Iraqi prisoners were forced into humiliating and degrading poses at Abu Ghraib prison as punishment for criminal acts or for their guards' amusement rather than as part of their preparation for interrogation, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
Citing unnamed previously secret documents the newspaper said the papers show that military police officers staged the photographs to discipline the prisoners for acts ranging from rioting to an alleged rape of a teenage boy in the prison.
The documents refer to pictures of a naked human pyramid, the hooded man standing on a box hooked up to wires, and the three naked prisoners handcuffed together on the prison floor.
The report said the documents, which include statements by four of the seven military police officers now charged in the abuse scandal, contain hints about the role of military intelligence operating in the shadows of Tier 1A at the prison.
One military police officer said that civilian and military intelligence officers frequently visited Tier 1A at night, spiriting detainees away for questioning out of sight of the MPs inside a "wood hut" behind the prison building, The Post said.
The documents also offer the first detailed account of how the abuse scandal unraveled, the newspaper said.
The case began to unfold when Specialist Joseph Darby returned to Abu Ghraib from leave in November and heard about a shooting at the prison's "hard site," which contains Tier 1A, The Post said.
He said that he asked the military police officer in charge of the tier's night shift, Specialist Charles Graner, if he had any photographs of the cell where the shooting took place, according to the report.
Darby said Graner handed him two CDs of photographs showing naked detainees being abused by US soldiers, the paper said.