A former US soldier who served in Iraq has posted a series of three videos on YouTube called “Fun with Iraqi Detainees”. What they show doesn’t exactly match most people’s idea of fun.
Retired army specialist Ethan McCord, best known for his role
in the infamous “collateral murder video”
released by Wikileaks in April and now a vocal critic of the US military intervention in Iraq, posted the videos on YouTube on October 13th. He states that they were shot during his time as a member of the Bravo Company 2-16 in Iraq, in 2007. McCord explains that he started to “acquire” this kind of video “once [he] realised that what [they] were doing in Iraq is wrong”. Unsure of how to release them responsibly, he kept them to himself for over three years before posting them on the Internet.
Over and over again, the videos show the systematic humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in the hands of US soldiers. The abuse is never physical, but mental and emotional. “In my eyes, this is worse than simply striking a person” wrote McCord on michaelmoore.com.
However, he stresses that public anger should not be directed towards the soldiers in the videos but towards “the system that trained them.”
This video shows a US soldier taunting a detainee, blindfolded and in tears, that he is “going to prison”. When the soldier is told by a voice off camera to “stop fucking with the detainees. Just let’em sit there”, he simply grins.
The video shows a soldier singing and laughing into a terrified Iraqi detainee’s ear while his colleagues look on, amused. The Iraqi was arrested for having an AK-47 in his home.
This video shows a soldier ordering a bound and blindfolded Iraqi prisoner to put his “hands up, hands down” over and over again. The little game reportedly went on for approximately 45 minutes.
According to Ethan McCord, all videos show members of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry and were recorded at FOB (Forward Operating Base) Rustamiyah in eastern Baghdad in 2007.
Post written with Lorena Galliot.