Less than a month before Veteran's Day, local lefty blogger Grace Kelly at MN Progressive Project is showing her hatred of the military by claiming that recently released graphic photos show US troops and military contractors raping a young Iraqi woman at Abu Ghraib prison in 2004.
Grace hits the military derangement trifecta, showing ignorance of the military (the uniforms worn are clearly wrong), ignorance of a thing called Google, which shows that the 'new' photos have been floating around the internet for several years, and ignorance of basic standards of journalism by repeating a story that was debunked as false more than 5 years ago.
On behalf of the US military, I will be waiting for a retraction and apology from MN Progressive Project and Grace Kelly. I wont hold my breath.
Fake stories of US atrocities during war have been around far longer than Sen John (Genghis Khan) Kerry in Vietnam, but rarely have I seen a story so easily proven to be false, yet repeated as the gospel truth.
Warning-I am including a link to the story being cited as evidence, but please be forewarned that the photos are graphic, not because they are real, but because they are from a pornographic movie depicting a gang rape.
The story Grace links to is from the Asian Tribune, and the problems with the story start right away. First off, the dateline of the story is Oct 3rd, 2009, but all of the information in the story has been reported before (almost verbatim) as early as 2004. The source of the original story is an online journal called La Voz de Aztlan (the Voice of Aztlan), which carries 'news analyses and scholarly writings on La Raza', and gained notoriety when it claimed to have evidence that US contractor Nick Berg was killed in Abu Ghraib prison by the CIA. Clearly a non-biased news source. It cites an anonymous Mexican-American soldier who says that the photos are genuine, but offers no corroboration.
The photos themselves are clearly fake, as anyone serving in the military today could tell you. The uniforms worn are the older woodland BDU (battle dress uniform) that has green, brown and black in a jungle camouflage pattern. These uniforms were phased out of the Army in 2005, but even back to 2003, BDU's were never worn in Iraq. US soldiers were issued several versions of the DCU (desert camouflage uniform) that is tan and brown, and was made famous during the Gulf War.
A quick Google search shows dozens of results that debunk the story, and the most comprehensive explanation is given by World Net Daily. It recounts how the pictures were lifted from an amateur Hungarian porno and posted on several US porn sites, such as 'Babes in Iraq' and 'Sex in War'. The sites were shut down after the owner was told that the photos were being used by several Arab websites to fuel anti-American anger. But apparently Google searches are beyond the journalistic standards at the MN Progressive Project.
Also listed on Google is the retraction that the Boston Globe had to run after publishing the photos in 2004. The Globe actually printed the photos of pornography without altering them. Not only did the media debunk the story, the US State Department did as well-
"We have done a thorough investigation of the origin of these photos and have conclusive evidence that they originated on a pornographic web site. They are clearly staged photos, done by actors, as the site itself states."None of this has any impact on Kelly, who repeats the false story of US soldiers raping an Iraqi woman in order to argue against more troops in Afghanistan-
how can increasing a group perceived as being the bad guys, the US troops, make our political situation in Afghanistan better?I think that perhaps Grace needs to go spend some time living in Afghanistan, and see what her rights are as a woman in areas of Taliban influence vs areas of US control. Even Code Pink has seen the light that the US military is safeguarding woman's rights in Afghanistan.