The Pentagon says no sexual abuse, no Abu Ghraib photos among those held back in ACLU suit.
By Mark Benjamin
June 2, 2009 | Last Thursday, the Obama administration asked a federal court to block the release of images that depict detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan. The court had sided with the American Civil Liberties Union in its request that the administration release the photos. The administration's move seemed to lend credence to swirling rumors on the Internet that the administration was suppressing a cache of images showing sexual abuse of detainees. The day of the administration's request to the court, Britain's Daily Telegraph published a story claiming that the images included rape and sexual abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Friday, the Daily Beast reported that many of the photographs were "sexually explicit" and included images of "a uniformed soldier receiving oral sex from a female prisoner, a government contractor engaged in an act of sodomy with a male prisoner" and "penetration involving phosphorous sticks and brooms."
What do these unreleased images actually depict? A Defense Department official who has seen the unreleased images consented to give Salon some details. Salon agreed to keep the identity of the defense official private in exchange for the opportunity to interview a person with firsthand knowledge of the images.
Specifically, the official said there are about 2,000 images related to detainee abuse, none of which are from Abu Ghraib, and the images do not include depictions of sexual abuse. The official said the government does not have secret images of rape buried in its files.
© Janet Crain
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