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The effects of the international scandal over Iraqi prisoner abuse continue to be compounded in the Arab and Muslim worlds by fake images of rape, torture and sadomasochism taken from pornography sites and distributed on pro-Islamist websites – including even news sites – as first revealed in WorldNetDaily.
Though many of the pornographic images are being presented to Middle East news media and websites as actual photos of U.S. war crimes, at least one of the porn sites that propagated the images has already shut down after being exposed by WND.
Well-known Iraqi novelist Buthaina Al-Nasiri told WND the pornographic photos are still circulating widely through the Arab world – causing confusion between genuine abuse and fantasy.
Al-Nasiri’s comments came as fallout from the WND investigative report continues, with one of the Arabic sites dropping the photos, and two other sites launching convoluted conspiracy theories, one of which targets “nefarious Jews” as instigators of rape in Iraq.
Meanwhile, Adam Livingstone, senior producer for BBC NewsNight asked WND for the photos as they originally appeared on one Arabic site, as part of the BBC’s further investigation into “the fake rape pictures [WND] has already exposed.”
On May 4, the same day WND reported on the fake rape photos, the BBC ran a story entitled “Arab anger at torture photos” which reported a set of rape photos were circulating in the Middle East that “apparently shows two Iraqi women, both wearing traditional black robes, being raped at gunpoint by men … wearing US Army uniforms.” The BBC added that the pictures did not seem geniune because “the uniforms do not seem right.” Paul Wood, BBC Middle East correspondent in Cairo added, “The pictures of British soldiers abusing Iraqis might not be genuine either. But the damage has been done.”
Al-Nasiri was born in Iraq in 1947, graduated from the College of Arts of the University of Baghdad and has lived in Cairo since 1979, where she runs a publishing house that specializes in the works of Iraqi writers. Five collections of her own short stories have been published in Arabic. “Final Night,” a collection of short stories, has been translated into English. Although Al-Nasiri has lived in Cairo for more than two decades, a longing for Iraq permeates her writing.
“I firmly refused to publish them …not just because I doubted them, but because, it is not our policy to publish rape graphics,” Al-Nasiri said, adding that the photos could “eventually turn to be a source for sexual thrill or kick for some morons. I doubted the authenticity of the photos because it was clear that these girls were performing sexual acts. The positions were of willing sex, not of rape and especially by your enemies,” she said.
She added: “These photos were on the net a long time ago, but there was not much rage over them. Perhaps [the] audience had not believed them either, or they were not taken seriously for one reason or another.”
The photos are now evoking a visceral reaction ever since genuine photos of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison have surfaced.
“You cannot imagine the kind of angry messages I receive every day from young Arab men vowing to avenge the Iraqi girls,” Al-Nasiri told WND. “It is no use to argue with them that these are fake pictures, because we know, every one knows what is going on, or at least we have been expecting these kinds of crimes. Now the Arabs say: if they did this to the men, imagine what they should have done to the women detainees. They are right of course: there were reports about rapes going on there. So, in reality, these fake photos support the doubts.”
The novelist also underlined the cultural mores, which, she said, explain the particular type of impact that the genuine photos of abuse at Abu Ghraib are producing in the Arab world.
“Finally, I would like you to know that to Arabs, raping men is more, much more vile than raping girls,” Al-Nasiri said, “In our social awareness, if a boy is raped his whole future is blackened. He is as good as dead, so you can imagine what this will do to grown-up men.”
Linda MacNew, the American owner of one of the porn sites that generated the fake photos, Iraq Babes, shut down the site, in response to the WND article. Albasrah.net has also removed the photos from its site, and the BBC has asked WND for a copy of original Albasrah posting in order to investigate further “the fake rape pictures [WND] has already exposed.”
The photos WND investigated were first produced and advertised by the website Extreme Traffic, which is registered to Megazoo Inc. of New York City. Then Hungarian website Sex in War was then built around the content. Iraq Babes carried select photos as did the site Hard Rape. WND reported that almost all of the photos came from these sites, and now can verify that all of the photos originated with the Extreme Traffic pornographers.
The photos were given to WND on April 30 by an Iraqi man who believed they were real. Two Iraqi sources, both of whom strongly oppose the war, led WND to the real source of the photos.
The websites Jihad Unspun and Aztlan had also published the pictures, and the JUS report was picked up as “world news” on other sites around the globe, including the GSMPRO site, owned by the Al Otaiba Group of Companies in Dubai.
Following WND’s expose, both sites are floating a conspiracy theory that the pictures were of actual rapes in Iraq, taken by pornographic filmmakers who planned all along to later post them on “American sites” for sexual titillation. Meanwhile JUS now admits some are from a porn website, but refuses to conclude the issue, as writer Bruce Kennedy asks readers for more information so the “perpetrators” can be brought to justice.
Aztlan adds a convoluted twist to the conspiracy theory, by claiming “nefarious Jews” were part of the pornography conspiracy, and that after Aztlan revealed the plot, the American porn site Iraq Babes was shut down. As previously reported by WND, the website was shut down due only to WND’s reportThe owner of the site, Linda MacNew, actually shut the site down while she was on a phone call with WND Tuesday evening between 6 and 6:30 p.m., and the shutdown was witnessed in real time by WND.
Ernesto Cienfuegos, editor-in-chief of Aztlan, twisting WND’s scoop around, claimed, “La Voz de Aztlan received information today that many of the rape and sodomization pictures of Iraqis are now being made available to perverts by Jewish-owned pornographic websites based in the United States. La Voz de Aztlan believes that ‘film crews’ run mostly by mercenaries actually instigated the rapes and sodomy of the Iraqi POW’s inside the Abu Ghraib prison.”
Said Aztlan, “Most of these ‘security services’ are cronies of both Bush and Chenney [sic] and are owned by nefarious Jews who also have ties to the Burbank, California pornography industry.”
MacNew Enterprises, is based in the small town of Hop Bottom, Pennsylvania, where MacNew said she attends church regularly. Extreme Traffic, producer of the photos, is based in New York City, and Sex in War is based in Budapest, Hungary.
At the time of the publication of this report, Aztlan had not responded to WND’s request to furnish proof and the basis of their extravagant claims.
Other references to rape photographs surfaced in an Associated Press report from Iraq, which said during a sermon in Basra, Sheik Abdul-Sattar al-Bahadli displayed documents and photos he said showed three Iraqi women being raped at British-run prisons in Iraq. The sheik called for jihad, or holy war, against British troops in the southern city.
Sheik al-Bahadli said $350 would be given to anyone who captures a British soldier and offered $150 for killing one. “Any Iraqi who takes a female soldier can keep her as a slave or gift to himself,” he said. He also offered 25,000 dinars for killing a member of the Iraqi Governing Council, the AP reported.
Arab resistance fighters have called for Americans, British and Israelis to be castrated on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
The issue of the faked rape photos will soon become moot, since the US government has indicated they have genuine photos of troops involved in rape.
An Army report authored by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba states there is at least one instance of a guard “having sex” with a female detainee, and video footage in military possession is said to include film shot by American personnel, showing Iraqi guards raping boys. Secretary of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, testifying at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, said there were many more photos and videotapes that had not been published. “… It’s going to get a good deal more terrible, I’m afraid,” he said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham,R-S.C., told reporters, “The American public needs to understand we’re talking about rape and murder here. We’re not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience.”
Regarding the photos that have already surfaced, novelist AL-Nasiri said, “For the friends of America that was a big blow. Now they cannot defend it, being Arabs themselves, they know how vile these acts are.”
For Al-Nasiri and others in her intellectual circle, apologies from American officials ring hollow.
“We, Arabs, do not believe Bush or other USA officials when they say that these acts are un-American. We cannot believe that officials who wear US uniforms and are in charge of a prison for instance, do not represent America, if they are such, why are they in charge of such missions?”
Dr. Akbar Ahmed of the American University told media that the genuine photos “will become the recruiting poster of radicals trying to attack the West. If Osama bin Laden had come to Madison Avenue and asked for an advertising image to help him recruit, this would be it.”
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