Ghraib was Abu Great!
U.S. DOJ PRISONER INTERROGATION
Recorded by: SACs Richard
Carter, Janis Hrblitz; witnessing civilian personnel G. Harris et
Prisoner: PFC Matthew
Taibbi (372nd Military Police Unit)
Location: Hanscom AFB,
Date: June 31, 2004
(debriefing prior to congressional testimony)
Agent Carter questioning.
Q: Have a seat, Private.
Taibbi: Sure, I'll have
a seat. I'll do anything you guys want. You guys look bad ass!
Q: Let's just get down
to it. We're going to show you some pictures…
Taibbi: That was the
first thing I said to myself, when I got here. Don't mess with these
people! Hell, I didn't even mind wearing the hood. I'm thinking,
it's probably better for me that I can't see! Who knows what you're
going to do to me!
Q: Private, just to
set things straight for the record, we didn't put a hood on you.
You put that on yourself. And it wasn't a hood, it was your own
pillow case. If you remember, we had to forcibly remove it from
Taibbi: Oh, I remember.
Sent shivers up my spine. No messing with you guys!
Q: (sighing) All right,
Private, let's move on. Now, for the record, is this you in this
Taibbi: Just like my
momma made me!
Q: Now, what is it that
you have the prisoner doing in this picture?
Taibbi: (pausing, laughing)
C'mon, guys, are you serious?
Q: Oh, we're serious.
Taibbi: Well, what does
it look like we're doing? We're putting the guy on the ground and
making him lick whipped cream off a goat's balls! Sheesh! And I
thought you guys were smart!
Taibbi: I mean—hey,
you guys aren't going to do that to me, are you? Because I know
you could. You could bring a goat in here right now, and what could
I do? Scary guys like you!
Q: Private, get a hold
Taibbi: Oh, please don't
hit me like that!
Q: Private, no one's
Taibbi: Oh. I thought
you were going to hit me. I would have hit me.
Q: (sighing) Now, what
about this picture?
Oh, that. There we're sodomizing the prisoner with a chemical lighting
Taibbi: Why? What do
you mean, why?
Q: We mean, why?
Taibbi: Look, it's the
same thing I told Le Monde. What would you do in that situation?
Seven-thousand miles from home, all these guys behind bars—shit,
when are you ever going to get a chance again to sodomize a guy
with a chemical lighting unit? I mean, I'm 34 years old already.
Carpe diem, dude!
Q: What do you mean,
it's the same thing you told Le Monde?
Taibbi: Just now. When
you guys gave me my phone call.
Q: You called Le Monde?
Taibbi: I was going
to call my mother, but then I thought to myself, hell, I can talk
to my mother later! Then I thought about calling a lawyer, but I
ended up ditching that idea, too. So I called Le Monde.
Q: Jesus! What did you
Taibbi: Oh, all kinds
of stuff. They were like, "Are those photos for real?"
And I was like, shit, that wasn't the half of it! We did stuff that
would have broken the camera if you tried to take a picture of it.
It was fucking sweet! I told them this one story about a guy, just
an ordinary guy, he was actually one of the quieter ones—anyway,
we took him and shoved his head completely up a horse's ass. Just
to see if it would fit! You'd be amazed, but it did.
Taibbi: And then they
were like, did you do this on your own, or was there clearance from
a superior? And I was like, a superior? Hell, we had carte blanche
from the president himself! A written presidential order!
Q: Wait—is that true?
Taibbi: Come on. Of
course it wasn't. You guys know that. But that's what they wanted
to hear, right?
Q: Private, do you mean
to tell us that you shoved a prisoner's head up a horse's ass, systematically
tortured others, allowed yourself to be photographed in these acts
and then, after you got caught, called a French newspaper and told
them you were acting on the orders of the President of the United
Taibbi: What? What did
Q: Private, about your
Taibbi: Oh, that's going
to be sweet. I'm psyched. Is it going to be on the Spike channel?
Q: Private, they're
going to ask you some very sensitive questions…
Taibbi: Don't worry.
I won't tell them about the other stuff.
Q: What other stuff?
Taibbi: My lips are
sealed. You can count on ol' Matt.
Q: Private, goddamnit,
what other stuff?
Taibbi: You know. All
those weapons of mass destruction we found. That'll be our little
Q: What weapons of mass
Taibbi: Under the prison.
Q: No, we don't know.
Taibbi: Sure. Under
the prison. We were taking a prisoner down there to burn his testicles
with a hot fork, and we were looking around for a quiet room, when
all of a sudden we pull open this door and there's this space under
there that's as big as an airplane hangar. All filled with these
creepy steel drums. Had all these inscriptions on 'em. So we got
one of the prisoners who speaks English down there, and had him
translate it for us. Turns out it was an—anthr—shit, I can't remember.
Taibbi: That's it. Turns
out this stuff is totally deadly. Kills people in hundreds if it
gets out. We read all about it on the internet. So we figure, if
we let this stuff lie around, someone's going to get hurt. So we
did the right thing.
Q: What was that?
Taibbi: Well, we drove
it out in trucks to this little area of the desert about 10 miles
upwind of this little shitbag village where's there's nothing but
a children's hospital and some other stuff. Then we put it into
this crater and piled all of our unspent ordnance on top of it.
Then we drove about three miles away and started firing mortar rounds
at it. Took us a while to get a hit, because it had been so long
since we'd done that in basic. But when we finally did—boom! Shit
went up in this huge cloud. We sent one of the translators out there
to check it out later. Said there was nothing left, no trace. Funny
thing, the guy died a few days later.
Q: You destroyed all
of the anthrax?
Taibbi: Not all of it.
We kept one drum. See, we figured this was a matter of national
security. Congress had to know. So we scooped out little bits of
it into army envelopes and sent one apiece to every member of the
Senate and the House. We didn't want to get the press involved,
but we figured our leaders could take care of it real quiet-like
without scaring the public.
Q: You just sent it
in envelopes? Did you enclose a report or anything?
Taibbi: (smacks forehead)
Damn. We forgot that part. No, we just scooped a little of
the stuff in each one and sent it out.
Q: I think it's time
for you to put that hood back on.