moves to squelch document production in response to Freedom of Information
Act ("FOIA") requests by public interest groups and members of the
Project on Government Secrecy, headed by FOIA guru Steven Aftergood,
reported today that:
"CONSOLIDATES" ABU GHRAIB DOCUMENT REQUESTS
Information Act requests that were sent to the Pentagon for additional
documentation and imagery concerning the abuse of Iraqi prisoners
held in U.S. custody in Iraq (SN, 05/12/04) were forwarded by
the Pentagon to U.S. Central Command for processing.
But now U.S.
Central Command is sending them back to the Pentagon.
been instructed to refer all requests for information referring
to detainee abuse to the Department of Defense [Pentagon FOIA
CENTCOM FOIA officer wrote.
to provide you with as much information as possible, all detainee
requests are now being consolidated and will be answered by [the
efforts to gain access to documents on the Abu Ghraib case
and related issues have been frustrated.
again attempts by this House to acquire documents related to the
Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal have been defeated, largely
on party line votes," said Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) on July
19, citing several initiatives that had been blocked by the Republican
is just the tip of the iceberg. New Yorker columnist Seymour
M. Hersh, who has already broken several important stories on the
invasion of Iraq and the "War on Terror," reportedly has new information
that is even more disturbing than his May 2004 article, The
Independent reported on July 16, 2004, that videotapes
exist of US soldiers sodomizing Iraqi boys. The Independent
quotes Mr. Hersh, at a speaking engagement before a San Francisco
ACLU meeting, as saying: "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."
Human rights groups have filed a little-noticed criminal
complaint with Attorney General Ashcroft, calling for a criminal
investigation of civilian and military officials, including Gens.
Sanchez and Miller; Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld; Stephen
A. Cambone, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence; White House
Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales; former CIA Director George J. Tenet;
and the Attorney General himself. The odds of the Bush Justice Department
acting on this complaint are, obviously, quite remote.
horrifying story of Abu Ghraib is going to get worse. If
our professional US Army officer corps continues to "play ostrich,"
or allows itself to be further politicized as a means of escaping
or minimizing the consequences of this grave leadership failure,
the damage to the US Army will be lasting and to the core. The "Nuremberg
defense" and careerist political moves just won't cut it. Brave
officers who honor their oath of office, their commission and the
Constitution they swore to defend must inititiate the desperately
needed correction from within the US Army, now. Slow-walking, stonewalling
or waiting for civilian politicians to "provide guidance" is not
an acceptable or honorable course of action.
Farrell [send him
mail], a former Army intelligence officer, defense contractor,
and educator. He is currently a researcher and public policy analyst
living in Northern Virginia.
2004 Chris Farrell