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Torture in Abu Ghraib Prison

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  • #16
    Originally posted by krunky
    That's why these assholes took photos - they thought they would be met with approval.
    Dead on. That's something I thought of as well. They took pix because they really had no idea that what they were doing would get them court-martialed. That says to me that the general attitude there was that these horrible acts were just accepted and seen as no big deal. That's a problem on so many levels...

    My support for the argument that it came from further up the line is that as a rule young men and women don't spent time studying psychological torture and how it applies to the Iraqi culture. 20-year-olds simply don't dwell on such things.

    That said, I don't think people like Lynndie England are justified by the "my CO told me too" defense. Regardless of the fact that the prisoners are the "enemy," they are first and foremost human beings and there are things you just don't do to people. Lynndie England could have said, "No, I won't have any part of this. I'll guard them, but I won't torture them." She would have been justified in her decision and could not have been court-martialed for it. Instead, she opted to smile and point for a photo-shoot. Hello, justified court-martial!

    "But PWV," you might say, "if it was just accepted, then why is Lynndie England guilty for doing what was seen as no big deal?"

    To which, I would reply by quoting my mom. "If your friends jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, would you do it too?" Or better yet, "If your CO makes a Muslim man wear a hood and masturbate then ridicules him, would you do it too?"
    "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
    --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

    Comment


    • #17
      M-A_19:

      I can tell that you don't own any cats, or that if you do - they are indoor only or something.

      My cats routinely hunt and torture any small thing they can find. It is the precise reason they were bred to their current domestic size by the ancients - to protect crop fields from rats and mice.

      Hmmm, beer...

      Now where we as human beings may differ from cats is in our ability to enjoy the torment of others. But here is where I wouldn't be so sure about things - my cats show every sign of absolutely enjoying the torment of small rodents and dragonflies. Now maybe it's just programmed behavior and not actual emotional responses I am seeing - but jeez, who knows? Looks like pleasure to me. And their little walnut brains are very single-minded about the pursuit of small creatures. They live for it.

      ----------------------------

      Oh, hey - I found the link! Here it is:

      Why not everyone is a torturer
      By Stephen Reicher and Alex Haslam, Psychologists
      Monday, 10 May, 2004, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3700209.stm

      Comment


      • #18
        And so it goes...

        ---------------------------

        Video Seems to Show Beheading of American
        Tuesday May 11, 2004 6:16 PM

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlates...078660,00.html

        CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - A video posted Tuesday on an Islamic militant Web site showed a group affiliated with al-Qaida beheading an American contractor in Iraq, saying the death was revenge for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers.

        The video showed five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks, standing over a bound man in an orange jumpsuit - similar to a prisoner's uniform - who identified himself as Nick Berg, a U.S. contractor whose body was found on a highway overpass in Baghdad on Saturday.

        ``My name is Nick Berg, my father's name is Michael, my mother's name is Susan,'' the man said on the video. ``I have a brother and sister, David and Sarah. I live in ... Philadelphia.''

        After reading a statement, the men were seen pulling the man to his side and putting a large knife to his neck. A scream sounded as the men cut his head off, shouting ``Allahu Akbar!'' - ``God is great.'' They then held the head out before the camera.

        {more at the above URL...}

        Comment


        • #19
          I haven't read most of the latest posts.
          Frankly, I don't have the time to right now.
          Here's my thoughts at this time...
          I saw General Taguba
          (whatever his name is)
          on tv say that the abuse "seems to be of their
          own voilition." I apologize for having only
          "soundbites" to base my latest opinions on, but
          I also believe the news said that General T's report/
          testimony says that there is no evidence that there were
          orders from the "upper echelon" (officers of Army or
          Military Intelligence) to do what those Army reservists did.
          It's my guess that the only heads that are going to roll are
          those lower echelon NCOs, esp. the people in the photos.

          I see this as a load of SHIT. NOT ENOUGH HEADS ARE
          GOING TO ROLL FROM THIS. The initial ideas for the torture came from
          somewhere and I'm guessing that it came from a lot higher than
          the reservists. At least from the Military Intelligence, and where do
          they get their orders from? I'm thinking that Rummy's getting
          off the hook, and it shows you how these eltist fucks are untouchable.

          Do you really think that Lynndie England girl
          is the mastermind behind it?
          She's a pregnant 21 year old W. Virginian girl
          who once worked as a bagger at her hometown
          grocery store (before her reserve unit was activated
          and sent to Iraq). This may be faulty reasoning,
          but I suspect that she's dumb. Maybe her lack of intellect
          indicates that she's dumb enough to fall into the
          "let's torture these Iraqui dogs"
          program, but I question why she would pose in pictures
          and pose in the peculiar ways that she did?
          ie. flashing "thumbs up" in the presence of naked Iraquis.
          "Thumbs up" while pointing at a naked Iraqui man's genitals.
          Quite peculiar if you ask me. Is there a meaning behind it?

          Well if you follow the news, it is said that the best way
          to humiliate and threaten these Iraqui Musilims is by humiliating
          them, forcing them to be naked. (Who wouldn't be humiliated by
          that?) To make things worse, naked in front of a woman (women are considered inferior to men in Iraqui culture if you didn't know). To make things even more worse, place them in humiliating positions while naked, some of them, homosexual positions. In turn, these pictures could be used to intimidate and interrogate other POWs.
          Do you think that
          Lynndie knew all this, and so took deliberate actions in order to interrogate the POWs? How come no one is asking who is taking the pictures? Who is behind the camera? Could it be that the person behind the camera is instructing the reservists how to pose or what to do? Could it be Military Intelligence? Or maybe just someone who understands how to humiliate Muslims. Who could it be? I think that's a million dollar type of question right now.
          I doubt it's a grocery bagger from West Virginia.

          What Lynndie and the others are guilty of if anything, is that they were not smart enough to realize what they were doing was inhumane and wrong! If you didn't know, the information leak did come from one of these people. One guy was smart enough to know what was going was wrong, leaked it, and investigations began as early as January or Febuary.
          There's another cover up going on, and not enough justice will be done.
          But then that's nothing new really. But still, that realization does nothing to smother my anger.
          ================

          In response to the lastest news on the murdered American.
          I saw the Nick Berg beheading video on www.Ogrish.com.

          http://www.kfi640.com/script/headlin...ews&feed_id=59

          I first heard the audio of it on an LA station, KFI. It was more horrific
          than the video. The video was not as horrific as I imagined firstly because
          it is very poor quality. Blurry. I question it also. The video I saw is 58 seconds long and supposedly shows the decapitation in its entirity.
          There is a spot where the camera zooms and loses Berg completely in the picture. And then there seem to be a cut right before the head comes off from the body, and then another cut just as the terrorist holds the severed head outward.
          There is no doubt that Berg is dead, but will we allow ourselves to be terrorised by these brutes, these barbarians with their poorly made terror tactics video? What is the right thing to
          do? Bush's way isn't working. We need alternatives.
          We need to stop doing what the terrorists
          want and expect for us to do. That should be one objective.
          Another objective should be
          to focus on the true enemy, Al-Quaida. One big problem
          is that the War on Iraq has made this much more difficult to do.
          FUBAR. The world isn't the same. Bush fucked up big time.
          The giant shitball started rolling because of him.
          If you
          don't think he should take the brunt of the blame,
          then I question the "set of lenses" that you
          see the world through.
          \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
          Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

          Comment


          • #20
            I saw one other video like this (on Ogrish as well). It was of a Russian prisoner, beheaded by Chechen rebels in a similar way, but the footage was crystal clear.

            As with the other video, I felt a little sweat on my forehead when it was done. I have seen some horrible things, but this kind of butchery is hard to watch. And it is tragic beyond the act. Now there will be reprisals. Don't think for one minute the US soldiers over there won't take it out on someone and don't think that this kind of barbarism will scare the Americans into leaving. I think it will have the opposite effect. It easy to call people like this "evil" and it will be easier to sell the idea of eliminating them to the masses, by whatever means (as it is for the muslim extremists to do with the prison pics). Each side provides the other with ammunition.

            And those few, who can see the larger picture, can only sit by and watch events unfold.
            When they had advanced together to meet on common
            ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
            and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
            each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
            mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
            killing, and the ground ran with blood.

            Homer, The Illiad

            Comment


            • #21
              Thanks for the Link Krunky!

              intresting extra info on the stanford experiment, especially that it was suggested to the guards that they instill fear in the prisoners.

              Mmmm, this is a nice cake.

              We have no cats, but many are habitual visitors to our garden, and yes, they do seem to display a certain pleasure in torturing small animals (perhaps this is why cats have been traditionaly associated with evil?)

              However, the essence of sadism is crossing the line, doing something you know to be "wrong". If cats had a society, then the torture of small animals would surely be approved, even encouraged by it. There would be no thrill of crossing the line for the cat.

              This is getting a bit daft isn't it? I Think in the end what I'm trying to say is that sadism is not animal because you need the sophistication of a human to be able to take pleasure both in the pain of others and crossing a social norm.
              \"It got worse. He needed something to cure himself. What? he asked. M-A 19 he answered.\"

              Comment


              • #22
                And those few, who can see the larger picture, can only sit by and watch events unfold.

                Not while I have a ballot paper.
                \"It got worse. He needed something to cure himself. What? he asked. M-A 19 he answered.\"

                Comment


                • #23
                  M-A_19 said: "I Think in the end what I'm trying to say is that sadism is not animal because you need the sophistication of a human to be able to take pleasure both in the pain of others and crossing a social norm."

                  Ah, the transgression of the construct. Critical theory as seen through the lenses of Georges Bataille. Of course...that's why great sex is always "dirty."

                  People with more time to invest in it than myself have come up with an interesting series of questions about the beheading:

                  1. Why was Nick Berg held by the US military without charges for the weeks before his death, and then released him just before his death?
                  2. Why was he wearing his prison jumpsuit when he was killed?
                  3. Is there any verification on who his masked killers were?

                  And to which I add the basic question:

                  4. Who stood to gain the most from such a public spectacle?

                  See? Now I am starting to feel like J.G. Ballard...

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by krunky
                    M-A_19 said: "I Think in the end what I'm trying to say is that sadism is not animal because you need the sophistication of a human to be able to take pleasure both in the pain of others and crossing a social norm."

                    Ah, the transgression of the construct. Critical theory as seen through the lenses of Georges Bataille. Of course...that's why great sex is always "dirty."

                    People with more time to invest in it than myself have come up with an interesting series of questions about the beheading:

                    1. Why was Nick Berg held by the US military without charges for the weeks before his death, and then released him just before his death?
                    2. Why was he wearing his prison jumpsuit when he was killed?
                    3. Is there any verification on who his masked killers were?

                    And to which I add the basic question:

                    4. Who stood to gain the most from such a public spectacle?

                    See? Now I am starting to feel like J.G. Ballard...
                    Good points. Especially the fact he was in his jumpsuit. Did he not change before he left American custody? Was he picked up by his captors immediately after leaving the American facility? Hmmmm...
                    When they had advanced together to meet on common
                    ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
                    and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
                    each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
                    mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
                    killing, and the ground ran with blood.

                    Homer, The Illiad

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      And now the Govt. is trying to say they never had him in custody...

                      "Coalition spokesman Dan Senor told reporters that Berg was detained by Iraqi police in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. The Iraqis informed the Americans, and the FBI questioned him three times about what he was doing in Iraq.

                      "Senor said that to his knowledge Berg 'was at no time under the jurisdiction or detention of coalition forces.'"


                      http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040512/D82H53R80.html
                      "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                      --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        If I had any reasonably sized ego and if this was a much lighter topic, I'd think you were trying to poke fun at me. But I don't and it's not, so I'll bite. Once again.

                        "...I also believe the news said that General T's report/testimony says that there is no evidence that there were orders from the "upper echelon" (officers of Army or Military Intelligence) to do what those Army reservists did."

                        So no orders to do so. But...

                        "The initial ideas for the torture came from somewhere and I'm guessing that it came from a lot higher than the reservists. At least from the Military Intelligence, and where do they get their orders from? I'm thinking... Rummy"

                        No orders, but the orders came from Rumsfeld.

                        "Do you really think that Lynndie England girl is the mastermind behind it?"

                        Of course not. But since a) SOMEONE took the picture and b) others are seen in the pictures, she is absolutely not the only contestant. Sure, she might take some of the heat, but she isn't the only brain there. Howmany times have you seen news stories of people (usually kids) bashing mailboxes, or fraternity hazing or even more serious stuff like beating other students up or raping women and recording it? Stupidity and poor judgement are unfortunately commodities, and they aren't limited to the military.

                        "What Lynndie and the others are guilty of if anything, is that they were not smart enough to realize what they were doing was inhumane and wrong!"

                        If anything I think you are giving them a pass. You don't have to be smart to realize inhumanity. You don't have to be smart to recognize wrong behavior.

                        "There's another cover up going on,"

                        Where's the cover up? These pictures are pretty clear, and the issue is out. The only thing being covered that I can see are the more graphic pictures, and Rumsfeld readily admitted they exist and are available to investigators.

                        "The video was not as horrific as I imagined..."

                        I couldn't watch even the sanitized network news version.

                        "Bush fucked up big time. The giant shitball started rolling because of him.
                        If you don't think he should take the brunt of the blame, then I question the "set of lenses" that you see the world through."

                        The "if you don't agree with me you are obviously fucked up" routine is tiring. Bush's numbers have INCREASED during all this, including with Independent voters, so you are essentially saying that over 50 million people are fucked up. We've all agreed that a significant number of Americans are idiots/apathetic/drunk, you've got to allow for people to have an opinion that differs from you. You don't have to incorporate it or like it, but you do have to accept it. If you are going to go back in time to say that "this happened because Bush went to war", then you have a political agenda. Sure being there exacerbated the situation, but the hostilities between Arabs and Americans - including events like these - go way further back than that.

                        "People with more time to invest in it than myself have come up with an interesting series of questions about the beheading:"

                        I'm sorry, I think you meant to say "People with a much more desparate axe to grind..." or even "People much more desperate to further their own personal political agenda..."

                        "4. Who stood to gain the most from such a public spectacle?"

                        I think you are on to something. Let's look at this; Bush's numbers went up after the prison scandal, so he clearly didn't need anything to happen in response. So who did? Do you think John Kerry really has the wherewithall to pull something like this off? Would he? It certainly wasn't Nader, I think that goes without saying. That would be something. What if Kerry wins, and then it turns out this was all his doing? It would be like Reagan's Iran hostage deal all over again.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          It's time to stop feeding the right-wing troll on this site. Sadly, most sites seem to have such persons on them.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            This bickering is sickening! I am reminded of a bazaar or maybe a beauty palour for octogenarians!
                            Awful wrong has been done. It can't be discussed on the level of school kids taking unruly snap shots, and if acting on orders on not. The current government is responsible and should find an horourable way to restore order and confidence. Order in Iraq (maybe even by withdrawing, I can't say- If I knew what is right, maybe I'd be in office somewhere), but also order in the armed forces where stupid idiots can't be tolerated. This is not the gorilla army of some Balkan warlord, but the army of the country that claims leadership of the "Free World", of "Civilization" etc.
                            A strong and convincing signal would be Rumsfeld resigning, even if Bush wants to keep him, totally regardless of what I think of him politically.
                            Likewise I think the most deplorable acts of brutality o by terrorists can no way be weighed against the said torture and humiliation incidents, because again: I demand that the "Leader of the Free World" only comport himself in the most flawless way facing whatever opponent and not lower himself to the level of whatever savagery this or the other opponent comes up with. This is a daily challenge, mind you, and it isn't easy. I am sure that the US forces could be up to it, like any of our Western and Nato armies (except for the size question). In this case I'm sure the US Army wasn't prepared for what it would face "after the fight". Now that is a clear lack of preparation and vision of, again, the big brass.
                            Ironically I think the reason why the British army on the whole handled the situation in Southern Iraq so much better are: they are just bloody used to handling an "occupation" -> Northern Ireland, and fairly recent colonial experience is living memory.*
                            Anyway, back to the main point - no pettyish weighing of details can change the fact that what obviously happened on a larger scale need to be taken redressed with an adequate reaction.

                            --------------------------------
                            *I also, very unempirically, believe there's still a lesson about humility that can be learnt from them. It is diffuse, but examples like a British cop (in UK) not being armed and therefore having to use his brains - or just having fewer replacements (what good does a nice big shoot-out do if you have three dead Tommies to send home?) also changes the way an occupying army behaves.
                            Google ergo sum

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              OH COME OFF IT GUYS!!!

                              Originally posted by Bill
                              No orders, but the orders came from Rumsfeld.
                              Jerico didn't say a agreed that the orders came from higher up, he simply said he believed the news said "that General T's report/testimony says that there is no evidence that there were orders from the 'upper echelon.'

                              Originally posted by Bill
                              Where's the cover up? These pictures are pretty clear, and the issue is out. The only thing being covered that I can see are the more graphic pictures, and Rumsfeld readily admitted they exist and are available to investigators.
                              Um...there's your cover-up, Bill. The girl gets court-martialed and Rummy gets off scott-free (Bush even said he was doing a "superb" job). When a 21-year-old West Virginia grocery clerk gets court-martialed for performing complex, culture-based psychological torture she could not possibly have conceived herself and those above her - all the way up to Rumsfeld - walk away clean, there must be some kind of cover-up going on, no?

                              Originally posted by Bill
                              Bush's numbers have INCREASED during all this, including with Independent voters, so you are essentially saying that over 50 million people are fucked up.
                              It's starting to look that way, yeah.

                              Originally posted by krunky
                              It's time to stop feeding the right-wing troll on this site.
                              C'mon krunky. I don't agree with most of Bill's politics, either (though he has great musical tastes), but I don't see him as a "troll." Trolls post inflammatory things just to get a rise. I don't see Bill doing that.

                              Originally posted by LEtranger
                              This bickering is sickening!
                              Word.

                              THOUGHT TO PONDER: Islamic extremists have always claimed westerners are the devil. Have we not, with these atrocious acts (regardless of who ordered them), proven them right in their own minds? Have we not just added to their zeal by verifying their contention that we are the evil infidels?
                              "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                              --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Berg was in US custody?! ARE you trying to wind Bill up or is there provenance for this? :? Even the UK media hasn't mentioned this that I have seen.
                                \"Killing me won\'t bring back your apples!\"

                                Comment

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