Pentagon and White House Deny Taguba Allegations About Rape Photos

| Thu May 28, 2009 3:24 PM EDT

Unreleased photos of US soldiers abusing detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan "show rape," Major General Antonio Taguba told Britain's Telegraph. Not so, say the White House and the Pentagon. The paper displayed "an inability to get the facts right," a Defense Department spokesman said Thursday. "That news organization has completely mischaracterized the images. None of the photos in question depict the images that are described in that article."

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs also denied the report and took a harsh tone towards the British press in general. "Let's just say if I wanted to look up, if I wanted to read a write-up of how Manchester United fared last night in the Champions League Cup, I'd might open up a British newspaper," Gibbs said. "If I was looking for something that bordered on truthful news, I'm not entirely sure it'd be the first pack of clips I'd pick up."

A spokesperson for the ACLU, which is suing for the release of the photos, told Mother Jones the organization couldn't confirm or deny the Telegraph's report. "The government has not provided us with a description of all of the photographs, and we do not have first-hand knowledge of what the photographs show. As a result, we don’t have enough information to comment on these reports," the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

We'll continue to monitor this story.