"(CBS) Last month, the U.S. Army announced 17 soldiers in Iraq, including a brigadier general, had been removed from duty after charges of mistreating Iraqi prisoners.
But the details of what happened have been kept secret, until now.
It turns out photographs surfaced showing American soldiers abusing and humiliating Iraqis being held at a prison near Baghdad. The Army investigated, and issued a scathing report.
Now, an Army general and her command staff may face the end of long military careers. And six soldiers are facing court martial in Iraq -- and possible prison time.
According to the U.S. Army, one Iraqi prisoner was told to stand on a box with his head covered, wires attached to his hands. He was told that if he fell off the box, he would be electrocuted.
It was this picture, and dozens of others, that prompted an investigation by the U.S. Army. On Tuesday, 60 Minutes II asked Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy director of coalition operations in Iraq, what went wrong."
Warning: The photographs are very disturbing.
"It was American soldiers serving as military police at Abu Ghraib who took these pictures. The investigation started when one soldier got them from a friend, and gave them to his commanders. 60 Minutes II has a dozen of these pictures, and there are many more – pictures that show Americans, men and women in military uniforms, posing with naked Iraqi prisoners.Yeah, yeah, yeah, General. Sure you are. You're appalled that this was made public. Get the damn military out of Iraq at once.
In some, the male prisoners are positioned to simulate sex with each other. And in most of the pictures, the Americans are laughing, posing, pointing, or giving the camera a thumbs-up.
60 Minutes II was only able to contact one of the soldiers facing charges. But the Army says they are all in Iraq, awaiting court martial.
"What can the Army say specifically to Iraqis and others who are going to see this and take it personally," Rather asked Kimmitt, in an interview conducted by satellite from Baghdad.
"The first thing I’d say is we’re appalled as well. These are our fellow soldiers. These are the people we work with every day, and they represent us. They wear the same uniform as us, and they let their fellow soldiers down,” says Kimmitt.