ASIAN HERITAGE AWARDS
Major General Antonio Taguba, whose report on Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison in 2004 drew international attention and created accusations of prisoner abuse, has been chosen to receive the distinguished Special Recognition Honor at the Sixth Annual Asian Heritage…
Major General Antonio Taguba, whose report on Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison in 2004 drew international attention and created accusations of prisoner abuse, has been chosen to receive the distinguished Special Recognition Honor at the Sixth Annual Asian Heritage Awards.
Taguba, only the second Filipino American to attain the rank of major general in the U.S. Army, published an extremely critical report on prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib that was leaked to the public, which led to a Congressional investigation. But instead of being honored for his commitment to truth, General Taguba was reassigned to the Pentagon and later, in January 2007, forced to retire.
In 2008, he wrote the preface to a report by Physicians for Human Rights, in which he called for prosecution of the Bush Administration, writing, “There is no longer any doubt that the current administration committed war crimes. The only question is whether those who ordered torture will be held to account.”
Each year, Asia Media Inc., publishers of ASIA, The Journal of Culture & Commerce, and the Asian Heritage Society, single out an individual for that person’s commitment and inspiration to the Asian Pacific Islander community. “Nothing can be more inspiring than General Taguba’s long and distinguished military career and for his willingness to place his career in jeopardy so that the truth of Abu Ghraib be told,” said Rosalynn Carmen, co-publisher of ASIA. “He is an inspiration not only for Asian Americans but for all who value truth and justice,” she added.
General Taguba’s award will be a highlight of the July 25, 2009 gala ceremony aboard the USS Midway. Achievement in 15 other categories will also be acknowledged. In addition, the Sixth Annual Awards “Legacy and Legends” will bring together representatives from all branches of the Armed Services in a special salute to the military.
According to Leonard Novarro, Co-publisher of ASIA and vice president of Asia Media Inc., this year’s ceremony aboard the USS Midway has special symbolic significance for the Asian Pacific Islander community, having been the lifeline in rescuing thousands of Vietnamese fleeing their homeland during the fall of Saigon and for having served in both the Vietnam and Korean Wars. The carrier was launched at the end of World War II and saw its first service off the coast of Japan.
The Asian Heritage Awards Committee is currently accepting nominations in all categories. Individual nominees must be of Asian heritage; organizations nominated must be of service to the Asian Pacific Islander community locally or abroad. See AsianHeritageAwards.com for more details.