Follow Up to the Rape of Sabrine

| Wed Feb. 21, 2007 11:57 AM EST

Two days ago, Jim blogged about the rape of an Iraqi woman named Sabrine that was making headlines. Sabrine had the courage to go to Al Jazeera after she was assaulted by Iraqi security forces, and her story was so powerful it was hard to ignore.

Sheikh Ahmad Abdul Ghafoor al-Samaraei, who according to the New York Times is "the head of the Sunni Endowment, whose organization cares for Sunni mosques and shrines in Iraq," came forward after Sabrine's story went public and said that he knows of many cases of rape by Iraqi security forces. (Sabrine had been taken to a police facility on suspicion of helping Sunni insurgents, and was raped there.)

Prime Minister Maliki, a Shiite and widely considered to be in the pocket of the powerful Shiite militias that control parts of Baghdad, decided to go the strongman route: He fired Samaraei and had his office release a medical report indicating that there were no signs that Sabrine had been raped. The report has some nasty things to add: "We expected this fabricated propaganda... It seems that the success of the law enforcing plan was resented by some people because it foils some political calculations."

The United States has supported some disgusting characters in the past 50-100 years, but as a country we've always had some distance from the chaos and pain our goons created. Now we're getting a history lesson.

Update: Maliki has called the woman an imposter and a criminal and has made her name public. He is insisting that the officers accused of the rape be honored.