Israeli hand in Iraq's Abu Ghraib exposed

Wed, 20 Jan 2010 17:25:53 GMT

The former American military chief of the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq reiterates the Israeli involvement in the US-run facility, where hundreds of Iraqi suspects were tortured and sexually abused by US soldiers and interrogators.

Shedding further light on the scandal that has served as a controversy- magnet for Washington ever since its emergence in 2004, the retired US army colonel Janis Karpinski says that Israeli agents were recruited by the US military at Abu Ghraib to interrogate the prisoners suspected of attacking US forces in Iraq.

The report by the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar is set to fuel more debate on the matter as Karpinski had, until recently, refused to expound on the Israeli connection at Abu Ghraib despite admitting earlier to the presence of Israeli interrogators in the US-run compound.

The former high-ranking US military officer in Iraq told the British state broadcaster, the BBC, in 2004 that she had met an Israeli interrogator who was working at a secret facility in Baghdad.

The prominent American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh brought the issue out in the open on May 10, 2004, when he published the article, "Torture at Abu Ghraib," in The New Yorker Magazine. The article served to ignite the outpouring of reports and evidences on the alleged "abuse, torture, sodomy and homicide" conducted at the facility by US military and intelligence officers.

In May of last year, more pictures of such abuses leaked out and hit the media networks showing the indiscriminate sexual orientation of American soldiers and operatives, who were shown carnally violating male and female Iraqis alike and assaulting them with nightsticks, wires and phosphorescent tubes.

Following his explosive account on the Abu Ghraib abuses, Hersh asserted that one of the Israel pursuits in the US-run prison was to gain access to the detained members of the Iraqi secret intelligence unit that specialized in Israeli affairs.

Israel has been widely criticized by international human rights organizations for the torture and abuse of Palestinian prisoners, including women and children, during interrogations and in prison cells.

US President Barak Obama has 'strongly' opposed the release of more photos and imagery of the Abu Ghraib abuses by American soldiers, despite promises to the contrary when he was first elected. Obama later argued that releasing the scandalous photos, labeled classified by the Bush Administration, would inflame "the theaters of war," jeopardize US forces, and make the life of troops based in Iraq and Afghanistan "more difficult."