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Bush Declares 'Major Sexual Operations Are Over'

'Mission Accomplished,' says President As U.S. Moves From Saddam to Sodomy

Monday, May 3, 2004 Posted: 10:13 PM EDT (0213 GMT)

By Michael K. Smith

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Photographs showing Iraqi prisoners being sexually degraded and humiliated at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison confirm the country is fully liberated, said President Bush on Monday.  "Sexual liberation is the ultimate freedom," he explained, "and our fine men and women in uniform are doing a fabulous job over there.

The photographs show naked Iraqi prisoners being forced to simulate sex acts and form human pyramids, as American troops laugh and jeer. One shows a cloaked prisoner standing on a box with wires attached to his hands.  According to a report filed by U.S. General Takuba, other incidents include the forcing of prisoners to masturbate into each other's mouths and the pouring of phosphorous taken from broken light bulbs into prisoners' anuses.   "The evil tyrant is gone," commented President Bush, "but orgies are forever."

One of the prisoners depicted in the photographs, Haydar Sabbar Ali, who has since been released, told CNN's Ben Wedeman that he was cursed at and beaten for hours, and had his clothes cut off with a knife.  Pentagon officials dismissed him as "overly-sensitive."  

White House spokesman Scott McClinton characterized the acts as "shameful, repulsive, and arousing." He added that they put President Bush in an embarrassing position.  "The president has said again and again that 'if it feels good, do it!' is not an American ethic.  And now the world finds out it actually is our ethic."  McClinton added that it will be difficult for Bush to finesse this crisis since he also has repeatedly condemned the ethic of "if you've got a problem, blame somebody else."    

Journalist Seymour Hersh, who reported on the mistreatment in The New Yorker magazine, said military police at the prison were acting at the direction of U.S. military intelligence "to break down somebody before interrogation." The  Bush Administration dismissed him as a "terrorist."  

X-Rated Military Intelligence A Boon to Bush

Revelations that British and American intelligence officers were delighted to preside over the abuse, torture, intimidation, terrorization, and humiliation of helpless Iraqi prisoners gave a shot in the arm to President Bush's re-election effort.  "We needed something to galvanize public interest in the campaign," said Bush's senior political advisor, Karl Rove.  "This appears to have done it."

The former commander of military police at U.S. prisons in Iraq, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, said the Iraqi-abusing MPs were not acting on their own but were being given instructions by U.S. military intelligence.  "We don't know the first thing about pornographic filmmaking," said Karpinski, "we leave that kind of stuff to the brass.  They obviously know quite a bit about it."

The photographs, shown around the world, pose a public relations challenge for the U.S. government:  how to convince the Iraqi people that wholesale degradation is just another part of being liberated.  

Cynics contend that private American military contractors dismembered and burned in Fallujah are already sufficient evidence that Iraqis are far from happy campers.   The Bush Administration contends that people who think this way are "nattering nabobs of negativity" acting in concert with Al Qaeda.

Michael K. Smith is the author of "The Madness of King George," with Common Courage Press (illustrations by Matt Wuerker)  


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