In an effort to pre-empt the ACLU’s planned release of documents relating to 13 cases of abuse and torture in Iraq that were investigated with no action taken, the Army released the records today.
A homemade video compiled by Florida National Guard soldiers in Iraq showed members of the unit kicking a bound prisoner and showing his bullet wounds to the camera, but no criminal charges were brought against them, according to military investigative files released Friday.
Investigators reported that the Iraqi in the video, which was titled “Ramadi Madness” and is now thought to have been destroyed, was believed to have died shortly after the incident. But the files indicated that the investigators had consulted with senior military lawyers and decided that the pictures showed “inappropriate rather than criminal behavior.”
The new batch of documents covers 13 cases that were investigated with no action taken against any soldier. The files included investigations of accounts from some Army soldiers presented in a May 2004 article in Playboy that soldiers in another unit had raped Iraqi women and shot unarmed Iraqis. Such actions would be war crimes.
“These are obvious violations of the Geneva Conventions rules about treating prisoners,” Ms. Singh said. “The documents raise serious questions again as to whether U.S. forces were respecting the Geneva Conventions in handling prisoners of war and they call into question the government’s repeated assertion that detainees were treated humanely.”
In the case involving the allegations in Playboy, the investigators said there had been “insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegations.” The article related accusations of rape and mistreatment made by soldiers of an infantry unit based at Fort Benning, Ga., against other soldiers from Fort Benning.
The article quoted soldiers saying that others had “raped Iraqi females while on patrol and while guarding a mall in Baghdad” and had “shot an unarmed Iraqi national in the leg while he was fleeing, hog-tied him and threw him into a Bradley fighting vehicle where several soldiers physically assaulted him.”