February 16, 2006

Torture Revisited

Torture Revisited

Newly released images of naked prisoners, some bloodied and lying on the floor, threatened to revive public anger over abuse by U.S. guards at Abu Ghraib prison at a time when tensions with the West are already running high in the Middle East. … One of the video clips depicted a group of naked men with bags over their heads standing together and masturbating. The network said the men were forced to participate. … Some key Iraqi officials urged their countrymen to react calmly since the pictures were old and the offenders had been punished.

Robert H. Reid, AP, The Guardian, Iraqis Urge Calm Over Abu Ghraib Images

Yesterday, reports of new photographs of torture at Abu Ghraib began to surface. And today, Salon reports that it has acquired “hundreds of images that have never been publicly released” — and shows us some of them.

This morning, the UN said that US interrogation and detention of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay amounts to torture. It called on the US to try or to release detainees immediately — and to close the camp.

We’ve done two shows on torture, the second one asking the same set of questions we’ve been seeing in the last two days: Should the media be opening this story back up? Does a fuller accounting get us anywhere in the war on terror? Did we get a full accounting in the first place? We’re not thinking of another torture show any time soon, but take a listen to these two shows and tell us where you stand now.

Torture, Still, Again

Abu Ghraib Take Two

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  • Nikos

    I recall fairly clearly (as most of us probably do in those days after 9/11) the argument Rummie and others like Tennent (sp.?) floated to justify this inexcusable decadence.

    It went something like this: by comparison to the unrestrained tortures used by terrorists, American interrogators were ‘bringing a knife to a gunfight’. ‘We’ they said (my paraphrase), ‘need to show the terrorists that we can fight as dirty as they do.’

    It’s a chest-thumping embarrassment, a shameful demonstration of ‘We’re more macho than you’, and an juvenile excuse to strut one’s national ego.

    So now were the world’s biggest pariah, dwarfing the ill-repute of all the entities abroad we label as fiends.

    Now we’ve unleashed and cultivated our soldiers’ and spies’ latent sadism.

    Isn’t that what we excoriated Saddam for?

    Good work, guys.

    Methinks we’re due a ‘foreign intervention for regime change’.

  • This report is from the so called “UN Human Rights Commissionâ€? that even Kofi Anan wants to shut down.

    Annan says rights body harming UN

    “Speaking in Geneva, Mr Annan said the commission was undermining the credibility of the entire UN.�


    I don’t think that there needs to be anything more said about that report.