Recently, control of Abu Ghraib was returned back over to Iraqi authorities.
In part, due to security risks; but also in large part to incidents that swayed public world opinion against us, such as the following:
footage of naked prisoners made to masturbate in front of the camera. There were also “many” pictures of two prison guards – Private Lynddie England and her lover Cpl Charles Graner, who are both currently serving prison sentences – having sexual intercourse.-Uk Telegraph, Feb 16, 2006
The actions of a handful of American soldiers did enormous damage to the war effort.
The impact of those photographs, which were leaked to a US TV network by an American soldier, was seismic.
The affair became one of the defining points of the American occupation.
Eight soldiers, including Lynndie England, the 32-year-old former fast-food worker who was pictured holding the other end of the dog leash, were convicted for their involvement in the scandal, which undermined the moral authority of the Iraq invasion. The revelations dealt the operation a blow from which it is arguably yet to recover.
Many Iraqis who previously defended the US-led invasion turned against it.- Telegraph.co.UK March 10, 2006
In the same article, it says that news that the American-run prison facility would be handed over to the Iraqis was “greeted with joy in Iraq”. And now?
Tortured screams ring out as Iraqis take over Abu Ghraib
By Ali Saber in Baghdad and Gethin Chamberlain
(Filed: September 10, 2006)
Staff at the jail say the Iraqi authorities have moved dozens of terrorist suspects into Abu Ghraib from the controversial Interior Ministry detention centre in Jadriyah, where United States troops last year discovered 169 prisoners who had been tortured and starved.
An independent witness who went into Abu Ghraib this week told The Sunday Telegraph that screams were coming from the cell blocks housing the terrorist suspects. Prisoners released from the jail this week spoke of routine torture of terrorism suspects and on Wednesday, 27 prisoners were hanged in the first mass execution since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime.
Conditions in the rest of the jail were grim, with an overwhelming stench of excrement, prisoners crammed into cells for all but 20 minutes a day, food rations cut to just rice and water and no air conditioning.
Some of the small number of prisoners who remained in the jail after the Americans left said they had pleaded to go with their departing captors, rather than be left in the hands of Iraqi guards.
“The Americans were better than the Iraqis. They treated us better,” said Khalid Alaani, who was held on suspicion of involvement in Sunni terrorism.
Abu Ghraib became synonymous with abuse after shocking pictures were published in 2004 showing prisoners being tortured and humiliated, galvanising opposition to the US presence in Iraq.
This reminds me of the disproportionate obsessing over criticizing and highlighting every negative that America has played a role in….from slavery of black Africans to genocide of Native-Americans; as if the rest of the world have clean hands in either of those two categories. I suppose Americans will also now be held responsible and be blamed by “world opinion”, for the torture of Iraqi prisoners, including violent insurgents and terrorists, at the hands of Iraqis.
Oh, yeah and: “It’s all Bush’s fault.”
Hat tip: Jen for emailing me the story.
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.