Graphic photos appearing on Arabic websites of U.S. servicemen raping and sexually abusing Iraqi women were actually taken from American and Hungarian pornography sites.
Albasrah.net and a Tunisian website produced in France by Committee for the Defense of Saddam Hussein [Comit? de D?fonce de Saddam Hussein En Tunisie], posted not only the recently broadcast photos of U.S. troops abusing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners but additional ones of alleged group rape of women by American soldiers, some who are depicted holding rifles against their victims’ heads.
The Tunisian site described the photos as the “unedited” versions of actual events and Albasrah ran the photos under the heading “The Abu Ghraib Prison Photos,” indicating they had received the photos via e-mail.
A WND investigation has revealed that most of the photos are taken from the American pornographic website “Iraq Babes,” and the Hungarian site, “Sex in War,” which is linked to by the American site. Both websites are linked to by violent pornography sites and both describe Iraqi women — played by “actresses” — in vulgar terms.
“Iraq Babes” was created in April 2003 and is registered to Linda MacNew of MacNew Enterprises, in Hop Bottom, Pa.
MacNew Enterprises also is the registrant of VelocityHosting.com, whose technical and administrative contacts are Linda and Arthur MacNew. HotSpotCity.com, which hosts “cheap unrestricted adult XXX porn websites” is a subsidiary of MacNew Enterprises.
MacNew told WND she hosted the site and that while aware of the content, she did not know the photos were now being used as anti-coalition propaganda.
“That’s one of our client sites,” she said. “If they’re legal photos, I can’t just shut them down because of that. I need to investigate this. I appreciate you letting us know.”
When asked who the owner of the site was, MacNew said, “I can’t divulge that.”
“Sex in War” was created in May of 2003 and registered to Activ Studio KFT in Budapest, Hungary, under the name of “Andrea M.” Andrea Marchand of Activ Studio KFT is listed elsewhere as a custodian of age-identification documents for persons appearing in various sexually explicit images broadcast over the Internet. Her e-mail address is suffixed to Active Art Studio, owners of a Parisian website and service that offers video content.
At the time of publication of this report, Marchand could not be reached for comment.
WND also has not yet received a response from the Committee for the Defense of Saddam Hussein and Albasrah as to whether they will now remove the photos from the website and admit they are staged images.
The photos published last week depicting abuse at Abu Ghraib prison have enraged many in the Arab world, including the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council.
A military report by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba found a pattern of wide-ranging abuse in late 2003, including the sexual assault of a detainee with a chemical light stick or broomstick, according to the New Yorker.
Six U.S. military police now face criminal charges, and Pentagon sources said the probe of activities at Abu Ghraib prison will expand in light of the death of an Iraqi detainee at another prison.
In addition, at least 112 women in the military have reported being sexually assaulted by U.S. service members in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last two years. U.S. Central Command is investigating the allegations.
Experts speculate the actual number may be higher, as the National Victim Center says only 16 percent of rape cases are ever reported.
In 2003, the Denver Post published “Betrayal in the Ranks,” an investigative report that revealed a reluctance in the military command culture to punish crimes against servicewomen and military wives, including rape to which the perpetrator had confessed, gang rape, murder and attempted murder.
Iraqi sources told WND that while they now understand the rape photos are fake, they fear incidents of sexual assault and rape by coalition troops may have occurred or could occur.