Bush, "rape rooms," and the Iraq prison scandal.

Politics and policy.
May 5 2004 10:54 PM

Rape Rooms: A Chronology

What Bush said as the Iraq prison scandal unfolded.

"The Iraqi people are now free. And they do not have to worry about the secret police coming after them in the middle of the night, and they don't have to worry about their husbands and brothers being taken off and shot, or their wives being taken to rape rooms. Those days are over."—Paul Bremer, Administrator, [Iraq] Coalition Provisional Authority, Sept. 2, 2003

"Iraq is free of rape rooms and torture chambers."—President Bush, remarks to2003 Republican National Committee Presidential Gala, Oct. 8, 2003

William Saletan William Saletan

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

"There was an announcement by the Iraqi Governing Council earlier this week about the tribunal that they have set up to hold accountable members of the former regime who were responsible for three decades of brutality and atrocities. … We know about the mass graves and the rape rooms and the torture chambers of Saddam Hussein's regime. … We welcome their decision to move forward on a tribunal to hold people accountable for those atrocities."—Bush Press Secretary Scott McClellan, White House press briefing, Dec. 10, 2003

"One thing is for certain: There won't be any more mass graves and torture rooms and rape rooms."—Bush, press availability in Monterrey, Mexico, Jan. 12, 2004

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"On 19 January 2004, Lieutenant General (LTG) Ricardo S. Sanchez, Commander, Combined Joint Task Force Seven (CJTF-7) requested that the Commander, US Central Command, appoint an Investigating Officer (IO) in the grade of Major General (MG) or above to investigate the conduct of operations within the 800th Military Police (MP) Brigade. LTG Sanchez requested an investigation of detention and internment operations by the Brigade from 1 November 2003 to present. LTG Sanchez cited recent reports of detainee abuse."—Report by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba to Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, senior U.S. military official in Iraq, describing a formal inquiry launched on Jan. 19, 2004

"Sources have revealed new details from the Army's criminal investigation into reports of abuse of Iraqi detainees, including the location of the suspected crimes and evidence that is being sought. U.S. soldiers reportedly posed for photographs with partially unclothed Iraqi prisoners, a Pentagon official told CNN on Tuesday."—Barbara Starr, CNN, Jan. 21, 2004

"Saddam Hussein now sits in a prison cell, and Iraqi men and women are no longer carried to torture chambers and rape rooms …"—Bush, remarks on "Winston Churchill and the War on Terror," Feb. 4, 2004

"Seventeen U.S. soldiers have been suspended of duties pending the outcome of the investigation into alleged allegations of abuse of Iraqi prisoners, a U.S. officer said Monday."—Associated Press, Feb. 23, 2004

"[B]etween October and December 2003, at the Abu Ghraib Confinement Facility (BCCF), numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees. This systemic and illegal abuse of detainees was intentionally perpetrated by several members of the military police guard force. … The allegations of abuse were substantiated by detailed witness statements (ANNEX 26) and the discovery of extremely graphic photographic evidence. … I find that the intentional abuse of detainees by military police personnel included the following acts:

a. Punching, slapping, and kicking detainees; jumping on their naked feet;

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