“Dehumanization”

Chapter 2: Oct. 24-25, 2003

Topics: Abu Ghraib, Slide Shows, The Abu Ghraib Files, slideshow,

Warning: Photos contain disturbing images of violence, abuse and humiliation. These photos were taken with a camera owned by Cpl. Charles A. Graner Jr. They depict two major events of abuse: the leashing of a detainee referred to by U.S. soldiers as “Gus” and the punishment of three Iraqi detainees who had been accused of raping a 15-year-old boy in the prison. In addition to the detainees, the pictures show Graner, Pfc. Lynndie England, Spc. Megan Ambuhl, civilian contractor Adel Nakhla, Spc. Roman Krol, Spc. Armin J. Cruz Jr. and Spc. Sabrina Harman, as well as a soldier the Criminal Investigation Command (CID) identifies as Spc. Rivera, three soldiers the CID identifies as “possibly Smith, Davis K. and Cinzano” and one soldier the CID identifies as unknown.

Unlike the first set of photos, the abuses depicted on Oct. 24 and 25 have not been formally connected with specific orders from military leaders. Army investigators found that these incidents showed military police (M.P.) and military intelligence (M.I.) soldiers deciding on their own to punish and embarrass detainees. In his report, Lt. Gen. Anthony R. Jones categorized these abuses as “intentional violent or sexual abuses” that soldiers and contractors did not believe “were permitted by any policy.”

Other investigators concluded, however, that the worst abuses by military police and others arose from an “atmosphere of permissiveness” that pervaded Abu Ghraib. In one example of this, the report by Maj. Gen. George R. Fay noted that the systematic use of nudity to humiliate detainees in preparation for interrogation “likely contributed to an escalating ‘de-humanization’ of the detainees and set the stage for additional and more severe abuses to occur.”

The first set of pictures, showing England holding the leash of a detainee, was taken by Graner, according to military police statements. In April 2005, Graner told the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command that he had put the leash around the detainee and then handed the end of the leash to England, his girlfriend at the time. The detainee, who is identified by the CID as A—– H—–, was called “Gus” by Graner and England.



Graner claimed to investigators that the detainee crawled out of the cell under his own power. “I asked England to hold the end of the tether that I had because he wasn’t aggressive at this point,” Graner said. England gave a similar account to investigators. “He [Graner] gave me the end of the strap and took a picture,” England told the CID investigators on Jan. 14, 2004. “I did not drag or pull on the leash. I simply stood with the strap in my hand.” According to the CID, Ambuhl can be seen standing at the left side of the frame.

Several hours later, shortly after 11 p.m. on Oct. 25, a second incident was captured by Graner’s digital camera. Army investigators found that three men were delivered to the military intelligence wing at Abu Ghraib, all of them accused of being involved in the rape of an Iraqi teenager. According to the CID, a medical log that night reported the following: “15-year old Iraqi male treated for hemorrhage of his anus. Patient was raped in his hard cell.”

The three men were delivered to a group of military police and military intelligence soldiers, including four military police soldiers — Graner, Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick II, Harman and Sgt. Javal S. Davis — and two military intelligence soldiers, Cruz and Krol.

The soldiers stripped the accused rapists and positioned them in the hallway in a variety of sexual positions, according to the Fay report. “The detainees were naked, being yelled at by an MP through a megaphone. The detainees were forced to crawl on their stomachs and were handcuffed together,” the report said. Fay also noted that one soldier poured water on the detainees from a cup, while another threw a foam football at them.

The detainee named H—–, who may have been shown in an earlier photo with underwear on his head, later told Army investigators that he had witnessed this event. “I saw Grainer [sic] punching one of the prisoners right in his face very hard when he refused to take off his underwear,” the detainee claimed on Jan. 18, 2004. “I heard them begging for help.”

Nakhla, a civilian translator employed by the Titan Corp., told CID investigators on Jan. 18, 2004, that he helped translate the verbal abuse of the other soldiers. “Don’t try to run away. Stop right there. Are you gay? Do you like what is happening to you? Are you all gays? You must like that position. These were some of the questions or things that I told them,” Nakhla said.

England claimed in her January statement that military intelligence had instructed the military police to “rough them [the rape suspects] up.” An appendix to the report by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba also pointed to involvement by military intelligence, apparently based on England’s statement. The Fay report, too, concluded that there was direct military intelligence involvement in the abuse by the soldiers present. However, Fay said the abuse of the three men, which continued over several days, did not appear “to be based on MI orders.” Fay found that the three accused rapists “were incarcerated for criminal acts and were not of intelligence interest.”

Read Chapter 3: Oct. 28-29, 2003 — “Sexual exploitation”

View the slide show

Mark Benjamin is a national correspondent for Salon based in Washington, D.C. Read his other articles here.

Michael Scherer is Salon's Washington correspondent. Read his other articles here.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 14
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Pilot"

    One of our first exposures to uncomfortable “Girls” sex comes early, in the pilot episode, when Hannah and Adam “get feisty” (a phrase Hannah hates) on the couch. The pair is about to go at it doggy-style when Adam nearly inserts his penis in “the wrong hole,” and after Hannah corrects him, she awkwardly explains her lack of desire to have anal sex in too many words. “Hey, let’s play the quiet game,” Adam says, thrusting. And so the romance begins.

    View the slide show

    View the slide show

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Elijah, "It's About Time"

    In an act of “betrayal” that messes up each of their relationships with Hannah, Marnie and Elijah open Season 2 with some more couch sex, which is almost unbearable to watch. Elijah, who is trying to explore the “hetero side” of his bisexuality, can’t maintain his erection, and the entire affair ends in very uncomfortable silence.

    View the slide show

    View the slide show

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Charlie, "Vagina Panic"

    Poor Charlie. While he and Marnie have their fair share of uncomfortable sex over the course of their relationship, one of the saddest moments (aside from Marnie breaking up with him during intercourse) is when Marnie encourages him to penetrate her from behind so she doesn’t have to look at him. “This feels so good,” Charlie says. “We have to go slow.” Poor sucker.

    View the slide show

    View the slide show

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Shoshanna and camp friend Matt, "Hannah's Diary"

    We’d be remiss not to mention Shoshanna’s effort to lose her virginity to an old camp friend, who tells her how “weird” it is that he “loves to eat pussy” moments before she admits she’s never “done it” before. At least it paves the way for the uncomfortable sex we later get to watch her have with Ray?

    View the slide show

    View the slide show

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Hard Being Easy"

    On the heels of trying (unsuccessfully) to determine the status of her early relationship with Adam, Hannah walks by her future boyfriend’s bedroom to find him masturbating alone, in one of the strangest scenes of the first season. As Adam jerks off and refuses to let Hannah participate beyond telling him how much she likes watching, we see some serious (and odd) character development ... which ends with Hannah taking a hundred-dollar bill from Adam’s wallet, for cab fare and pizza (as well as her services).

    View the slide show

    View the slide show

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Booth Jonathan, "Bad Friend"

    Oh, Booth Jonathan -- the little man who “knows how to do things.” After he turns Marnie on enough to make her masturbate in the bathroom at the gallery where she works, Booth finally seals the deal in a mortifying and nearly painful to watch sex scene that tells us pretty much everything we need to know about how much Marnie is willing to fake it.

    View the slide show

    View the slide show

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Tad and Loreen, "The Return"

    The only sex scene in the series not to feature one of the main characters, Hannah’s parents’ showertime anniversary celebration is easily one of the most cringe-worthy moments of the show’s first season. Even Hannah’s mother, Loreen, observes how embarrassing the situation is, which ends with her husband, Tad, slipping out of the shower and falling naked and unconscious on the bathroom floor.

    View the slide show

    View the slide show

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and the pharmacist, "The Return"

    Tad and Loreen aren’t the only ones to get some during Hannah’s first season trip home to Michigan. The show’s protagonist finds herself in bed with a former high school classmate, who doesn’t exactly enjoy it when Hannah puts one of her fingers near his anus. “I’m tight like a baby, right?” Hannah asks at one point. Time to press pause.

    View the slide show

    View the slide show

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Role-Play"

    While it’s not quite a full-on, all-out sex scene, Hannah and Adam’s attempt at role play in Season 3 is certainly an intimate encounter to behold (or not). Hannah dons a blond wig and gets a little too into her role, giving a melodramatic performance that ends with a passerby punching Adam in the face. So there’s that.

    View the slide show

    View the slide show

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Shoshanna and Ray, "Together"

    As Shoshanna and Ray near the end of their relationship, we can see their sexual chemistry getting worse and worse. It’s no more evident than when Ray is penetrating a clothed and visibly horrified Shoshanna from behind, who ends the encounter by asking if her partner will just “get out of me.”

    View the slide show

    View the slide show

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Frank, "Video Games"

    Hannah, Jessa’s 19-year-old stepbrother, a graveyard and too much chatting. Need we say more about how uncomfortable this sex is to watch?

    View the slide show

    View the slide show

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Desi, "Iowa"

    Who gets her butt motorboated? Is this a real thing? Aside from the questionable logistics and reality of Marnie and Desi’s analingus scene, there’s also the awkward moment when Marnie confuses her partner’s declaration of love for licking her butthole with love for her. Oh, Marnie.

    View the slide show

    View the slide show

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Vagina Panic"

    There is too much in this scene to dissect: fantasies of an 11-year-old girl with a Cabbage Patch lunchbox, excessive references to that little girl as a “slut” and Adam ripping off a condom to ejaculate on Hannah’s chest. No wonder it ends with Hannah saying she almost came.

    View the slide show

    View the slide show

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>