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