Taguba: Rape Photos Not At Issue In Lawsuit — But They Do Exist

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Last week, the Daily Telegraph reported that, according to the retired major general who led a probe into torture at Abu Ghraib, some of the photos whose release the Obama administration is trying to block in the ACLU’s lawsuit show rape and sexual abuse by members of the US armed forces.

The administration quickly and strongly denied that the photos in the lawsuit showed such acts — but appeared not to rule out the possibility that other photos did, prompting speculation that the Telegraph might have gotten its photos mixed up.And it looks like that’s what happened. The retired major general, Antonio Taguba, told Salon Friday night that he hasn’t seen the photos in the ACLU lawsuit, and wasn’t referring to them when he spoke to the Telegraph. Rather, Taguba was talking about other photos that he looked at as part of his torture investigation.

This clarifies things — in both directions. The charge that President Obama, in the ACLU lawsuit, is blocking the release of photos that depict such horrific acts, appears to be untrue. But on the more important, underlying issue, Taguba seems to have confirmed that he’s seen photos showing US soldiers raping and sexually abusing Iraqi detainees, both male and female — and therefore that such things occurred.

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