I just finished watching the Ghosts of Abu Ghraib on HBO. I missed it at the Sundance Film Festival where it premiered.Utah's
the most conservative state in the nation and generally supportive of George Bush and the War on Terror. Personally I'm not a fan. I'm even less of one now.
The stories of abuse and torture that have come out of Abu Ghraib disgust me as an American. How could they not. While I'm all for killing the right people, I find it deeply troubling that America has allowed itself to be led by people to whom getting caught is what makes a practice wrong. American should watch this film.
The Geneva Conventions expressly prohibit torture and outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment... But George Bush not only defined prisoners in US custody as not being covered by the Geneva Conventions, but that torture would now become part of US policy.
The photo to the right is one of the previously unreleased images released in February 2006 by SBS in Australia, showing a man covered in excrement forced to pose for the camera. I'm surprised that being forced to stand naked in front of your captors while covered in shit doesn't make the list of torture on the Times article below. This sure looks like an outrage upon personal dignity.
The New York Times, in a report on January 12, 2005,reported testimony suggesting that the following events had taken place at Abu Ghraib:
- Urinating on detainees
- Jumping on detainee's leg (a limb already wounded by gunfire) with such force that it could not thereafter heal properly
- Continuing by pounding detainee's wounded leg with collapsible metal baton
- Pouring phosphoric acid on detainees
- Sodomization of detainees with a baton
- Tying ropes to the detainees' legs or penises and dragging them across the floor.
From a Sundance review: Over and over we're told that "the gloves are off" in the fight against America's enemies. Ghosts of Abu Ghraib is an essential declaration of the truth behind that cliché: Taking the gloves off is no guarantee the job will get done; it is a guarantee that you'll get your hands dirty. I can only hope that as many people as possible can see Ghosts of Abu Ghraib before April 15 and tax time roll around: This is what we have paid for with money, this is what American soldiers will pay for in blood, this is what our children will pay for as nations around the world perceive that America has gone from a defender of liberty to a swaggering thug. This is what Ghosts of Abu Ghraib shows us: lost lives, lost honor and fascist brutality in the name of democracy and freedom.