Pennsylvania’s GOP candidate was Abu Ghraib torture consultant

January 20, 2018 12:04 am
Pennsylvania state Republican Rick Saccone (L) greets President Donald Trump. (Reuters file photo)
A US lawmaker, who had for years been working as a torture consultant at the notorious US military-administrated Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, has now become the Republican Party’s candidate for the upcoming Pennsylvania special election for a seat of the House of Representatives.
Rick Saccone is running in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district special election that is set to take place on March 13 for the seat left vacant by Republican Representative Tom Murphy, who resigned suddenly in October over allegations he ran an abusive workplace as well as revelations that he had pressured his fiancee to seek an abortion. 
Saccone, however, doesn’t seem to be less scandal-haunted since he had been working as interrogator consultant at Abu Ghraib prison.
He has written extensively about the need for torture, and authored a book in which he made claims about useful intelligence gleaned from “waterboarding, stress positions, sleep deprivation, as well as threatening prisoners with execution, dogs, and electrocution.”
A US Army military police officer on patrol at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2005.
The candidate’s campaign website even used his experiences in Iraq to promote him, praising his work as “identifying, capturing, and interrogating insurgents.”
Republican President Donald Trump also endorsed Saccone, calling him “special.” He wrote in a tweet on Thursday, “Rick is a great guy. We need more Republicans to continue our already successful agenda!”
Interrogators working at Abu Ghraib prison have been accused of directing beatings, sleep deprivation, sexual violations, starvation and other abuse of prisoners, during the years of US war in Iraq.
Approximately 70-90 percent of the prisoners held in the prison were mistakenly detained, according to a Red Cross report released back in 2004.
The scandal about the site of torture first emerged in 2004, during the first term of former Republican President George W. Bush, whose administration launched the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003.
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