Friday, May 21, 2004

I bet NZPundit will laugh at this too

From the sound of it, the latest from Abu Ghraib is more sickening than anything we've seen so far:

In one video clip, five hooded and naked detainees stand against the wall in the darkness, each masturbating, with two other hooded detainees crouched at their feet. Another shows a prisoner handcuffed to the outside of a cell door. He repeatedly slams his head into the green metal, leaving streaks of blood before he ultimately collapses at the feet of a cameraman.

In one photo, a soldier is seen cocking his fist as he holds a hooded detainee in a headlock amid a pile of several detainees. Later, he is seen kneeling atop the same pile, flexing his muscles, a broad smile on his face, posing. Another soldier is seen in a photo brandishing a black baton as a naked prisoner - cuffed at the ankles and smeared with a brown substance - stands at the center of the prison hallway and holds his arms spread to either side.

There's also a throwaway line in this BBC report that Muslim detainees were force-fed pork and alcohol. While that's not greatly harmful in the grand scheme of things, it does reveal a lot about the attutides of the guards. They're childish bullies; like schoolkids with guns and power. And to them the prisoners are not people, but playthings to be abused and humiliated for sadistic pleasure.

As for NZPundit, it looks like I was wrong - he simply thinks that reports of people being "savagely beaten" and "repeatedly humiliated sexually" are "beyond parody". Charming.