Abu Ghraib Victims Have Yet to See Payments From US

Rumsfeld had pledged in 2004 to compensate the abused
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 26, 2010 3:11 PM CDT
FILE - In this May 7, 2004 file photo, then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld rubs his eyes while testifying about Abu Ghraib prison before the House Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington....   (Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – In 2004, a defensive Donald Rumsfeld told Congress that he had found a legal way to compensate Iraqi detainees who suffered "grievous and brutal abuse and cruelty at the hands of a few members of the United States armed forces." He continued, "It's the right thing to do. And it is my intention to see that we do." But six years later, the US Army is unable to document a single payment for prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib.

The Army says about 30 former Abu Ghraib prisoners are seeking compensation (some 250 Iraqis or their lawyers now seeking redress for abuses they claim to have suffered at one of the 17 detention centers in Iraq). Their hopes may rest on a Supreme Court decision this week: The former detainees are asking the justices to step into a case alleging that civilian interrogators and linguists conspired with soldiers to abuse the prisoners, one that presents a fundamental legal issue: Can defense contractors working side by side with military jailers be sued for claims arising in a war zone? The Supreme Court could announce as early as Tuesday whether it will take the case.

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