Neil Lewis reports that A.C.L.U. Presents Accusations of Serious Abuse of Iraqi Civilians. But this isn't about the Abu Ghraib:
The new accusations generally concern the behavior of American Special Forces, as opposed to prison guards or interrogators, who have been accused at Abu Ghraib.
Rather, it's yet another sign of a pattern and practice.
The American Civil Liberties Union released documents on Monday describing complaints of serious abuse of Iraqi civilians, including reports of electric shocks and forced sodomy, and accused the military of not thoroughly investigating the cases.
The documents list dozens of allegations of abuse at American detention centers – the use of cigarettes to burn prisoners, aggressive dogs, electric shocks, sexual humiliation and beatings – that began at about the same time such acts were occurring at Abu Ghraib prison.
But it is not always clear whether every case described is a new incident.
Based only on the public evidence to date, how much is the ordinary carnage and inhumanity of war, and how much is something that trickled down from above, may be hard to say in a way that would satisfy the 'beyond a reasonable doubt' standard. But there seems to be the makings of at the very least a very strong case that is more than circumstantial. If a prosecutor were to tackle this with the aggressiveness with which we pursue Mafia cases, I think we'd see something. But there's no sign yet of any desire to go after general officers, or even mid-level officers, much less ranking civilians.