General Boykin Linked to Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Scandal

May 11, 2004

Source: Reuters

On May 11, 2004 Reuters reported, "The U.S. Army general under investigation for anti-Islamic remarks has been linked by U.S. officials to the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, which experts warned could touch off new outrage overseas. A Senate hearing into the abuse of Iraqi prisoners was told on Tuesday that Lt. Gen. William Boykin, an evangelical Christian under review for saying his God was superior to that of the Muslims, briefed a top Pentagon civilian official last summer on recommendations on ways military interrogators could gain more intelligence from Iraqi prisoners. Critics have suggested those recommendations amounted to a senior-level go-ahead for the sexual and physical abuse of prisoners, possibly to 'soften up' detainees before interrogation -- a charge the Pentagon denies. Congressional aides and Arab-American and Muslim groups said any involvement by Boykin could spark new concern among Arabs and Muslims overseas the U.S. war on terrorism is in fact a war on Islam. 'This will be taken as proof that what happened at Abu Ghraib (prison) is evidence of a broader culture of dehumanizing Arabs and Muslims, based on the American understanding of the innate superiority of Christendom,' said Chris Toensing, editor of Middle East Report, a U.S.-based quarterly magazine. One Senate aide, who asked not to be identified, said any involvement by Boykin could be explosive. 'Even if he knew about the abuse, that would be a big deal,'he said. "