PLUS THE WEBSITE LINK RESPONSIBLE FOR HOSTING SUCH A INHUMANE CRIME
Fayner Posts: I looked at the pictures of American G.I.s smiling among exploded heads, torn limbs and much worse. It is appauling to think human life is so meaningless to the people who got a kick out of snapping pictures like this. Take a look for yourself. It’s fucking wrong.
WASHINGTON, Sept 28 (Reuters) – The U.S. Army after a brief inquiry has failed to determine whether U.S. soldiers provided grisly photos of people killed in the Iraq war to a porn Web site in exchange for free access to it, officials said on Wednesday
The numerous graphic pictures posted on the Web site showed men, with their faces visible and wearing what looked like U.S. military uniforms, standing over a charred corpse, mutilated dead bodies and severed body parts.
The porn Web site states the photos were provided by troops in Iraq as well as Afghanistan in order to get free access to its sexual images. Many of the photos, still posted on the site, are accompanied by captions making light of the corpses; for example one photo of a charred body was dubbed “Cooked Iraqi.”
The Army Criminal Investigation Command in Iraq conducted the preliminary inquiry within the past week but closed it after concluding no felony crime had been committed and failing to determine whether U.S. soldiers were responsible for the photos and whether they showed actual war dead, Army officials said.
Col. Joe Curtin, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon, said there currently was no formal investigation into the matter.
“We’re not blowing this off,” Curtin said. “If the Army thinks it’s in its interest to investigate something, we will. There are multiple challenges here. One is the anonymity of the sources, dates, times, locations, units, anything that is reasonably identifiable that we can work off of.”
This controversy over the photographs involving U.S. military personnel comes a year and a half after other pictures taken by U.S. soldiers became public in April 2004 showing them abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail, a scandal that prompted international condemnation of the United States.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group Council on American-Islamic Relations, which had called for an investigation into the allegations of photos of corpses swapped for pornography, called the probe insufficient.
“It’s entirely inappropriate for the military to do such a cursory investigation of something that is really casting a very negative light on our nation’s military and can only serve to further damage America’s image and interests throughout the Islamic world,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the group.
Hooper said the military must determine who was involved and whether the conduct violated U.S. military law and international laws governing conduct during wartime, including the Geneva Conventions.
Curtin said the Army was not ruling out the possibility of opening a formal criminal investigation. “Any time new information becomes available that’s credible, yes, they potentially could reopen the case,” he said.
The Web site separates the corpse pictures from its sexual images. According to an article in the Online Journalism Review of the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Southern California, the site’s owner, Chris Wilson, lives in Lakeland, Florida, but hosts the site out of Amsterdam. The article quotes Wilson as saying the site’s images of nude female U.S. soldiers in Iraq and photos of war dead provide a “raw” account of war.
Officials said that while the Army’s preliminary inquiry had determined no felony act had taken place, soldiers potentially could be punished for conduct unbecoming a soldier, which generally brings administrative sanctions.
Without confirming the authenticity of the photos or who took them, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said, “This does not represent the values of the United States military, and doesn’t represent the vast majority of the actions and behavior of our men and women in uniform. It is a despicable practice. It’s unacceptable. And the department is going to address it.”
Curtin said the military was examining policies, procedures and legal implications of how soldiers transmit photos from the battlefield, and could consider limiting troops’ use of their own personal computers or cameras in a combat zone.
“The military must be very careful in not violating an individual’s First Amendment rights,” Curtin said, referring to the constitutional right of free expression.
“Soldiers encounter the horrors of war, and they are able to record it,” Curtin said. “You mix it with the porn site, now you muddy the waters.”
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker on Wednesday sent a message about “Internet Safety” to U.S. soldiers, but focused on restrictions on images that could compromise operational security on the battlefield. Curtin said the message was unrelated to the corpse photos.