Talk:Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse

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Former good article nominee Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
January 26, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
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I deleted the section on Botero that was right after 60 Minutes II and Seymore Hersh and listed him at the bottom of the article under "Depections in Media". He is not relavant to, nor notable enough to warrant inclusion in that section of the article, which deals with how the scandal broke in the media. The images seared into people's minds forever come not from an artist, but instead from sadistic prison guards with a cheap digital camera.

This is a mistake to delete. Botero is an important artist of our times, and this series of paintings is a powerful statement, similar to the painting of Guernica. How people react to an event, including artistic reactions, is part of the story. So please, put this section back in. Dale Gerdemann 13:08, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
This is not the football player Joaquín Botero, the top google search, but rather Fernando Botero a Columbian/French artist who rose to prominance by painting art about the Abu Graib torture. Unlike Pablo who had already significantly participated and added to the late modernist project decades before producing the Spanish Republican government-funded propaganda Gurenica, which was all the more supported by the subsequent war against fascism, it appears that Botero (the artist) had his fifteen minutes of fame solely for capturing the zeitgeist of certain wealthy chattering classes. His other work seems to be glorifying rich drug lords. Hardly an important artist, but certainly an active one, and eventually he may produce something of note. (talk) 04:26, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Botero was internationally renowned more than a decade before Abu Ghraib, regardless of your opinion of his art. His sculpture was featured in New York City in Central Park, among many other prominent places. His work on Abu Ghraib is part of the international reaction.Parkwells (talk) 22:10, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Rumsfeld okayed abuses says former U.S. general[edit]

I take issue with the "rebuttal" argument in this section by Karpinskis being a liar. I find it represents a view, rather then fact. The line "Karpinski has been exposed for lying to the media" is not citated. Who exposed them, and is it a fact? If not, who states or believes she is a liar?

The statement that "she was later demoted to the rank of colonel for her negligence in this case" seems unsubstantiated. In fact the Janis Karpinski article specifically states that "on May 5, 2005, President Bush approved Karpinski's demotion to colonel from the rank of brigadier general. Her demotion was not officially related to the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison".

So I suggest either a major rewrite, with perhaps less viewpoints and more citated facts, of this argument or complete removal of it. Please find holes in my argument :) mceder (u t c) 14:29, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, the article needs a major rewrite, although I have no hope that anything would change. The "rebuttal" may or may not be accurate, but that isn't the core problem anyway, which is that Karpinski's words were deceptive to begin with, and probably intended to take advantage of the public ignorance of what really happened at Abu Ghraib in order to deflect some of the blame that she may deserve.
If it were up to me I'd remove that entire section. The caption is deceptive in slyly suggesting Rumsfeld approved the abuse (as in the pictures) that people commonly think of when they hear of Abu Ghraib. Further, Karpinski's statement suggesting that Rumsfeld intentionally violated the Geneva Convention is only an opinion. It isn't supported by that source that these techniques were authorized for use on those who qualified for POW status.
-- Randy2063 16:09, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

I finally removed the baseless lying accusation against BG Karpinksy. This whole scandal just irritates the crap out of me. The most heinous abuses were done at the hands of Military Intelligence interrogators, CIA agents, and civilian contractors. The stuff these MPs did was very minor in comparison and was likely even orchestrated by the MI people. I was a MP and had to deal with the "secret squirrels" (MI and OGAs) from time to time and never failed to get a belly full of them. They like to run around in civilian clothes or uniforms without rank insignia and give orders with the insinuation that they rank much higher than they actually do. The only officer who stood before a court-martial for this whole thing was a Civil Affairs officer with questionable authority and access regarding the actual interrogation operations. The entire investigation into Abu Graib has been a whitewash from the beginning and has focused on Military Police soldiers and officers who had no authority or responsibility for policy and procedure inside the prison. Their own officers were denied access and yet they are to be held accountable? To characterize Karpinksy's remarks to the St Petersburg Times as lying and misleading doesn't tell the whole story. She wasn't even allowed into the cell blocks in Abu Graib where MI was doing their business. She didn't see what was going on because she was not allowed to. Those two paragraphs are just a character smear.--SEWalk (talk) 11:28, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

International law[edit]

This section is unsouced and appears to be quite questionable:

The United States has ratified the UN's Convention Against Torture and the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions. However, the Third and Fourth Geneva conventions both state in Article 2: "The High Contracting Parties shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof". Since Iraq did not apply the protections of the Geneva Conventions to American POW's throughout Gulf War I (e.g. abuse of 17 American POW's at the now-infamous Abu Ghraib, by the Iraq Intelligence Service) and Gulf War II (e.g. the well-known story of Jessica Lynch's unit), it may be argued that Iraq lost its protections under these particular documents (but not others) long before the USA even took possession of the Abu Ghraib prison. The Bush Administration, however, takes the position that, in the words of Alberto R. Gonzales, counsel to the President: "Both the United States and Iraq are parties to the Geneva Conventions. The United States recognizes that these treaties are binding in the war for the liberation of Iraq." ("The Rule of Law and the Rules of War", New York Times (op-ed piece), May 15, 2004). However, the Administration claims that prisoners taken in Afghanistan did not qualify as prisoners of war under international law.

Surely POWs are afforded the rights in the Geneva Conventions regardless of past violations by the country they are serving? This seems nonesensical. Also, what do prisoners from Afghanistan have to do with this case? Pexise (talk) 22:07, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

The two "Further reading" sections should be combined into one[edit]

I figured out how to take care of this myself, so I no longer need to request that someone else do so. Ed Moise (talk) 17:20, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

New Section needed?[edit]

Time for new section? There should be enough information around now to include President Obama's giving immunity to the torturers and the UN response. Obama wont prosecute as the torturers "were only following orders" with the UN dismissing this as illegal while other sources claim that the CIA is not covered by the immunity anyway as it's agents are legally exempt from punishment if they refuse to follow orders. In fact the United States Uniform Code of Military Justice specifically addresses the question of torture by stating that following orders is not a legal defense so how Obama got around that I have no idea. Wayne (talk) 15:06, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

It's not really relevant here. Obama's position on the alleged "torture" was about CIA interrogation methods on a small handful of high value detainees. It doesn't apply to what happened at Abu Ghraib. Note that the soldiers currently serving time for the abuse aren't being released.
Neither the UCMJ nor the military interrogation manual were ever meant to apply to the CIA, which is not part of the military. That's the way it's always been, and the manual was designed with the understanding that extreme cases would be handled by someone else. Obama's presidential order currently does limit the CIA to that manual, but even he allows for the attorney general to grant exceptions when the situation requires it.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 16:31, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
What about mentioning something about the civilian contractors that were used as interregators (From CACI and Titan Corp.) that never faced prosecution? The CACI & Titan Corp. articles have some info regarding this, maybe we could provide a quick summarized copy here or at least a link? I just think it's noteworthy that save for the few CIA "high value" detainee interogations, most were conducted by third-party civilian personell. Quote from CACI article:

U.S. Army "found that contractors were involved in 36 percent of the Abu Ghraib proven incidents and identified 6 employees as individually culpable", although none have faced prosecution unlike US military personal.

--MiloKral (talk) 16:21, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Joe Ryan Merger[edit]

I support this merger. The Joe Ryan article is too small be stand one it's own. --KMFDM FAN (talk) 23:08, 26 May 2009 (UTC)--KMFDM FAN (talk) 23:08, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I'd support this merger in the short term since the Joe Ryan article is next to useless on its own and the only information on it is relating to the Abu Ghraib. However, considering how this article has already grown to a large size, maybe we should consider creating a "People involved with Abu Ghraib" article or something to that exntent, and only keeping the most notable people summaries here. --MiloKral (talk) 15:57, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

This needs to be a separate article along the lines of Joe Ryan Abu Ghraib diaries. The diaries constituted a separate news event covered by the Independent and the Washington Post, among others. That article should then be referenced within the main article. BYT (talk) 20:37, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

More on Talk: Joe Ryan[edit]

I've added substantial amounts to this Joe Ryan article from the complete (?) diary, which can be found here. Please take a look. I believe it merits a stand-alone article. BYT (talk) 22:26, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

How often were tortures applied?=[edit]

I've read the article and I don't see ąny information on how often were torture applied. In other words. how many prisoners are estimated to suffer no beatings, sexual assaults, deterring or extreme humiliation?????? (talk) 23:54, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

  • Well, does that information exist? Why not go and get some sources? WhisperToMe (talk) 02:48, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Zimbardo theories[edit]

I note that you quoted the Lucifer Effect by Phil Zimbardo. Do you think that a section referring to his theories on situation evil would go beyond the encycopedic mandate? Propbably would. Masterly article. ADAM —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:28, 21 October 2009 (UTC)


Apologies for asking what may seem a picky question, but I'm coming to this article for the first time and am genuinely unclear about a small point. What's meant by "where" in the following sentence from the lead section?

"As revealed by the 2004 Taguba Report, a criminal investigation by the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command had already been underway since 2003 where many soldiers of the 320th Military Police Battalion had been charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice with prisoner abuse."

What is the antecedent of "where"? I don't see a place named. Would I be understanding the sentence correctly if I read it as "a criminal investigation … had already been underway since 2003, in the course of which many soldiers … had been charged … ?" With which referring back to the investigation? Cynwolfe (talk) 16:18, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Remove the Pictures[edit]

The pictures should be removed from this page; they are inflammatory and highly offensive to muslims. The descriptions of these acts are more than adequate to convey what went on at Abu Ghraib. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:26, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

It is difficult to truly convey, in words alone, what happened. Even the photos are not able to truly convey the shocking treatment of these prisoners. Imagine the screams, the pain, the smells, the blood.... The photographs are also evidence that makes denial more difficult. Ghostofnemo (talk) 02:05, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

No, the pictures should absolutely not be removed, regardless of who you think they are offensive to. They are completely in line with Wikipedia's image use policies. They add important information to the article, and are very notable in and of themselves. -- Jrtayloriv (talk) 02:21, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

You go to hell, And good job mods, for letting his comment stay up there that long. Amateurs. First, the pictures are necessary because this needs to be understood as best as possible for the evil that it is. Second, you are no conservative or Republican, you are a white-supremacy scumbag. Third, there should be two Abu Gharaib prisoner abuse articles, one on what the US forces did and one on what Saddam Hussein's regime did in this prison prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Don't try to make it seem like we're the only people who ever committed a war crime in Iraq. Fourth, Saddam ordered his torturing, our government and military did not. They were all sadistic privates who committed these crimes. Fifth, how dare you use Media Matters as a source against Rush Limbaugh. Media Matters is not a reliable source for anything, they called General Patreaus "General Betray-Us", among other ridiculous libel they have said. I can understand Michael Savage saying something crazy like that, but Limbaugh would never defend torture. Finally, our standard practice of interrogation is not torture, and that includes waterboarding, you liberals. This, Abu Gharaib, is torture, and we cleaned it up. So anyone who makes comments like can go to hell. (talk) 02:35, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to add, simply: "I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to 'propaganda'." --General Dwight D. Eisenhower, on visiting the German concentration camps. The pictures need to be there to mitigate the deniers and those who feel that mere "horseplay" occurred. --Sstrader (talk) 22:46, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Prison pictures[edit]

I support the posting of pictures of the correctional facilities that the perpetrators attended. The prisons were direct consequences of their behavior, and prisons became a big part of their lives (not everybody has standalone articles!) WhisperToMe (talk) 02:47, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Page Title[edit]

Any chance of adjusting the page title so that it reflects the fact that this isn't about the sum total of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, merely the small proportion of it perpetrated by Americans?

Neither this page, nor the page on the prison itself seems to acknowledge the reality of the place's past (and probable future) as a torture facility and seems almost anti-American by (inadvertant) omission. (talk) 14:53, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Involvement of civil contractors[edit]

The left wing news paper magazine "profil" (Nr 22/2011, page 84 ) in my home country Austria is running an article about Abu Graib. The US-psychologist Philip Zimbaro is giving an interview. In this article the beginning of the torture is related to pressure coming from the CIA. But I can remember that in the time the case was cooking up in the world press that their where reports about civil contractors which had actually trained the US- soldiers in torture techniques but nothing is here’d of this people again so far. Does anyone remember about this, ore does anyone know the name of this private company?

Second I think it should be mentioned in the article that there has been and is a lot of information about torture true the Iraqi government and their organizations. I think it is unbalanced and unfair not to say this.

Gassner7 (talk) 15:08, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

There are several problems with that. If you mean Philip Zimbardo, he was not directly involved with the CIA or Abu Ghraib. He only talked about its supposed effects afterwards. He has no personal experience on the subject. But I'm not surprised he'd appear on a left-wing paper that probably claims to oppose torture.
The CIA was not part of the normal interrogation of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Note this section: Abu_Ghraib_torture_and_prisoner_abuse#Death_of_Manadel_al-Jamadi. The CIA brought al-Jamadi in, and attempted to interrogate him separately. They apparently did this with other prisoners, but they were also separate issues -- and they were the CIA's own prisoners, not the Army's prisoners. The only Army-CIA link was that it happened at an Army facility. The Army does not consult with the CIA over how to interrogate Army prisoners. They hire their own civilian contractors when outside consultation is wanted.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 15:49, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

File:Abu Ghraib 39.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Rape allegations[edit]

Currently the article attributes the claim that Abu Ghraib inmates were raped to Wikipedia's voice. That is not an accurate representation of the reliable sources used to reference that claim, however. For example, the lead says (paraphrase),

Beginning in 2004, human rights violations including rape came to public attention.

And in the "Treatment of prisoners" section the article states,

An Iraqi teenage boy was raped....

The claim in the lead is sourced to, which is problematic in itself as the article should really be relying on a more solid source than Salon. But even supposing the source is valid, it never itself makes the claim that anyone was raped. It quotes the Daily Telegraph, which quoted a retired army Major General, who said, "These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency."

The second claim is sourced to The Guardian. Again, that's not the kind of publication Wikipedia ought to be relying on for such a serious claim as rape. But even the Guardian reporter never actually reports that a rape took place. He quotes an Abu Ghraib detainee recounting his version of what happened at the prison.


  1. Unless the rape claim in the lead can be sourced to a reliable source on the scale of New York Times, BBC and so on, it should be taken out or at least be in-text attributed to Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Taguba.
  2. The subsection "Raping of prisoners" should be renamed "Alleged raping of prisoners."
  3. Unless the rape claim in the "Raping of prisoners" section can be sourced to a reliable source on the scale of New York Times, BBC and so on, it should be taken out or at least be in-text attributed to detainee Kasim Hilas.—Biosketch (talk) 22:32, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Good points.
I suspect that General Taguba was merely speaking off the cuff when he said there were pictures of rape, and simply misspoke. I'm not aware of any official report showing this, including the Taguba Report itself.
The only allegations seem to be that by the civilian contractor raping a boy, a soldier forcibly kissing a female detainee, and the claims made by Huda Alazawi in The Guardian.
The problem with that third one isn't so much that it's The Guardian as much as that this woman isn't necessarily all that credible. She could be an opportunist. I don't think she's in any of these reports unless the second and third allegations are really the same event. I'm not aware of the press doing a follow-up.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 03:53, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but you cannot have looked very deeply into this. First, the Guardian and Saloon have been accepted as generally reliable sources at WP:RS/N and all over Wikipedia. Secondly, they are not alone in their reporting. See the Washington Post here, the Village Voice here. Please also note that forced sodomization meets most modern definitions of rape, including the WHO definition, and are are explicitly mentioned in the Tabuga report and by the BBC here. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:19, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
The section title is "Raping of prisoners" -- plural, and not alleged rape. While forced sodomization may meet the legal definition, it's not the most accurate for the one case we're sure about.
I wouldn't argue that The Guardian isn't RS for Wikipedia purposes. We do need to wonder, though, when another source quotes The Guardian, whether it's just one story mis-told over and over again.
I have three concerns. One is if we're taking early reports (similar to your Village Voice link) and mixing them in with better materials. Second, is that too much is based on that one line from General Taguba when his report doesn't mention it. My third concern is that the section isn't clear about what really happened.
The Taguba Report is here. The only sexual allegations I can find are two of the three I've mentioned above. If you can find more then please point them out.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 12:45, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
There is one more sexual allegation, section 1.5.6.k, "A male MP guard having sex with a female detainee." Whether a prisoner can negotiate consent considering the balance of power is not addressed. (talk) 14:43, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
BTW: Your your BBC and Washington Post links seem to agree with me.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 12:58, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
That's right. BBC and WashPost also don't state as a fact that inmates were raped at Abu Ghraib. They merely quote other sources as saying so. Our article, on the other hand, states as a fact that there was rape. So far the only source that does actually say anyone was raped is the Village Voice. But therein lies our problem. The overwhelming majority of sources attribute the rape claim to other parties, like the victims and their attorneys or Taguba. It's policy to represent reality "in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint." The perspective of the Village Voice has somehow become the position of Wikipedia – and it's not even cited until much later in the article. There's also another problem with the Voice. The article ends with an editorializing comment, "the Bush administration has refused to release photos of Iraqi women forced at gunpoint to bare their breasts—no doubt to spare Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld further embarrassment." That's not objective journalism, and I'm going to challenge our use of the Voice at all in this article, since it draws no clear distinction between objective reporting and biased editorializing.—Biosketch (talk) 13:48, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
You're right that the Village Voice piece is garbage. We can find a better source regardless whether or not an actual rape took place.
I'd rather find sources that attribute something to the Taguba Report rather than Taguba himself. Better still would be to find something that cites the Fay Report, and even better would be to cite a trial, as the Taguba Report was pretty early in the investigation process.
User is also correct. I had missed the MP guard having sex with a female detainee. I don't know if this was the rape incident Taguba was talking about but the Army does consider sex with a detainee to be coercive regardless whether or not the woman thought it was consensual. (And for the record, a consensual act is not completely out of the question, considering that there were also alleged prostitutes in custody at the time.)
I haven't located this incident in the Fay Report (here). I don't know if that means it was thrown out by that time, or clarified some other way. But there are others.
The full list is in table form on page 130 (using the PDF's page numbers, not the ones written on the pages themselves). There is a column for Nudity/Humiliation and another for sexual assault. You can search the PDF for the actual incidents for a full story.
I haven't been able to square the Taguba report's "sex with a female detainee" incident with what's in the Fay Report. "Incident #2" is the closest I could find but it was not actual rape.
And for those who might complain that I'm wandering into primary sources, I'm only trying to figure out what's what so that we can understand what the secondary sources are really referring to.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 19:28, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
In that "Incident #2," where a female detainee was forcibly kissed and had her shirt removed(pdf pg 170), the Fay Report found that the allegations were credible enough to warrant further investigation and should proceed as the soldiers involved were not punished for the sexual assault. An ACLU FOIA request only turned up one Art. 15[1] for one of the soldiers, dated 3/31/2004. Either these further investigations were still ongoing when the FOIA request was made or the military did not follow up on the Fay Report recommendation.
-- Joshuaism (talk) 20:26, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Captain Carolyn Wood[edit]

The statement "Captain Carolyn Wood was head of the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion from Fort Bragg" is incorrect. CPT Wood may have been a company commander, but a lieutenant colonel is normally the commander of a battalion, and CPT Wood was not nor has she ever been the commander of a battalion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vietnam volunteer (talkcontribs) 03:42, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Satar Jabar not the hooded prisoner on box[edit]

I have found virtually no citations that the person in the photo has the name "Satar Jabar." A 2004 Newsweek article is the first place I've seen it used:

Prisoner Satar Jabar's photograph, showing him hooded and wired up, has become familiar to Iraqis, who derisively call it "the Statue of Liberty." Far from being a dangerous insurgent, however, Jabar, 24, was an accused car thief.

Two Toronto Star articles do:

  • Sticking it to Bush at Whitney exhibit; Politics almost trumps the work: Goddard, Peter. Toronto Star [Toronto, Ont] 04 Mar 2006: 2.
  • So now what do we do with prisoners?; Since 9/11, questions about torture and who's doing it have been deftly sidestepped and hotly debated. Recent events have dragged Canada deeper into the fray: Shephard, Michelle. Toronto Star [Toronto, Ont] 27 Jan 2008: 8.

Both articles are behind a pay wall, I found them with a ProQuest newspaper database search. The first just says the person is Satar Jabar. The second uses the photo that was published in The New Yorker with this caption:

THE NEW YORKER Undated photo shows Satar Jabar standing atop a box at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

The problem is that The New Yorker doesn't have this as the current caption: The current caption reads: "A hooded and wired Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib prison who reportedly was told that he would be electrocuted if he fell off a box."

I am therefore deleting the name from the caption and will propose for deletion the article named "Satar Jabar" which redirects to this page.

One side note, a man claimed he was the person in the photo, but the editor's note retracts the claim. It mentions that:

The Times and other newspapers would have shown that in 2004 military investigators named another man as the one on the box, raising suspicions about Mr. Qaissi's claim.

But the name "Satar Jabar" appears in The Times twice, but not in regard to the photograph. Mnnlaxer (talk) 19:07, 27 October 2011 (UTC)


It's well known, and established in Rumsfeld's book Known and Unknown: A Memoir, that Rumsfeld had wanted to resign after the abuse became publicly known. However, Bush said 'no' and ordered him to stay. He stayed, but he regretted that decision. I don't think these facts are clear in this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:01, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

just because that is the way it is representat in his memoir - does not mean it is fact - it only means that that is his version of events... memoirs and auto-biographies often tent to trivialize/play down things (talk) 11:58, 11 March 2014 (UTC)


Per WP: Bold, I've switched the File:AG-10.jpg image to uncensored equivalent: File:AG-10B.JPG. To address any objections ahead of time:

  • "The image should be censored": No, WP:NOTCENSORED. This case is the same in spirit as "a vulgarity or obscenity should either appear in its full form or not at all" WP:PROFANE (referring to text).
  • "The uncensored image is not necessary": Fine, then argue that the image in any form is not necessary to the article and try to remove it entirely. You will probably lose that argument.
  • "This is the partially blurred/censored version as reproduced widely in the mass media.": This is an acceptable rationale for including the file File:AG-10.jpg in Wikimedia Commons, but not for preferring it in a factual Wikipedia article. Additionally, Wikipedia is blissfully not bound by the same censorship restrictions that the mass media are. (talk) 02:56, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

TPOEMES, I've reverted your re-censoring edit of this article. Please read WP:NOTCENSORED and see my rationale above. Specifically regarding your edit message "child protection is not censorship": yes, it absolutely is censorship, but more precisely it is a rationale for censorship. In some cases, "child protection" may be a legitimate rationale, but not on Wikipedia, and certainly not on this article. Sorry, but for a page with images and descriptions of horrific torture, abuse, and death, removing a small grainy picture of a penis is not "protecting" anyone. (talk) 06:28, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Removed as the individual who's private parts you want to show has not given his permission to do so. Have a look at Wikipedia:Sexual content and Commons:Photographs of identifiable people. If you disagree with that than please take it to the Administrator noticeboard. Thank you. Danceneck3 (talk) 06:40, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Commons:Photographs_of_identifiable_people pertains to identifiable people and "... do not apply to photographs where the subject is unidentifiable." The individual in question is depicted in a low quality photo with a bag over his head, and thus in not identifiable.
  • Wikipedia:Sexual content is an essay. As the template states, "This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays may represent widespread norms or minority viewpoints. Consider these views with discretion. Essays are not Wikipedia policies."
  • Wikipedia:Sexual content explicitly makes reference to WP:NOTCENSORED, which is an official policy, and which forms the basis of my previously-stated rationale to use the non-censored image. From WP:NOTCENSORED: "Discussion of potentially objectionable content should not focus on its offensiveness but on whether it is appropriate to include in a given article. Beyond that, "being objectionable" is generally not sufficient grounds for removal or inclusion of content."
  • Accordingly, if you find the "sexual" content to be objectionable, then argue for the entire removal of the image, not its censorship. As also previously stated, in an article and a picture showing graphic abuse, a blurry penis is hardly the most 'objectionable' element (though admittedly this has no bearing on the decision to keep/remove the image).
  • I will not be bringing this to the Administrator noticeboard yet, as it's a matter of black-letter Wikipedia policy. I don't need to waste the time of Administrators to support my position, I have official statements of Wikipedia policy. If others chose to ignore those policies, then we can bring the Administrators in. (talk) 02:02, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Photo deletion[edit]

Hi. I'd like to suggest the deletion of the photo depicting the soldier pointing to an inmate's penis, or at least the blurring of his and the other inmates' genitals (as has happened in other photos). My starting point is that, as a Christian, I think that people (publishers included) should treat others as they would want to be treated themselves.

The photo is clearly humiliating and degrading to a victim of crime who may be still alive, and while his face is obscured, he will know that he was abused in this way. Showing the photo is likely to be distressful to him and could cause mental or emotional harm; we cannot second guess that. Wikipedia can easily by viewed by children, for whom this explicit photo is clearly inappropriate.

I know that, judged on copyright and free speech grounds, there is no legal restriction on displaying the photo. However, I think that there are more important moral factors (explained above) about how people should be treated when they are distressed, as he was at this moment, and how we respect victims of crime, especialy sexual offences. Looking forward to your suggestions and thanks for your time. Gecko177 (talk) 10:33, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Oppose per WP:NOTCENSORED. I do not believe that the photo is humiliating and degrading to the victim. The torture and unspeakable treatment that this man endured was. (talk) 03:27, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

Torture memos[edit]

From 2004 to 2008, more material was finally revealed about the Torture Memos, legal opinions prepared by the Office of Legal Counsel, Dept of Justice - specifically three signed by Bybee and drafted by John Yoo in August 2002 and one by Yoo in March 2003, five days before the US started its invasion of Iraq. These were sent to the CIA (first 3) and DOD at the request of their General Counsels, and were essentially the administration's policy on narrowly defining torture, and authorizing what most of the world contends as torture - what they euphemistically called enhanced interrogation techniques. One of the 2002 memos was leaked in 2004; the 2003 memo was not revealed until 2008 during a Senate Committee hearing, but we need to try to place them in relation to this article and abuses at Guantanamo for the account to be complete. Jack Goldsmith, Bybee's replacement as head of OLC, withdrew the memos in 2004 but did not issue replacement opinions before his resignation in July of that year; his successor reaffirmed the memos in Dec. 2004. The NY Times, ACLU and other major sources have sites that list all these memos, and journalists such as Jane Mayer have written about this side of the war, The Dark Side (2008) as her book is entitled. We need to add to this article with more than opinions expressed at the time.Parkwells (talk) 22:21, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

It's not really all that relevant. The so-called "torture memos" were mostly for what would be legally authorized for the CIA. If you'll notice, Abu Ghraib was under control of the DoD. The limits in those memos weren't relevant to what actually happened.
Jamadi's pseudo-strappado sounds closest, and it was by a CIA interrogator, but those limits weren't relevant there either.
It's a clumsy curve-fitting exercise. They found pictures of prisoners being treated badly, and the critics of the U.S.-side of the war decided to shoehorn these memos into it.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 15:29, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Sources for sexual violence against men[edit]

VolunteerMarek seems to believe that this article should not be in the Category:Violence against men category. I am providing the following sources to dispute his (ridiculous) point of view:

  • "The Taguba report also contains a finding that groups of male detainees were forced to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped...The forced masturbation of the victim and the perpetrator is considered to be one of the most common forms of sexual violence experienced by men" Sexual violence against men in armed conflict, S Sivakumaran - European Journal of International Law, 2007
  • "The most widely circulated images of gender-based violence from US-occupied Iraq are the notorious Abu Ghraib photos. Released to the public in April 2004, the photos document the sexualized torture of Iraqi men by US soldiers. They include images of prisoners forced to stand naked, masturbate, simulate gay sex, and wear women’s clothing. In essence, the torture consisted of an attack on the gender identity of the prisoners. The forcefulness of that attack derived from the misogyny of both the detainees and their torturers. As Dhia al-Shweiri, an Iraqi who was tortured in Abu Ghraib said, “They were trying to humiliate us, break our pride. We are men. It’s OK if they beat me. Beatings don’t hurt us, it’s just a blow. But no one would want their manhood to be shattered. They wanted us to feel as though we were women, the way women feel, and this is the worst insult, to feel like a woman.” Promising Democracy, Imposing Theocracy Gender-Based Violence and the US War on Iraq (Part 2) - See more at:, By Yifat Susskind
  • "In this chapter, I will conduct an intersectional analysis of two cases of sexual violence against men that will be taken as examples of the extremes of media exposures and invisibilities…The second example is the high exposure of sexual torture of Iraqi men in the Baghdad prison Abu Ghraib, in American (and international) media - on TV, in the press and on the Internet." Framing Intersectionality: Debates on a Multi-Faceted Concept in Gender Studies, edited by Professor Helma Lutz, Ms Maria Teresa Herrera Vivar, Ms Linda Supik
  • "In the meantime, sexual violence against males continues to flourish in prison and other forms of detention. Men have been abused and sexually humiliated during situations of armed conflict, such as the highly publicized Abu Ghraib scandal in Iraq." Hastings L.J. 605 (2008-2009), Male Rape and Human Rights, by Stemple, Lara
  • “Further, sexual violence against men is best understood as part of a continuum of violence against men in society, from bullying of boys, to the rape of men in prison, and the sexual humiliation of Muslim Arab men in Abu Ghraib.”, Sexual Violence Against Men and Women in War: A Masculinities Approach, Valorie K. Vojdik, University of Tennessee College of Law, July 2013, Nevada Law Journal, Forthcoming , University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 217
Now, I'm waiting to hear from him, or anyone else, on why you think that the Abu Ghraib case, which is HIGHLIGHTED by many studies of sexual violence against men in wartime as a massively studied case, does not belong in the Violence against men category. This clearly passes WP:DEFINING by a mile.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 04:07, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

On the other hand, from the article itself we have:

Other photos show interrogators sexually assaulting prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube, and a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts

In other alleged cases, female inmates were said to be raped by soldiers.

"a video of a male American soldier in uniform sodomizing a female detainee"

Why exactly should this be singled out as some kind of "violence against men"? It was a horrible phenomenon which was directed at Iraqis of both genders and for political/psychopathic reasons. Obiwankenobi is very clearly pushing a WP:FRINGE POV here.Volunteer Marek (talk) 04:34, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Yeah, me and all of those sources that discuss sexual violence against men, and use Abu Ghraib as a primary example of same. We're all agenda pushers, you caught us!! Marek, you seem to suffer from the same problem another editor had, which is, an event, where bad things happen to men, and bad things happen to women. How can we call that Violence against men! That's not fair!! Let's take two examples of violence: #1 Atomic bomb on hiroshima, #2 Abu Ghraib. Now, for #1, men and women and children died, and while we could call it Violence against men and Violence against women and Violence against children, it doesn't make sense since the bomb itself was indiscriminate, and the target was neither men nor women nor children but rather CIVILIANS. Now, we have case #2, Abu Ghraib - we have OODLES of sources (I just gave 4 above, but a google scholar search on "violence against men" +"Abu Ghraib" will find dozens of hits or more) that use Abu Ghraib as a case example of both prisoner abuse and sexual abuse of men. Were women sexually abused as well? Absolutely. Were both genders targeted? Yes, but in very different ways, and of course the number of male detainees was greater. Does the "Violence against men" category somehow mean that women didn't suffer at all? Absolutely not!! At Srebrenica, one of the most famous examples of Gendercide in the late 20th century, 8000 men were killed, but also hundreds or maybe thousands of women were raped or otherwise abused, and some were even killed. So, we add this to the Category:War rape category as well. A single event can comprise gender-based violence against BOTH men and women. Repeat that, please. A single event can comprise GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AGAINST BOTH MEN AND WOMEN. Again, adding something to the "Violence against men" category does not mean that there was no violence against women, and if sources can be provided that discuss Abu Ghraib as an example of sexual violence in war against female detainees it should be added at least to the Category:War rape category and possibly Category:Violence against women. Marek, I hope this is the moment when you wake up and realize that YOU are the one pushing a POV. I hope you read those sources above carefully, and reflect - why would all of those reliable sources use Abu Ghraib as a primary EXAMPLE of sexual violence against men, and why does that bug me so much? Isn't that, after all, a good case for inclusion in the category? You seem a bit blinded by your frustration with me.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 04:48, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Hello! I am responding to a request for comment posted at WP:WikiProject Human rights. My initial thought is that I do not want to see this issue debated. If this article is to be put into a category, such as "violence against men", then it would be ideal if someone could provide sources which discussed this event as violence against men. I do not think it is worthwhile to have editors here debate how this should be classified; if sources have already classified this, then note those sources and perhaps even list them on the category talk page so that the issue is more fully addressed.
In this case, it seems that some reliable sources have described this event as violence against men. It may additional also be violence against women. It seems that gender was a focus of the attacks described based on interpretations in the provided sources. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:51, 14 April 2014 (UTC)