Is Rape OK with you?

By Malcolm Shore

 If you live in the United States, this is now the question you are faced with. It has just been revealed that the torture photographs Barack Obama is hiding include those showing  U.S. military personnel raping male and female prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
The Daily Telegraph reports: “At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee. Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.”
Retired U.S. General Antonio Taguba, who oversaw the Abu Ghraib investigation, plainly acknowledged: “These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency.”
However, he then proceeded immediately to defend Obama’s move to block the photos.
“I am not sure what purpose their release would serve other than a legal one,” Taguba said. “And the consequence would be to imperil our troops, the only protectors of our foreign policy, when we most need them, and British troops who are trying to build security in Afghanistan.”
This from the same man who, just last year, said the Bush administration had clearly committed war crimes. Now, he stoops so low as to argue that we can’t expose and prosecute war crimes, because now we “need” the criminals to commit more crimes.
But I don’t want to talk about Taguba right now. I want to talk about you.
Close your eyes for just one moment. Imagine you are one of the prisoners in these photographs. Try to envision what it would be like to be snatched away from those you love and locked in a cage, and then to have your captors force themselves inside you. Imagine the terror you would feel. Think about the humiliation and fury that would consume you as you see the monsters who are doing this snapping photographs, in order to preserve digital souvenirs of your agony, perhaps to laugh and pleasure themselves over later. Try to hear the anguished screams that would result, and imagine them in your voice.  
Then imagine how you would feel if the people living in the country that did this to you discovered what happened … and discovered that their government was suppressing the evidence… and did nothing. Imagine if they just went about their lives as usual, justifying this decision on the grounds that speaking out on your behalf, and releasing the photos, might endanger them. On the grounds that now was the time when they “most needed” the vicious thugs who violated you.
Here’s what it comes down to: If you live in the United States, and you do not immediately resist this, you are an accessory to rape. If you do not demand the instant release of these photos, and prosecution of all those who ordered and carried out these crimes, you are saying: “Yes, rape IS ok with me.” 
You are patting the rapists on the back and telling them to carry on brutalizing in peace.
And you are placing a figurative hand over the mouths of the victims, helping to muffle their screams.   



World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.