'Big Reveal' May Be US Turning Blind Eye to Torture

Iraqi forces allowed to abuse detainees
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2010 7:30 PM CDT
An Iraqi police officer scans an area during a patrol in central Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.   (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

(Newser) – It's still early, but it looks like the "big reveal" out the new WikiLeaks dump will revolve around the routine torture of detainees by Iraqi forces while the US did nothing to stop it, writes Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic. The US inaction can be blamed on something known as Frago 242, an order from on high that directed US commanders not to investigate any of the numerous reports of abuse unless coalition forces were involved. In short, if Iraqis tortured other Iraqis, the US could look the other way.

The order stayed in effect from 2004 until 2009. The Guardian has grisly details of the brutality, which included chemical burnings, electrocution, and rape. The abuses took place "right under the noses of the American-led coalition, which appears to have had virtually no incentive to put a stop to them," writes Ambinder.

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