US, Iraq: Torture Is Still OK
Despite Abu Ghraib, despite all the gut-wrenching evidence of abuse and horror, despite all the photos and news stories, despite revelations about secretive US off-shore prisons like Guantanamo Bay, despite the Supreme Court rulings, despite all the promises and enquiries and back-flips and denials and revelations and soul-searching confessions, the US government - and their friends in Iraq - continue to OK the use of torture, not to mention murder.
Paul McGeough, the award-winning reporter who broke the story of Allawi's cold-blooded murder of six Iraqi prisoners (a story which has been utterly ignored by the Western media and government officials, despite corresponding evidence from two separate witnesses), takes a look at the latest pathetic response to further evidence of institutionalized torture in Iraq:
"Iraqi prisoners are being abused by the new, US-appointed regime; and the Americans, as a matter of policy, refuse to do anything about it... But action - and inaction - speaks louder than words.McGeough's story includes transcripts of US officials avoiding questions on the allegations of torture and murder.
The US State Department deliberately ducked the allegations against Allawi, leaving it to the embassy to sweep them under the carpet.
But persistent questioning at a regular State Department press briefing in Washington last week revealed what can only be assumed to be a policy-driven refusal to investigate any excesses by the Allawi regime, even when Americans have witnessed the abuses - and may be complicit because of their refusal or failure to stop them."
Also in the news today, Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib's first phone call to his family in two-and-a-half years has renewed concerns for his welfare. Habib, who claims to have been tortured by US officials in Egypt and Guantanamo Bay, said he has also been "treated poorly" by Australian government officials and he has given up hope.
After speaking with his father, Mr Habib's son Ahmed pleaded with the public: "Now I spoke to him, I just feel like saying this: I just think we should do something right away before it is too late."
Habib told his wife not to send family photos because US officials cut the heads off the photos of children and use them for psychological torture.
Meanwhile, in the USA, four separate investigations into Abu Ghraib are going nowhere in a hurry.