The images, video and 13 previously secret sworn statements by detainees obtained by The Washington Post, some of which were published Friday, provided the most detailed accounts yet of the inmates’ experiences.
Some of the prisoners said they were ordered to curse Islam, force-fed port and liquor, threatened with rape and forced to masturbate in front of female soldiers.
“They forced us to walk like dogs on our hands and knees,” said detainee Hiadar Sabar Abed Miktub al-Aboodi, the Post reported. He said the prisoners were struck in the face and chest if they didn’t bark like dogs. “After that, they took us to our cells, took the mattresses out and dropped water on the floor and they made us sleep on our stomachs on the floor with the bags on our head and they took pictures of everything.”
Eight of the prisoners named Spc. Charles Graner, a member of the 372nd Military Police Company from Cresaptown, Md., as being at the center of the abuse, according to the Post.
Graner is one of seven U.S. soldiers facing courts-martial for abuses at Abu Ghraib prison. His attorney was not immediately available for comment but has previously said Graner was following orders of military intelligence officers, Reuters reported.
Another of the soldiers, Spc. Jeremy Sivits, has pleaded guilty and was sentenced Wednesday to the maximum penalty of one year in prison, a reduction in rank and a bad conduct discharge.
The U.S. Department of Defense is investigating the allegations and will hold those responsible accountable, a Pentagon official said.
Defense Department spokesman Lawrence DiRita told the Post the images sounded like some of the 1,600 photos and videos that the Pentagon showed to members of Congress.
Photos and videos from Abu Ghraib were presented to Army investigators in January. The images began surfacing publicly last month. The 65 pages of sworn statements also were taken in January.
Meanwhile, U.S.-led forces in Iraq are holding two people suspected of participating in the abduction and beheading of Nicholas Berg, a 26-year-old businessman who went missing April 9. His body was later found by a road near Baghdad.
A video of Berg’s beheading was posted on an Islamic extremist Web site earlier this month. The group claiming responsibility for his killing said it was in retaliation for the abuse of the Iraqi detainees.
Four suspects were detained during a raid Wednesday in Baghdad, and two were later released, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said at a news conference Friday.
“We may find our that [the remaining two] have no association with the murder but we will continue to question them for some period of time until we are convinced they are innocent,” he said.