Thursday 5 August 2004

Wading in Abu Ghraib

Mud glorious mud
Being one never to admit to having big feet the events that have been filling our screens and news feeds from the Iraqi rabbit hole has meant that only a wade would help one keep balance as the truth throws up more mud than the marriage banquet of King Hippopotamus.
Apparently, the despicable pictures of prisoner torture and humiliation are only the tip of the iceberg which could be as large as Antarctica. Pardon me for being given to uncensored hyperbole, but exaggeration in this case probably is just a poor imitation of reality.
The facts of the matter are clearly the following:
  1. Junior ranks and contracted personnel involved in the preparation and interrogation of prisoners must have been following orders or set down procedure to get critical intelligence
  2. Photos taken posed or not, served to thrill the perpetrators and their protagonists
  3. If photos where taken, what was not taken and where was the line drawn?
Digital cameras are the rage
Anyway, the supposed candour of Mr Rumsfeld was a little short of acceptable sincerity on account of the fact that he continually riled the illegal publication of the photos rather than address without duplicity the cases of abuse.
Feigning ignorance of these volatile issues till they were so caught out, we now have a mass hysteria of contrition and apologies even the proposal for compensation - if the compensatees live to make a claim.
Keeping this review short, it is interesting to note that how Guantanamo bay plays into these events; it happens that the commandant of that legal black hole became a consultant to the interrogators in Abu Ghraib or even something more.
By comparison, we know about Abu Ghraib and the utterly sanctimonious acts of the British in Basra because of a modicum of press freedom and those persons who so annoy Mr Rumsfeld by taking pictures with their state-of-the-art digital cameras
We also owe it to ABCs 60 Minutes II who refused undue Pentagon interference to suppress the information we all should be been informed of a lot earlier by those who should have known better.
Guantanamo Reloaded
The only apparent court martials from Guantanamo Bay are related to intelligence breaches or espionage charges the irony of such discipline and adherence to all procedures for prisoners who are neither prisoners of war or covered by Geneva Conventions. Executive privilege holds sway of scrutiny by courts or independent review.
One cannot begin to imagine what the occupants in Guantanamo Bay experience in the light of the revelations in Iraq - one is tempted to say, we did have regime change but the same demons that possessed Saddam's cohorts in Abu Ghraib found new hosts in the Americans.
It goes to show that human beings are susceptible to base and primitive manipulation especially if you are of the first world and very American.
The Summer Collection
The families of the accused have probably missed the point by protesting the good-natured characters of their sons and daughters when back at home.
Not being one to cast aspersions on the dignity of such well meaning Americans following orders as one should in the forces - putting it all in perspective the hooded prisoner was just on a mini cat-walk showing off the Abu Ghraib summer collection.
The one on a leash was taking part in a commercial on how to pose with your dog - subjects for photography competitions have to be more radical and ground-breaking in these times.