Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 9, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

ABU GHRAIB....Seymour Hersh has more pictures and more details:

Another image shows that the man, an Iraqi prisoner, is naked. His hands are clasped behind his neck and he is leaning against the door to a cell, contorted with terror, as the dogs bark a few feet away. Other photographs show the dogs straining at their leashes and snarling at the prisoner. In another, taken a few minutes later, the Iraqi is lying on the ground, writhing in pain, with a soldier sitting on top of him, knee pressed to his back. Blood is streaming from the inmates leg. Another photograph is a closeup of the naked prisoner, from his waist to his ankles, lying on the floor. On his right thigh is what appears to be a bite or a deep scratch. There is another, larger wound on his left leg, covered in blood.

Needless to say, you should read Hersh's entire article, but this paragraph at the end is especially chilling on a variety of levels:

The photographing of prisoners, both in Afghanistan and in Iraq, seems to have been not random but, rather, part of the dehumanizing interrogation process. The Times published an interview last week with Hayder Sabbar Abd, who claimed, convincingly, to be one of the mistreated Iraqi prisoners in the Abu Ghraib photographs. Abd told Ian Fisher, the Times reporter, that his ordeal had been recorded, almost constantly, by cameras, which added to his humiliation. He remembered how the camera flashed repeatedly as soldiers told to him to masturbate and beat him when he refused.

In other words, there might very well be a nearly complete documentary record of what happened at Abu Ghraib. What happens when the pressure to make it public becomes irresistible?

Kevin Drum 1:07 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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