2004 April 28

“60 Minutes II” Broadcasts Exposé of Abu Ghraib Prison Abuse


News reports of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. military personnel in Iraq had begun to leak out in early 2004. The CBS 60 Minutes II story on this day created a sensation largely because it included photographic images of abused prisoners in degrading situations. Some photographs included naked prisoners, American soldiers taunting them, threatening them with dogs, and in other humiliating positions. The broadcast of the story had been delayed for two weeks at the request of the Defense Department. The abuses were confirmed by the military’s own Taguba Report released on May 2, 2004.

The Abu Ghraib abuses were only one of the events that tarred the reputation of the U.S. in the war on terrorism under President George W. Bush. The others included the Bush administration’s contempt for the Geneva Conventions, the treatment of suspected terrorists at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center in Cuba (January 11, 2002), and the practice of extraordinary renditions, in which the CIA kidnapped suspected terrorists and secretly transported them to secret prisons where many were tortured (see December 26, 2002 and October 23, 2006).

See the shocking Abu Ghraib photographshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVolRm1iqBY

Learn more: Seymour Hersh, Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib (2004)

Learn more at a follow-up  60 Minutes II story: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/abuse-at-abu-ghraib/

Read key documents: Karen Greenberg and Joshua Dratel, eds, The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib (2005)

And more: Mark Danner, Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror (2004)

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