• NYT: ISIS Uses Birth Control to Maintain Supply of Sex Slaves

    March 17, 2016

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Iraq

    OK, I’m going to skate out on some very thin ice here.


    Of course I do not in any way condone ISIS, rape, terrorism, violence, victim shaming or slavery. But I do have what I believe are legitimate questions about a New York Times story involving those topics, and hope I can ask them here without being accused of supporting things I find abhorrent.

    I ask these questions only because while rape is tragically used all-to-often as a tool of war, claims by people or groups in war can sometimes be untrue, exaggerated, or reported erroneously for political aims. Iraqi defectors lied about WMDs to help draw America into the 2003 invasion. Claims in 1991 that Iraqi invaders bayoneted Kuwaiti children in their incubators were completely fabricated. In 2011 Susan Rice announced Libya’s Qaddafi was handing out Viagra, so that his soldiers could commit more rapes, it was a lie.

    The Times article was scary, inflammatory, designed to incite. But was it responsible journalism?


    The Times’ story last Sunday reported Islamic State leaders have made sexual slavery as they believe it was practiced during the Prophet Muhammad’s time integral to the group’s operations, preying on the women and girls the group captured from the Yazidi religious minority almost two years ago. To keep the sex trade running, the fighters have aggressively pushed birth control on their victims so they can continue the abuse unabated while the women are passed among them.

    The New York Times story was written by Pulitzer Prize winner Rukmini Callimachi, and front-paged, so these things should have easy answers. You can read the whole story yourself, to better understand my questions.


    1) How did the reporter make contact with the 36 escaped Yazidi sex slaves she interviewed? What organization made the connection? She states in the article “Many of the women interviewed for this article were initially reached through Yazidi community leaders.” Was one of the group Yazda or its founder Murad Ismael (see below)?

    2) Does the reporter speak Arabic? Most Yazidis speak Kurmanji as their primary tongue; if the reporter used a translator for either language, what steps did she take to verify the translation? Who supplied and paid for the translator?

    3) Did the ISIS rapists who explained the purposes of the birth control to their victims speak Kurmanji, a language generally limited to Kurdish areas off-limits to ISIS? If not, did the reporter verify that the victims had sufficient Arabic vocabulary to understand what they were being told, including some limited medical and drug terms?

    4) Was the reporter contacted by a group or organization inviting her to interview the victims, or did she uncover the story fully independently?

    5) The young women interviewed appeared to have specific and detailed knowledge that they were being given birth control. Did their ISIS captors explain this to them and if so, can she explain why? As most Yazidis are unlikely to have first-hand knowledge of chemical birth control, how did the young women learn so much about the pills they were being forced to take?


    6) The article states “Some described how they knew they were about to be sold when they were driven to a hospital to give a urine sample to be tested for the hCG hormone, whose presence indicates pregnancy.” How did the women know what hormone they were being tested for?

    7) The article states “The teenager feared she was about to be raped. Instead he [the rapist] pulled out a syringe and gave her a shot on her upper thigh. It was a 150-milligram dose of Depo-Provera, an injectable contraceptive, a box of which she showed to a reporter.” How did she know the chemical and dosage she was given? Did her rapist allow her to keep the box? Did the victim hold on to the box throughout the ordeal of her escape from ISIS captivity until her contact with the reporter? Was the victim asked these questions?

    8) Chemical birth control is not generally available in the Middle East. Did the reporter make any inquiries as to where the ISIS-supplied birth control pills and injections came from? Is it her belief that ISIS has established an international smuggling route to bring such substances into the Middle East?

    9) The reporter references a “manual” that describes how rape of slaves under the circumstances of birth control is allowed under ISIS’ interpretation of sharia law. Is this manual openly available? When and how did the reporter access it, and verify its authenticity?

    10) The New York Times article encourage readers to donate to a charity for Yazidi victims, Yazda. The charity is contactable by mail only through a post office box. Standard charity verification site Charity Watch had no listing for the group under the name “Yazda.” Charity Navigator lists the group only as “unrated.” I have been unable to find much independent information on Yazda founder Murad Ismael.

    Did/how did the New York Times verify the legitimacy of the Yazda charity?

    11) The reporter quotes a local Yazidi doctor as saying “With more than 700 cases of rape recorded so far, Dr. Taib’s center has treated only 35 pregnancies. He expected to see at least 140. ‘Even higher than that, if you consider that these women had multiple partners and were raped every day over many months,’ Dr. Taib said.” The doctor’s statement is offered as verification of the widespread use of birth control; i.e., without birth control, there would be more pregnancies.

    A 1996 study by the American Journal of Obstetrics stated that the national rape-related pregnancy rate is 5% per rape among victims of reproductive age (aged 12 to 45). That 5% would match with what the doctor found, 35 pregnancies out of 700 cases. The doctor’s estimate of 140 cases is 20%.

    A 1987 study also found a 5% pregnancy rate from rape among 18- to 24-year-old college students in the U.S. A 2005 study placed the rape-related pregnancy rate at around 3–5%.


    Statistics can be imprecise. However, given that the reporter cited the local doctor’s count of pregnancies as evidence supporting the claims of the Yazidi women, did she not ask him, or why did she not raise in her article, that other evidence may contradict his assertion?

    I don’t like having to write about rape. I am sorry for every victim of rape, and every woman who was enslaved. My concerns are not about ISIS, which remains a terrible organization, but about journalism. I hope someone very quickly refutes or answers every one of my questions and makes me look foolish and embarrassed for even asking. Please do that.

    I have emailed this to the New York Times Ombudsman several days ago (“public editor“) and will publish any reply I receive.



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    Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Sex slave. That’s the only explanation why The Times kept Judy Miller on staff.

      03/17/16 7:50 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      Given The Times bad reporting on Iraqi WMDs started the fiasco that created ISIS, isn’t this a case of projection. The Times has been screwing US for years.

      03/17/16 8:03 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      Peter,

      I know you live in NYC and The Times is your local newspaper, but you should rely on more credible news sources… like the National Enquirer.

      03/17/16 8:14 AM | Comment Link

    • StarkNakedTruth said...

      4

      PVB…

      It’s the New York Times.

      Enough said.

      03/17/16 9:25 AM | Comment Link

    • b. traven said...

      5

      Thank you Peter for an excellent anaysis. Journalism has sunk to a new low in this country making it very difficult for the country to have an informed citizenry.That is reflected in the current Republican and Democratic primary campaigns.

      03/17/16 10:47 AM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...

      6

      Don’t fergit their pre-emptive abortions, hijacked preemie incubators and outright infanticide! – Yew Nork Crimes

      03/17/16 12:14 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      7

      “Of course I do not in any way condone ISIS, rape, terrorism, violence..”

      As opposed to Donald Trump and his ilk:

      “Riots aren’t necessarily a bad thing if it means it’s because [Trump supporters are] fighting the fact that our establishment Republican Party has gone corrupt and decided to ignore the voice of the people and ignore the process,” Scottie Nell Hughes, Chief Political Commentator for USA Radio Networks, told Blitzer.”

      God bless America.

      03/17/16 1:46 PM | Comment Link

    • jhoover said...

      8

      Peter the question about this what called NYT: ISIS?

      is who created in first place?

      you know well Peter

      ISIS bunch of gangs that killing people in ME but not Israelis not Iranian not Saudi not Qataris not UAE so why in Syria Iraq and Libya Tunisia all these place the call it Jihad, killing tourists in Tunisia or in Maldive or elsewhere as if there are no western tourists “Kuffar” in UAE or Saudi or Qatar?

      Saddam was taken off for his support of “terrorists” for pay $20KUSD for each Palestinians who fights/killed in Palestine, you remember no day passed without an incident inside Israel in Today Jihad time killing hundreds per day with work of dirty gangs from Slave sex to abduction of kids and women to stealing artifacts from historical sits to distractions of life on th ground to impose Burgah on women, forcing growing beards for men to looks like Devils

      03/17/16 3:02 PM | Comment Link

    • b. traven said...

      9

      Jhoover.. Some where along the line you must have dropped your syntax and it shows. Try a little coherence as an antidote.

      03/17/16 8:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      10

      Everybody here knows jhoover is really Sarah Palin.

      03/17/16 8:53 PM | Comment Link

    • jhoover said...

      11

      From high hopes to tragedy
      http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/saturdayextra/emma-sky-reflects-on-iraqs-recent-past-and-present-plight/7220914

      For some they cannot see far from their nose

      If GW Bush Father faulted his Son, what Sarah Palin you talking here such an idiocy here

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new/article-3307882/George-W-Bush-surprised-father-s-harsh-verdict-Dick-Cheney-Donald-Rumsfeld-author-reveals.html#ixzz43DiPusnR
      Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

      03/17/16 11:10 PM | Comment Link

    • Links 18/3/2016: Slackware 14.2 With Linux 4.5, Remi Repo at 100,000,000 Downloads | Techrights said...

      12

      […] NYT: ISIS Uses Birth Control to Maintain Supply of Sex Slaves […]

      03/18/16 9:51 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      13

      Hey JHoover–thanks for the link to the article about Emma Sky. Very informative. It connected the dots for me and filled in some blanks in my understanding.

      The other was a dead end. No page.

      As for the NYT article, I read it. And I read your questions. What it told me is…Peter..apply for a journalist job at the NYT. Perhaps you can do a better job than the author of that article. As for me, your questions would have never occurred to me. I took it at face value, and found it informative. But “I’m” not a journalist. You are. And THAT is why I come here.

      Knock them out Peter. I hope you do get some answers.

      Meanwhile, this OpEd was dead fucking on…

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/18/opinion/no-not-trump-not-ever.html

      Not ever. Indeed.

      03/18/16 11:37 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      14

      I met Emma Sky a number of times in Iraq. She traveled a lot with General Odierno. She is extremely smart and fully understand exactly what was happening in Iraq. She, however, did not break ranks and speak out publicly until very recently. That always made me sad.

      03/18/16 11:43 AM | Comment Link

    • jhoover said...

      15

      Peter
      Whatever reason she were sent to Iraq the fact as she admitting she was:

      But as she tells Saturday Extra, when she left the UK to go to Iraq, she had no idea what she had let herself in for or what her job would be.

      Emma Sky arrived in Iraq with no written instructions, no briefing and enough clothes for three months

      Emma Sky came to Iraq as a volunteer civilian advisor, having already spent a decade working in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

      Peter if you apply for a job in state department telling them “she had no idea what she had let herself in for or what her job would be.” And the above, do you think you get hired?

      What skills he had and she got but she defiantly on the ground learned much of skills to get her job, therefore she was part of the tragedy in Iraq not just here I can add Paul Bremer and most of his team around him they don’t know what Iraq and I am sure they do not know what Sunni or Shiite.

      The invasion was war of chose first, I can add Peter to explain it for you as a big man hold a small kid start punching him till he fainted or lay on the ground with just short breath.

      That was exactly the invasion of Iraq.
      N Korai not far from US and more dangerous to US from Iraq but for many reasons Iraq chosen to be destroyed as a state and as citizens and nation.
      Remember Peter the speech made in Madrid by Syrian minister when there was peace talk with Israel the Syrian minster tells his audience : while you asking us to make peace with state of Israel, on the wall in the Knesset there is a map showing state of Israel borders form Nile to Euphrates river………….
      (Btw that map was lifter after, not today you can be found on that wall.)

      The Link for second bit try this & this

      03/19/16 3:06 AM | Comment Link

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