Jeffrey LewisICRC: Iraq Abuses Widespread

The ICRC called a press conference to comment on the publication, by the Wall Street Journal, of a confidential January 2004 report on detention in Iraq submitted by to Coalition Forces in February 2004.

The report alleged that the conditions were “tantamount to torture.”

Pierre Kraehenbuehl, director of operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross, told the press conference: “That is clear that our findings do not allow us to conclude that what we were dealing with here were isolated acts of individual members of the coalition forces.”

The ICRC allegation will make it harder for the administration to conduct the Rumsfeld Two-Step of avoiding the “t-word”, as in:

My impression is that what has been charged so far is abuse, which is different from torture. Just a minute, I don/’t know if the, it is correct to say what you just said, that torture has taken place, or that there/’s been a conviction for torture. And therefore, I/’m not going to address the “torture” word.

Of course, that was before Rumsfeld “had seen more horrific images on Thursday evening that he hoped would never be leaked to the media because they would do much more damage to the United States.”

How long before those are on Al-Jazeera?