Wednesday, February 15, 2006



More photos from Abu Ghraib

Australia's Dateline program has published more photographs from Abu Ghraib. Currently the ACLU is suing the US government to get hold of these; instead it seems they've been leaked. In addition to images of naked detainees being threatened with dogs, beaten, piled in pyramids, and made to simulate sex acts with each other, of shotgun wounds and the bloodstains left from other mistreatment, there's a few more which are even more disturbing. Here are some of them:

Again, I think the best comment comes from one of 60 Minutes's interviewees when they originally broke the Abu Ghraib story: "we [the US] will be paid back for this".

Coincidentally, I've just read JoAnn Wypijewski's piece in the latest Harper's about the Abu Ghraib trials (offline, dammit; hunt it down if you can). It is a truly horrifying read - not least because the three trials steadfastly ignored the elephant in the room at Abu Ghraib: that someone had gotten away with murder. In the US military it is apparently a crime to pose for a photograph with the corpse of someone who has been tortured to death - but not to actually murder them (or to approve policies that directly led to their death). There was also the chilling slogan the Americans put in the place of Saddam's painting above Abu Ghraib's main gate:

America is a friend of all Iraqi people

I suspect that's a cruel joke the world will remember for a long time - just like "arbeit macht frei".

3 comments:

ahem.

have you noticed that the same people screaming 'free speech' in regard to cartoons of 'the prophet' are a little upset?

Posted by che tibby : 2/16/2006 07:38:00 AM

there's a symmetry here with the silence of the "right to publish but no obligation to" side. I can't see too much angsting over "Will these pictures do more harm than good?" issues.

Maybe there's not much in this deabte other than "I agree with publishing material that supports my view and disagree if it doesn't".

By the way, I agree with publishing the photos, just like i agreed with publishing the cartoon.

Posted by neil morrison : 2/16/2006 09:06:00 AM

Che: that doesn't surprise me in the least.

Absolutely the images are intended to shock. That's because torture and cruelty are in

themselves shocking. One of the reasons I post material like this is so that people will

see what torture and abuse look like, and so that creeps like those down in the sewer

can't try and soft-peddle it.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 2/16/2006 10:32:00 PM