The abu Ghraib fiasco critically damaged the war effort in Iraq, setting back prospects for peace and security for months if not years, and doubtlessly leading to the loss of many more lives on all sides. The actions of a few boneheaded guardsmen caused so much damage because they were perceived by an already skeptical Arab street as graphic evidence that the nobility of our rhetoric did not match the reality of our actions.
This will probably be worse:
The CIA’s station chief at its sensitive post in Algeria is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for allegedly raping at least two Muslim women who claim he laced their drinks with a knock-out drug, U.S. law enforcement sources tell ABC News.
Officials say the 41-year old CIA officer, a convert to Islam, was ordered home by the U.S. Ambassador, David Pearce, in October after the women came forward with their rape allegations in September…
One of the alleged victims reportedly said she met the CIA officer at a bar in the U.S. embassy and then was taken to his official station chief residence where she said the sexual assault took place.
The second alleged victim reportedly told U.S. prosecutors that, in a separate incident, she also was drugged at the American’s official residence before being sexually assaulted…
Following the initial complaints, U.S. officials say they obtained a warrant from a federal judge in Washington, D.C. in October to search the station chief’s CIA-provided residence in Algiers and turned up the videos that appear to have been secretly recorded and show, they say, the CIA officer engaged in sexual acts.
Officials say one of the alleged victims is seen on tape, in a “semi-conscious state.”
Miscreants may be found in small numbers anywhere of course, but this particular event will brutally intersect Arab cultural attitudes having to do with family honor and their abiding suspicion of the CIA in general, and American culture at large.