Additional Abu Ghraib Images Surface
Washington, DC, November 2, 2006 -- Just days before the U.S. midterm elections, previously unpublished images of abuse of Iraqi prisoners inside the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad have surfaced. This represents the fourth time this year that Abu Ghraib torture images have been published and the timing could not have been worse for an already crippled Bush administration hoping to maintain what little hold they currently have on Congress.
This latest set of Abu Ghraib prison torture images include 18 still photos and 2 short videos of Iraqi prisoners being tortured. The pictures and videos appear to have been made sometime between June and August 2003 involving Iraqi prisoners and their captors. These photos predate the initial set of photos from the Abu Ghraib facility that shocked the world involving the soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company, which were taken at the end of 2003.
While the prior sets of images included U.S. soldiers this new set of Abu Ghraib images involved civilian contractors working through a secret Halliburton subsidiary under the operational name of "Greek Freaks". According to a source familiar with the arrangement between the Department of Defense and Halliburton, the Greek Freaks had been hired for summer jobs from college campuses across the nation based upon their individual experiences within their college fraternities. Upon their arrival at Abu Ghraib they were instructed to "think outside the box in relation to the torture of the Iraqi prisoners and other enemy combatants", the source confirmed.
Think outside of the box they did. The videos and photographs demonstrate the dehumanizing methods of torture implemented by the Greek Freaks during their tenure at Abu Ghraib. One video portrays the fraternity hazing act commonly referred to as the elephant dance in which eleven naked Iraqi prisoners were paraded in a circle with each having one of their thumbs in their mouth whilst their other thumb was firmly secured in the posterior of the prisoner in front of him. When the music stopped the prisoners then turned around and switched thumbs to their mouth and placed the other thumb firmly in the posterior of the prisoner who had previously been behind. The other video included an Iraqi prisoner stripped from the waist down pinching the stem of a maraschino cherry with his butt whist attempting to walk across the room without dropping the cherry and then to successfully drop it into a shot glass filled with what appears to be Jägermeister. Additionally, many of the photos include horrifying images of prisoners doing beer bongs, bathing, wearing togas, etc.
The timing of this release of new Abu Ghraib torture photos could not be worse for the beleaguered Bush administration as the 2006 General Election takes place five days in which 1/3 of the United States Senate and the entire House of Representatives of the 110th Congress will be chosen. This election is key for the Bush administration as it hopes to maintain Republican majorities in both the Senate and the House so that it many move forward with its plans of, as White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan recently stated, "raising the deficit, cutting healthcare, continuing to spy on Americans, bolstering energy prices and needlessly prolonging the war in Iraq."
For his part, President George W. Bush attempted to downplay the latest Abu Ghraib torture photos by saying, "They did the elephant dance? What about buttering the bread? That was always my favorite ... even though I tended to lose most of the time. Yum!"
Senior Halliburton officials were unavailable for comment as they were on a quail hunting trip with Vice President Dick Cheney.
By Raoul Thibodeaux, Avant News Staff Writer
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