Abused Iraqi Prisoners Just 'Trying To Be Made To Feel At Home', Say Officials
Controversy is rising over the images show on the television program 60 Minutes II, magazine The New Yorker, and elsewhere depicting Iraqi captive soldiers being tortured by their American captors; the pictures, which surfaced last week, show the Iraqis being stripped, hooded, and then "sadistically tortured" by the American soldiers interrogating or guarding them.
But while Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers did not deny the actions shown in the pictures, he did defend them, protesting that the U.S. was simply trying to respect the Iraqis' way of life.
"These are people used to being brutalized!" he said emphatically at a press conference Sunday. "I guess you all forgot that they used to live under the tyrannical rule of a little guy named Saddam Hussein. Being captured and tortured during interrogation is their way of life."
Furthermore, Myers said, to suddenly begin treating captive Iraqis with "respect" and according to Geneva conventions would be nothing less than a "rape of their culture".
"All you hippies at home keep yelling at us to respect the Iraqi culture, and let them have their freako Satan holidays or whatever, and now you're yelling at us when we do preserve their tortured existence?" he asked incredulously. "Jesus Christ, make up your minds, you damn peaceniks!"
One journalist charged that the orders to torture came from senior intelligence officials, and were not just limited to a few soldiers, to which Myers snapped, "Of course."
"Well, sure we ordered the torture!" he said, rolling his eyes exasperatedly. "What, you think we wouldn't want to be hospitable to the Iraqis? Listen: when you have someone over to your house, you offer them a fucking drink, and you don't swear if they don't want you to, and all that happy-crappy shit. So when I'm over in Iraq, I'm sure as hell going to be a good houseguest and not swear, by which I mean torture them in blatant disregard of the Geneva conventions!"
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld also did not seem ruffled by the findings, even going so far as to give them a positive spin.
"This is just another little speedbump on the road to peace in Iraq," he said, pausing to write down that very line for a Fox News reporter to use later in the evening. "We'll probably even have peace tomorrow, and then find the weapons of mass destruction too."
However, President Bush, in a somewhat confusing statement, said that he officially did not endorse the "torpedoing".
"I was shocked and appalled to hear that Iraq citizens had been torpedoed by our military forces," the statement read. "Shooting torpedoes at people at point-blank range is just not part of American interrogation policy, and I do not stand by this practice."
Bush then spent five paragraphs attempting to denounce rival John Kerry's service record, saying that "they gave Purple Hearts to anybody who asked for them in those days".
The President also tried to dismiss connections between these allegations and similar claims concerning prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, a U.S. detention facility in Cuba.
"Guantanamo Bay is nowhere near Iraq," the President explained. "There is no connection."
Many Americans, when asked, seemed uneasy about the news, although most were on the defensive side.
"If our soldiers did it, I'm sure the Iraqis deserved it," one man asserted. "Just like those damn Japanese traitors we had to put into camps a few decades back."
"On the one hand, I don't like torture, but on the other hand, I do like freedom," said another man, scratching his head. "It's all very confusing."