“They’re Hard to Believe”

September 30, 2005 at 2:31pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

A federal judge has ordered the release of 70 photos and 3 video tapes depicting abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The photographs are said to include “blatantly sadistic” scenes of “rape and murder.” Seventeen photographs and one video tape will not be released. Why not? Hopefully not because those items depict actions that are that much worse.

America has lost its humility. Perhaps a healthy dose of deserved embarassment will do us some good, both nationally and globally. The American people need to see what can happen when a government gets drunk on power—and then tries to cover up its abuses. Indeed, had the government been open and honest from the start, and had higher-ups—rather than just individual patsies—rightly been held responsible, this current situation probably would have been avoided.

The government is accountable to its citizens. Let’s do our job.

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Mr. T October 1, 2005 at 2:09am

I also question the “patsies” defense phenomenon. Yes certainly there will be some true fuck-ups out there who operate with impunity and against orders, but there are too many parallels in the allegations emerging from gitmo, iraq and afghanistan at the same time. Practices such as hooding, sexual humiliation and placing inmates in prolonged stress positions is standard interrogation fare: Close to 30 years ago, the ECHR found that such practices amounted to inhuman treatment in Ireland v. the UK (2 Eur. H.R. Rep. 25, 1978). Its re-occurence now suggests to me that there was a policy or policies in place which led to this behavior rather than it just being the actions of a few undisciplined and rogue soldiers.

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