These prisoners, you know they're not there for traffic violations... If they're in cellblock 1-A or 1-B, these prisoners, they're murderers, they're terrorists, they're insurgents. Many of them probably have American blood on their hands and here we're so concerned about the treatment of those individuals."
so who exactly were these prisoners? well, the new york times profiled former prisoner who suffered some of the abuse. here's how the article describes the circumstances surrounding his detention:
Mr. Aboud, a trader and Sunni Muslim from near the northern border with Syria, said he was arrested on Nov. 29, 2003, when he reported to the Iraqi police a car on Saddoun Street in downtown Baghdad that he believed was wired with a bomb. He was blunt that he did not do this out of concern for American soldiers, whom he views as occupiers who must leave Iraq.
"If this car would have exploded at an American site, I would support that," he said. "But this would have killed innocent people."
The Iraqi police, he said, handed him over to American soldiers. After spending five days at two small United States bases, he said he was sent to Abu Ghraib, to Cell Block 1-A, known as the "hard site" for the worst prisoners.
don't get me wrong. i don't think it matters whether the prisoners were really the worst of the worst, as inhofe claimed. the geneva conventions were not written to protect only the angels and, even without the conventions, sexually torturing prisoners is simply wrong, no matter why they were detained.
but notion that mr. aboud seems to be not only innocent of any grounds for detention, but was in fact trying to help the americans stop the violence in iraq, is a new height of ridiculousness and mismanagement in the occupational authority. ordinary iraqis are cooperating less and less with american troops in iraq, all the while the americans require local cooperation for their project to succeed. when u.s. forces are detaining and abusing people like mr. aboud, the u.s. occupation and rebuilding of iraq is truly doomed to failure.