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The Scandal's Growing Stain
May 9, 2004 11:12 AM   Subscribe

The Scandal's Growing Stain Time Magazine: "Abuses by U.S. soldiers in Iraq shock the world and roil the Bush Administration. the inside story of what went wrong—and who's to blame"
posted by Postroad (18 comments total)

 
"The story you requested is available only to TIME subscribers."

Mind you, this Beckham story is a freebie, and it's at TIME. Will that do?

bugmenot - No accounts found for subs.timeinc.net.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:32 AM on May 9, 2004


It worked fine for me, dash_shot, and I'm not a subscriber.

On the other hand, there's really not much to the article that hasn't already been said or reported elsewhere.
posted by interrobang at 11:34 AM on May 9, 2004


Doesn't work for me either, I get the "give us your credit card info" form. It also mentions "only available to U.S. and Canada subscribers". Perhaps through some weird accident it only works for those ip-determined to be in that region? You're in the UK, rigth dash?
posted by fvw at 12:06 PM on May 9, 2004


One thing that has not been said and this article also avoids is that there is something about our contemporary American culture that makes activities like this - including the desire to record it all - worth taking seriously. I would like to think that it is ony the red states that produce this kind of mentality but in truth I think it is wide-spread. And the activities of the current administration is only one symptom of it.

What went on in the Abu Ghraith prison bespeaks a culture of reaction to institutionalized shame about any kind of sex, about the currently accepted popular wisdom about the relationship between authority and violence, about a media that glorifies the outrageous, and audiences that devour it. It seems to me that the motivation behind the behavior of these MP's is not a lot different from that - in quite different circumstances - from those who line up to be chosen as inhabitants of the big brother house or any other of those reality TV shows, or who hop off to S&M clubs hoping to be noticed or chosen.

I suspect that this country is experiencing something of an epidemic of some psychopathology that needs to be addressed. I mean it has already become a cliche' to compare the America of the 21st century with Berlin in the 1920's - ripe for an authoritarian or even a totalitarian take-over.
posted by donfactor at 12:17 PM on May 9, 2004


Yeah, I am fvw, but I'd guess it was a deliberate restriction, not accidental. Of course, anyone in the US/Canada who linked to it would not realise this. Shame - can anyone post a copy - paste, or share their subscription (",)
posted by dash_slot- at 12:46 PM on May 9, 2004


this link works for me (might be Canada-only).
posted by donth at 12:59 PM on May 9, 2004


It seems to me that the motivation behind the behavior of these MP's is not a lot different from that - in quite different circumstances - from those who line up to be chosen as inhabitants of the big brother house or any other of those reality TV shows, or who hop off to S&M clubs hoping to be noticed or chosen.

Ummm... what? The soldiers beat and humiliated the Iraqi prisoners so that they would get featured on the news? They did it all for attention?

I think you're seriously misreading the situation if that's what you're claiming. I'm not entirely certain it is, though...
posted by humuhumu at 12:59 PM on May 9, 2004


donth - thanks it works. Turns out to be longer than i'm prepared to give it, seeing as it's to me unarguably true and conventional wisdom (maltreatment, bad) but thanks for the pointer.

donfactor: wtf?
posted by dash_slot- at 1:29 PM on May 9, 2004


I'm wondering..who abused the soldiers in the way they become the abusers ? Or were they hand picked psycotics ?
posted by elpapacito at 2:01 PM on May 9, 2004


Postroad's link doesn't work for me, either
posted by matteo at 2:38 PM on May 9, 2004


It is becoming more clear each day that rather than comprising an isolated incident involving a few rogue soldiers, these events sprang from decisions at the top. We have been hearing for some time about the interrogation techniques used at Guantanamo such as sleep deprivation, loud noises, flashing lights, being forced to stand for long periods, hoods etc. This article dates back to December of 2002. I thought then "how could we be doing this?" Little uproar was had, apparently as anything goes when fighting terrorist attacks against American soil. From this mentality it does not seem like such a long leap to what happened in Iraq. There are fresh reports daily about the guards being told to soften up the prisoners for interrogation, even being told so by Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the commandant at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This stinks big and everybody up the chain, even to the top, who bears responsibility should be punished. Those with direct knowledge should be court martialled and the rest should at least leave service. This might include Rummy and GW.
posted by caddis at 2:43 PM on May 9, 2004


Here is an article which states that:
In April 2003, the Defense Department approved interrogation techniques for use at the Guantanamo Bay prison that permit reversing the normal sleep patterns of detainees and exposing them to heat, cold and "sensory assault," including loud music and bright lights, according to defense officials.

The classified list of about 20 techniques was approved at the highest levels of the Pentagon and the Justice Department, and represents the first publicly known documentation of an official policy permitting interrogators to use physically and psychologically stressful methods during questioning.

The use of any of these techniques requires the approval of senior Pentagon officials -- and in some cases, of the defense secretary....



posted by caddis at 2:49 PM on May 9, 2004


I mean it has already become a cliche' to compare the America of the 21st century with Berlin in the 1920's - ripe for an authoritarian or even a totalitarian take-over.

I hadn't heard that. Do you have links or supporting information for this?
posted by stevis at 12:20 AM on May 10, 2004


Re:donfactor: wtf?
We live in a culture which could be summed up as "Its all showbusiness." Nothing is real, everything is okay, especially if some authorities - The commander, the boss, Fox News, etc. - condone it. Or as Aleister Crowley put it a long time ago: "Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law". The next show starts at 8:30 so forget about that last episode.

Consequences? Let's wait and see.
posted by donfactor at 2:55 AM on May 10, 2004


Berlin in the 20's? Do a Google search for Weimar.
posted by donfactor at 2:57 AM on May 10, 2004


link doesn't work for me in the US.
posted by quonsar at 5:51 AM on May 10, 2004


link doesn't work for me either. donth has the winner (afaict).

donfactor has a good point, albeit hidden in layers of secret sauce. once these type of abuses become standard knowledge, will Americans care anymore, especially after they've seen previews or breaking news from the next big TV show (i.e. freeway sniper, would-be terrorist plot, BSE breakout, Asian brown cloud, etc.)?

will prisoner-of-war abuse go the way of high-levels of mercury in our fish and lead in our paint? i.e., will anyone care after another month? it seems to be the whole strategy of the US government for years now. deny, deny, deny, spin, spin, spin, and people will eventually get confused, tired, or switched onto the next American Idol or the next little kidnapped girl.

Muslim countries will likely have longer memories, however. one official in the Time article says that the US will live with the consequences of the abuse for 40 years. however, that may depend on the spread of entertainment-style news.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:27 PM on May 10, 2004


Muslim countries will likely have longer memories, however

there is a fairly famous quote by Samuel P. Huntington (the guy who wrote The Clash of Civilizations) that supports this: "the West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."

It's also interesting to note that just after 9/11 happened, I remember hearing and reading debates about whether or not Americans would be able to stomach a return to using violence as a means of intelligence gathering as was done during the Cold War. The response at the the time was that, no, Americans wouldn't be able to stomach it. It appears, though, that the Bush administration has made a decision to return to those days, regardless.
posted by miscdebris at 1:22 PM on May 10, 2004


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