As early as April 2003, there were hints that something was going on in Iraq that didn’t quite mesh with traditional American POW procedures. Iraqis who had been picked up for looting were being stripped naked, their clothes burned and chased naked through Baghdad by American soldiers. But that was only the first sign in Iraq of a pervasive military doctrine of nudity and taboo in an orchestrated effort to humiliate Iraqis. The New York Times has the details in :
“It was not uncommon to see people without clothing,” Capt. Donald J. Reese, the warden of the tier where the worst abuses occurred, told investigators in a sworn statement in January. “I only saw males. I was told the `whole nudity thing’ was an interrogation procedure used by military intelligence, and never thought much of it.”
In late October, Red Cross monitors were so alarmed by the number of nude detainees that they halted their visit and demanded an immediate explanation.
“The military intelligence officer in charge of the interrogation explained that this practice was `part of the process,’ ” the Red Cross wrote in a report in February.
This kind of widespread acceptance is not something that everyday soldiers are thinking up in unison across many units. The picture that is beginning to unfold is one of a Pentagon directive that supports the humiliation of civilians and combatants alike with little regard for due process or justice. This is definitely not the American government anyone should be apologizing for.
[New York Times]