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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Rape investigation

Today is International Women's Day. Today, The Guardian will report on the investigation into an alleged rape of an iraqi woman by soldiers. In more irony, this investigation was prompted by an article in soft-core porn magazine, Playboy. The article alleged that the 3rd Infantry Brigade had engaged in various war crimes, from rape to hogtieing and beating up an Iraqi detainee (sorry, I can't find the original).

In an internal invesigation obtained by the ACLU, it is revealed the the soldiers did indeed talk to the playboy reporter (e.g. page 8382), however they uniformly claim that the incidents reported did not occur.

The admission of SPC [censored] to having sex with Iraqi women is as follows (page 8404)

In reference to having sex with Iraqi women. I had sex with an Iraqi prostitute for ten dollars. I was pulling gaurd at a mall. I came off gaurd went into the mall had sex with the woman and then went back onto the roof to pull gaurd.
In questioning, SPC [censored] responds as follows(page 8405 onward). Note that the the following pages have a convenient vertical strip of white through them, giving the appearance that the printer malfunctioned.
Q: Where did you have sex with the Iraqi women?
A: At the shopping center.
Q: How did they get into the shopping center?
A: I don't know.
Q: How did you know about the women?
A: I don't know which one of the two told me, I think it was
Q: What did he tell you?
A: He told me there were some prostitutes downstairs, $10.00.
Q: Did [censored] tell you he had sex with the women?
A: Yes.
Q: What did he tell you?
A: He just said he, I can't remember. I am sure he told me but I can't remember what he said. He told me he had sex, but I don't remember what his exact words were.
Q: Did [censored] tell you he had sex with the women?
A: No, he said he didn't, because he was married, but it came out later that he did.
Q: How many women [illegible]
A: Two.
Q: How many did you have sex with?
A: One.
Q: How many did [censored] have sex with?
A: I don't know.
Q: How many did [censored] have sex with?
A: No idea.
Q: Did you force [illegible] in any way?
A: No.
Q: How do you [illegible] consenting to the sexual activity?
A: She took my pants off.
Q: Did she take her clothes off?
A: Yes.
Q: Did she cry or yell [illegible] incident?
A: No.
Q: Did she seem [illegible]?
A: No.
Q: Who did [illegible] (money?) to?
A: Her.
Q: Do you know [illegible] [censored] raped the woman?
A: No. I don't [illegible]
The testimony of other soldiers is included. For example, investigators summary (page 8387) includes the following
SPC [censored] stated he did hear about soldiers having sex while at the mall. He heard the soldiers that had sex were SPC [censored], PFC [censored], SPC [censored], and PFC [censored] [censored] deceased, formerly assigned to B Co., 1/15th Inf Bn, Fort Benning, GA). He stated he heard they took turns and paid $10.00, but the women were not raped. SPC [censored] had no further information pertaining to this investigation ...

... SGT [censored] stated he was present at the mall when SPC [censored], PFC [censored] and SPC [censored] had sex with prostitutes. SGT [censored] stated he saw the women in the mall and they did not appear to be forced or distressed ...

One soldier even presents an argument for why he did not believe any in his company had raped women (page 8370)
In fact, the sex would have been so cheap to buy, to get sex forcibly would have been to much of a hassel.
Several soldiers claim that sex-workers were plentiful, and that they were often accosted by them. However, on page 8353, one soldier states that SGT [censored] was having some difficulty finding prostitutes
Q: Do you know anything about SGT [censored] and prostitutes?
A: I know he was trying to find some.
Q: How do you know that?
A: He told me.
Q: What did he say?
A: He had said for the past few days he had been trying to get prostitutes down there, but none had shown up.
Q: How was he trying to get prostitutes?
A: I don't know.
Most soldiers quoted only mention the two women. However, some refer to several other Iraqi people present at the time. One soldier states that the prostitutes arrived with their family, and another that they had children with them.

The soldier describes a family as follows (page 8416-8417):

I was guarding the rooftop when someone informed myself and [censored] that there were two women and their families downstairs. We went to check on the situation and I saw two Iraqi men, one older woman about 45 to 50 years of age, and two younger ladies that were dressed in American style jogging outfits. PFC [censored] told me he had sex with one of them and SPC [censored] had also told me they had sex with the two young ladies and paid them $10 (US dollars).
The soldier later states that the girls did not appear distressed or forced to be there, and that he did not see the payment.

Another soldier claims that small children were present (page 8435)

There were 2 prostitutes that showed up at the shopping mall. An older lady and a man with small children were also present.
Some discrepency is noted regarding the sum paid to the prostitutes. Page 8451 has one of the soldiers claiming to have paid $5.00.

The polygraph of SGT [censored] was not included in the documentation.

The women involved were not found and questioned.


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