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The World They Made

Mark Danner has been writing a series in the New York Review Of Books: Rumsfeld's War And Its Consequences Now
A bare two weeks after the attacks of September 11, at the end of a long and emotional day at the White House, a sixty-nine-year-old politician and businessman—a midwesterner, born of modest means but grown wealthy and prominent and powerful—returned to his enormous suite of offices on the seventh floor of the flood-lit and wounded Pentagon and, as was his habit, scrawled out a memorandum on his calendar:
Interesting day— NSC mtg. with President— As [it] ended he asked to see me alone… After the meeting ended I went to Oval Office—He was alone He was at his desk— He talked about the meet Then he said I want you to develop a plan to invade Ir[aq]. Do it outside the normal channels. Do it creatively so we don’t have to take so much cover [?]
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 13, 2014 - 89 comments

 

"You can cause a lot of discomfort and some people will talk but interrogation is not about talking. It’s about the search for the truth."

"But the technique that all of us in Aden listened to agape was a method that had been developed allegedly very recently, which was to suspend the prisoner in a tank of liquid gelatine which was at 94.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Naked. With your arms and legs tied and your head encased in a sort of diver’s helmet, through which you were breathing. You were hung into this tank, so all you could hear was the [breathing noise] of your own breath. And in theory you would go bonkers. Because you didn’t know which way was up, you had no sense." -Interview with British Interrogator #1 [more inside]
posted by univac on Oct 21, 2012 - 57 comments

Portraits of Iraqis by Daniel Heyman

I am an artist who by a stroke of good fortune met a brave American lawyer who represents several hundred Iraqi detainees in the US federal courts....the Iraqis I interviewed, released by the American military after many months or years of detention, were never formally accused of a crime, brought to a trial or given legal representation. Daniel Heyman paints and draws while sitting in on interviews between former Abu Ghraib detainees and their lawyer Susan Burke. Interview (including Heyman's thoughts about Errol Morris' documentary Standard Operating Procedure). Review. Another gallery. Related: The Detainee Project. Via zunguzungu. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Apr 24, 2011 - 5 comments

Not particularly sensational

At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee. Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects [graphic images] including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube. Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts. Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on May 28, 2009 - 186 comments

A Guardian interview with Lynndie England

A Guardian interview with Lynndie England (of Abu Ghraib notoriety).
posted by nthdegx on Jan 6, 2009 - 111 comments

Fuzz It Up

The Most Curious Thing (follow-up of sorts) by Errol Morris. Fuzzed up indeed.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi on May 21, 2008 - 31 comments

The Chain of Command in Coercive Interrogations

“You could almost see their dicks getting hard as they got new ideas." A Vanity Fair reporter investigates the chain of command that tossed out the Geneva Conventions and instituted coercive interrogation techniques -- some might call them torture or even war crimes -- in Bush's Global War on Terror. UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo's now-obsolete 81-page memo to the Pentagon in 2003 [available as PDFs here and here] was crucial, offering a broad range of legal justifications and deniability for disregarding international law in the name of "self-defense." Others say that Yoo was just making "a clear point about the limits of Congress to intrude on the executive branch in its exercise of duties as Commander in Chief." [previously here and here.]
posted by digaman on Apr 3, 2008 - 76 comments

"I know it looks bad."

The Woman Behind the Camera. Film maker Errol Morris, and the New Yorker's Philip Gourevitch look at Sabrina Harman, photographer, and Army MP in Iraq. [more inside]
posted by timsteil on Mar 20, 2008 - 19 comments

Seymour Hersh speaks at third Annual Amnesty International Lecture at Trinity College, Dublin, Oct 24/2007

Seymour Hersh speaks at third Annual Amnesty International Lecture at Trinity College, Dublin, Oct 24/2007. YouTube links 1, 2, 3, 4.
posted by dougzilla on Nov 11, 2007 - 19 comments

I stand for 8-10 hours a day - why is standing limited to 4 hours?

The Interrogation Documents - a collection of available records relating to U.S. interrogation policies. (via) (previously)
posted by puddleglum on Jun 19, 2007 - 9 comments

Vagina Dentata Redux

"Seeing those photos from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, I decided I was looking at the perfect conflation of two constituents of Julia Kristeva's 'Abject': Horror and the Female. Every theater of war requires specific armory, and now America has produced a narrowly targeted new weapon, incorporating a kind of 'vagina dentata', designed to inflict maximum psychological damage in traditional societies." Russian/Dutch artist Bee Flowers has a new (NSFW) show at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. See also Megastructure, Soviet Sublime, and much more.
posted by unSane on Mar 11, 2007 - 31 comments

The Lucifer Effect

Retiring psychology professor Philip G. Zimbardo, who ran the Stanford Prison Experiment, gave his final lecture at Stanford this week, criticizing the Bush administration and saying that senior government officials responsible for Abu Ghraib should be "tried for the crimes against humanity." [Via MindHacks.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 9, 2007 - 38 comments

Real Confessions From Iraq

A Good Morning Coffee Read (or Tea or Grass Juice or Gammel Dansk ; ). The warden of Fallouja.
posted by MapGuy on Mar 6, 2007 - 27 comments

Allegations of rape-as-torture at Abu Ghraib surface on YouTube.

Last week a video was posted to YouTube and linked to by the Iraqslogger site. The YouTube account ("Deathlyillington") is now defunct but the video survives and purports to show a former guard from Abu Ghraib talking about torture techniques employed at the American-run prison. The man recounts the gang rape of a female teenage detainee, in which one guard "pimped" the girl to others for $50 each. As he recalls, "I think at the end of the day he'd made like 500 bucks before she hung herself." The US Army's Criminal Investigation Department has now launched an investigation, but the question remains, is the video real, or is it a hoax along the lines of Jesse Macbeth, the Daily Mirror fake torture photos or the fake beheading video. The video contains few clues to the identity of the alleged soldier, who is shown in silhouette but seems potentially recognizable. A transcript is available.
posted by unSane on Feb 1, 2007 - 67 comments

This is in Marie Claire???

A Soldier's Tale, featured on the always excellent Cursor, catches us up with Lynndie England (not to mention her hybrid child).
posted by malaprohibita on Oct 13, 2006 - 22 comments

Exporting the Gift of BDSM?

"I've seen what happened in Abu Ghraib, and Abu Ghraib was not torture." [brief youtube video, safe for work, only tortured analysis, no actual torture or sex]
"The bottom line was it was sex. . . . It wasn't primarily about torture."
posted by orthogonality on Oct 13, 2006 - 75 comments

...from that block came the sound of screaming ...

Meet the new jailers-- Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad is at the centre of fresh abuse allegations just a week after it was handed over to Iraqi authorities, with claims that inmates are being tortured by their new captors. Mass executions, torture again, etc. How bad is it when the inmates plead for us to come back? (Warning--this second link is graphic evidence of what we did there--NSFW)
posted by amberglow on Sep 10, 2006 - 27 comments

The United States does not torture -- GWB, 11/05

Abu Ghraib, continued. A new cache of disturbing images and videos from the original interrogations, with commentary from Salon. [Definitely NSFW, or for Earth, for that matter.]
posted by digaman on Mar 14, 2006 - 48 comments

Your Hosts, Lynndie and Charles, Welcome You to the New Interrogation Facility

Adieu, Abu Ghraib -- we hardly knew ye (classified, ya know.) In the wake of a damning Amnesty International report, military spokesperson Keir-Kevin Curry says the infamous Baghdad prison will be closed within three months, its occupants transferred to other facilities in Iraq, including Camp Cropper (and don't ask what's happening there , or the terrorists win.) Or is Curry's statement premature? And would the closing of Abu Ghraib represent a change of policy, or merely rebranding the same old same old to avoid bad associations?
posted by digaman on Mar 9, 2006 - 51 comments

Suppressed Abu Ghraib photos leaked

60 "secret" Abu Ghraib photos have been leaked to the Sydney Morning Herald. (Warning, very NSFW and disturbing.) They are thought to be among those viewed in private by U.S. senators following a May, 2004 hearing and "withheld from the public to protect the integrity of military trials and to avoid further inflaming America's enemies."
posted by Saucy Intruder on Feb 14, 2006 - 193 comments

A short hop from (Klaus) Barbie to (Lynndie) England?

Barbarism begins with Barbie — the doll, that is. Research done at the University of Bath (UK) posits that prepubescents' pre-eminent plasticine plaything provokes disproportionate punishment. According to the study, which originally focused on the effects of branding on young consumers, the statuesque Mattel mini-miss seems to attract undue savagery. "The researchers had not intended to focus on Barbie, but they were taken aback by the rejection, hatred and violence she provoked when they asked the children about their feelings for the doll. Violence and torture against Barbie were repeatedly reported across age, school and gender. No other toy or brand name provoked such a negative response."
posted by rob511 on Dec 19, 2005 - 46 comments

Botero

Fernando Botero on Abu Ghraib Fernando Botero, the Colombian artist best-known for his odd and cute depictions of fleshy men and women, has just opened an exhibition in Rome featuring his own interpretations of the Abu Ghraib abuses. Expect to be shocked all over again - which is apparently exactly what he wants. (Link in Spanish).
posted by Holly on Jun 21, 2005 - 45 comments

Factors Contributing to the Creation of the Iraqi Torturers - We Are All Complicit

What kind of people are these torturers? Are they the bad apples of the American military, as the Bush administration has alleged, or is it the whole barrel that is bad, as Philip Zimbardo, former president of the American Psychological Association, declared? Back in 1975, one year after the fall of the military dictatorship in Greece, I received special permission to attend the trials of the Greek military police's torturers... These torturers were made, not born, to torture... These transformations from “ordinary” young men to fierce perpetrators are paralleled in other studies that I and my colleagues have carried out on Brazilian military and civil policemen and on elite special forces training in the US and elsewhere.
Psychological and Sociopolitical Factors Contributing to the Creation of the Iraqi Torturers: A Human Rights Issue
beliefnet: Michael Wolfe on relationship between Christian evangelism in the U.S. government and abuse of Muslims and the Qur'an
U.S. Military Says 26 Inmate Deaths May Be Homicide
We Are All Complicit - But What Can We Do About It?
posted by y2karl on Jun 20, 2005 - 33 comments

In U.S. Report, Brutal Details of 2 Afghan Inmates' Deaths

From the folks who brought you Abu Ghraib, new information from Afghanistan. More torture of "terrorists," more deaths of prisoners, more untrained interrogators pummeling instead of interrogating—facts direct from a leaked Army investigation.
posted by Mo Nickels on May 20, 2005 - 83 comments

The Pentagon's Secret Stash

The Pentagon's Secret Stash. "...There can be narratives of things that are much worse, but if they aren't accompanied by photos, they somehow don't register....The Abu Ghraib photos are sort of the military equivalent of the Rodney King case....And I hate to attribute motives to people I don't know, but it is easy to imagine that the officials who are withholding these images have that fact in mind."
posted by gsb on Apr 2, 2005 - 16 comments

Never say say never ! oops.

Sanchez Perjury Proof ? That depends on the meaning of "never" Mainstream media once again caught with pants down as blogger citizen-journalist notes apparent perjury by Gen. Sanchez during testimony before the US Congress concerning whether he authorized torture or not. The Globe and Mail noticed the ACLU release of a FOIA-obtained memo showing that Sanchez did in fact authorize torture, but the implication of perjury seems to have escaped MSM notice, to be pointed out by a blogger Metafilter's own citizen journalist Mark Kraft, who declares : "Sanchez is clearly guilty of perjury, and should face the wrath of Congress... and the Senate should determine the guilt of his boss, Donald Rumsfeld, while they're at it."

The case all hinges on the meaning of the word "never" which - rumor holds - is much more flexible in Sanchez' native "Never-never Land" where - as with the rumored numerous Eskimo terms for different kinds of snow - denizens of that realm have many different meanings for "never", some of which in fact mean "sometimes" or "occasionally" !
posted by troutfishing on Mar 30, 2005 - 62 comments

From The Never Ending Story - The Torture Papers

While the proverbial road to hell is paved with good intentions, the internal government memos collected in this publication demonstrate that the path to the purgatory that is Guantanamo Bay, or Abu Ghraib, has been paved with decidedly bad intentions. The policies that resulted in rampant abuse of detainees first in Afghanistan, then at Guantanamo Bay, and later in Iraq, were product of three pernicious purposes designed to facilitate the unilateral and unfettered detention, interrogation, abuse, judgment, and punishment of prisoners: (1) the desire to place the detainees beyond the reach of any court or law; (2) the desire to abrogate the Geneva Convention with respect to the treatment of persons seized in the context of armed hostilities; and (3) the desire to absolve those implementing the policies of any liability for war crimes under U.S. and international law.
Regarding the Torture Papers, which detail Torture's Paper Trail, and, then there's Hungry for Air: Learning The Language Of Torture, and, of course, there's ( more inside)
posted by y2karl on Mar 14, 2005 - 97 comments

shades of Viet...

The next step? And so on... Seymour Hersh, the fellow that broke the Abu Ghraib story (more) is now saying in the New Yorker that the US has been operating covertly in Iran (and possibly as many as 9 other mid-east and S. Asian countries). As this BBC article says "Mr Hersh could be wrong. But he has a series of scoops to his name, including the details of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal last year. His track record suggests that he should be taken seriously."
posted by edgeways on Jan 16, 2005 - 120 comments

hearts and minds

Physically and sexually mistreating detainees at Abu Ghraib under orders... 10 years.
Abusing prisoners, raping a young Iraqi boy, and lying under oath(allegedly) because you're a "go-getter"... $164 million, $16 to $85 million.

Knowing the President and members of congress on both sides of the aisle have your back so long as you're not enlisted(wouldn't have covered corporate types, but what the hey, thought I'd toss it in)... Priceless!
posted by rocket_skates on Jan 15, 2005 - 76 comments

An Executive Order Along Torture's Path

Request for guidance regarding the OGC's EC regarding detainee abuse, referring to “interrogation techniques made lawful” by the “President's Executive Order.” comes from Records Released in Response to Torture FOIA Request.
Smoking Gun ? asks the ACLU--or just another stepping stone from Torture's Path ? As Ex-Military Lawyers Object to Bush Cabinet Nominee, and in Torture begins at the top, Joe Conason suggests that a recently disclosed FBI memo indicates that "marching orders" to abandon traditional interrogation methods came from Defense Secretary Rumsfeld himself and all the while Guantánamo torture and humiliation still going on, says shackled Briton. (more inside)
posted by y2karl on Dec 20, 2004 - 35 comments

Some Might Call it Censorship

Google Blocks Abu Ghraib Images
I went to Google Images to search for it. "Abu Ghraib" brought up only photos of the outside of the prison. Not a single photo from the scandal. Next I searched for "Lynndie England", not a single picture. Next I decided to look for "Charles Graner" her boyfriend who was also prominently features in the pictures, nothing.
See for yourself.
posted by destro on Nov 6, 2004 - 71 comments

silent sounds?

Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib , and Matchbox Twenty
posted by Espoo2 on Nov 6, 2004 - 10 comments

The Road To Abu Ghraib

The Road To Abu Ghraib A generation from now, historians may look back to April 28, 2004, as the day the United States lost the war in Iraq... It was a direct—and predictable—consequence of a policy, hatched at the highest levels of the administration, by senior White House officials and lawyers, in the weeks and months after 9/11. Yet the administration has largely managed to escape responsibility for those decisions; a month from election day, almost no one in the press or the political class is talking about what is, without question, the worst scandal to emerge from President Bush's nearly four years in office... Given the particular conditions faced by the president and his deputies after 9/11—a war against terrorists, in which the need to extract intelligence via interrogations was intensely pressing, but the limits placed by international law on interrogation techniques were very constricting—did those leaders have better alternatives than the one they chose? The answer is that they did. And we will be living with the consequences of the choices they made for years to come.
posted by y2karl on Oct 27, 2004 - 33 comments

1000 Spoken Words

828 - 844: You will say, “A picture like this will make people sick of war.” You will be wrong. If a picture is worth 1000 words, here are exactly 1000 spoken ones by Garret Keizer. {flash} Or, read them yourself, but it's not the same thing. {Both links contain an Abu Ghraib photo.}
posted by dobbs on Aug 21, 2004 - 18 comments

I've seen ugly, but thats like

Doing a Lynndie
posted by bob sarabia on Aug 21, 2004 - 19 comments

An American Military Hero

The Conscience of Joe Darby
"Because the irony of all this is that the people in Somerset County who turned their backs on Joe, well, those people would probably feel very different if they knew the rest of the story. That it really wasn't about softening prisoners, gathering intelligence, or trying to win the war. That it wasn't even about losing control in the heat of the moment. It was about getting up in the middle of the night and going somewhere you weren't supposed to go, then beating and raping people there. It was premeditated violent crime."
posted by quonsar on Aug 16, 2004 - 48 comments

The lid is blowing off.

The lid is blowing off. Tom Tomorrow reports that the story of the 107 imprisoned, tortured, and raped children in Abu Ghraib is beginning to break all over the world, as the US media remains in patriotic silence. We're already about to lose our first ally over this, Norway.
posted by badstone on Jul 16, 2004 - 84 comments

Who, exactly, are the terrorists?

Iraqi women beg to be killed as American soldiers sodomize their children (link is an .rm file, the bit about mothers and children starts about 1:31), according to journalist Seymour Hersh who reports seeing unreleased footage from Abu Ghraib. The question remains unanswered as to why he'll talk about it in a speech, but not publish it in the New Yorker. It's also worth asking, if these allegations are true, who else has seen this footage and why is it not being reported?
posted by dejah420 on Jul 15, 2004 - 122 comments

He sure can down a cheeseburger

Michael Moore witheld Abu Ghraib torture footage - So, when do we get to see it, Michael ? Liberal torture apologia is OK then ?
posted by troutfishing on Jun 17, 2004 - 43 comments

The Road to Abu Ghraib

Human Rights Watch Report: The Road to Abu Ghraib
Introduction, A Policy To Evade International Law:
Circumventing the Geneva Conventions, Undermining the Rules Against Torture, Renditions, “Disappearances” and so on and so on...
See also Human rights group finds Abu Ghraib cover-up
posted by y2karl on Jun 9, 2004 - 23 comments

sound familiar?

I have been in torture photos, too. Gerry Adams speaks out. "News of the ill-treatment of prisoners in Iraq created no great surprise in republican Ireland. We have seen and heard it all before. Some of us have even survived that type of treatment. Suggestions that the brutality in Iraq was meted out by a few miscreants aren't even seriously entertained here. We have seen and heard all that before as well. But our experience is that, while individuals may bring a particular impact to their work, they do so within interrogative practices authorised by their superiors."
posted by sunexplodes on Jun 5, 2004 - 9 comments

Eric Alterman on Abu Ghraib and the media.

Eric Alterman on Abu Ghraib and the media. Alterman: And how pathetic is it that the only cable network really grappling with the media's failure is Comedy Central? Let's give the last word to the Daily Show's incomparable Stephen Colbert: "The journalists I know love America, but now all anybody wants to talk about is the bad journalists--the journalists that hurt America.... Who didn't uncover the flaws in our prewar intelligence? Who gave a free pass on the Saddam-Al Qaeda connection? Who dropped Afghanistan from the headlines at the first whiff of this Iraqi snipe hunt? The United States press corps, that's who."
posted by skallas on May 26, 2004 - 12 comments

CAMERA/IRAQ

CAMERA/IRAQ gathers materials and perspectives about photography and the Iraq War of Images, from Abu Ghraib to moblogging soldiers.
posted by Dok Millennium on May 26, 2004 - 2 comments

Winning is everything?

"A reversal of soldiers' fortunes" describes how the first solider to be court-martialed for Abu Ghraib is greeted as a hero, while the soldier who brought these activites to light is treated as a villain.
posted by FormlessOne on May 24, 2004 - 71 comments

Abu Ghraib: Same Service, Under New Management

Rumsfeld knew. More revelations from Seymour Hersch at The New Yorker.
posted by digaman on May 17, 2004 - 119 comments

U.S. Military Bars Some Iraq Interrogation Methods

U.S. Military Bars Some Iraq Interrogation Methods...The officials said the decision was made on Thursday by the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, on the same day that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld met with him on a surprise trip to the country and visited the Abu Ghraib facility on the outskirts of Baghdad. .. Is this a tacit admission that what took place was not simply rogue actions by individuals but rather military folks following orders of some kind? And, then, why do the new ground rules apply just to Iraq and not to other places?
posted by Postroad on May 14, 2004 - 27 comments

Leaking self-doubt

Leaking self-doubt...Tracing how the photos [of Abu Ghraib prison] became such hot public property reveals something striking, not only about the torture scandal, but about the coalition itself. This is a story, not of investigative journalism or antiwar activists exposing imperialist America to the world, but rather of America exposing its own uncertainty for all to see. The photos appear to have come from within US military or political circles; they were effectively volunteered for public consumption by elements within the military or higher up in the Pentagon, seemingly as part of a process of internal unravelling and deep disagreement over aspects of the war. In a sense, the publication of these photos to international outrage can be seen as the externalisation of America's own self-doubt about Iraq, and about its own mission in the world...
posted by Postroad on May 13, 2004 - 42 comments

A Tale of Two Soldiers

A tale of two West Virginia soldiers: one named Jessica, one named Lynndie. Both are on opposite sides of the propaganda war. One is a hero, one is a monster. No, wait - actually, one is a fraud, one was just following orders. No wait, one is perky and blonde, the other is kind of butch and ugly. Now I'm all confused. Help me Metafilter, you're my only hope.
posted by PrinceValium on May 11, 2004 - 20 comments

the wrong morons

The Wrong Morons. (from the Army Times) "Around the halls of the Pentagon, a term of caustic derision has emerged for the enlisted soldiers at the heart of the furor over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal: the six morons who lost the war...But the folks in the Pentagon are talking about the wrong morons."
posted by Ty Webb on May 11, 2004 - 23 comments

The Scandal's Growing Stain

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 on May 9, 2004 - 18 comments

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