December 04, 2004

Google reveals Iraqi prison abuse photos on photosharing site

Originally posted by Xeni Jardin from Boing Boing, reBlogged by ts

The Associated Press found what appear to be new photos of Iraqi prisoner abuse by US military personnel — by Googling for them, then paying 29 cents a copy for reprints through on-line photo sharing service The images appear to date from May 2003, which may make them the earliest evidence of such alleged abuse. Snip:

[The AP] reporter found more than 40 of the pictures among hundreds in an album posted on a commercial photo-sharing Web site by a woman who said her husband brought them from Iraq after his tour of duty. It is unclear who took the pictures, which the Navy said it was investigating after the AP furnished copies to get comment for this story.

These and other photos found by the AP appear to show the immediate aftermath of raids on civilian homes. One man is lying on his back with a boot on his chest. A mug shot shows a man with an automatic weapon pointed at his head and a gloved thumb jabbed into his throat. In many photos, faces have been blacked out. What appears to be blood drips from the heads of some. A family huddles in a room in one photo and others show debris and upturned furniture.


The images were found through the online search engine Google. The same search today leads to the Web page, which now prompts the user for a password. Nine scenes from the SEAL camp remain in Google’s archived version of the page. “I think it’s fair to assume that it would be very hard for most consumers to know all the ways the search engines can discover Web pages,” said Smugmug spokesman Chris MacAskill. Before the site was password protected, the AP purchased reprints for 29 cents each.
Story, and link to the photosharing site (the images referenced are no longer publicly accessible through that photo-sharing website). The AP report says:
Nine scenes from the SEAL camp remain in Google’s archived version of the page.
Any 1337 BoingBoing readers who sleuth the url for Google’s cache of the smugmug gallery in question are invited to let us know.

Update: More images said to be from the smugmug gallery in question are published here: Link (Thanks, pemdasi)

Via Boing Boing