by Aaron Turpen
By now, everyone in the modern world has seen the photos of the torture victims in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. This torture was not commenced by Saddam Hussein, Al-Quaida, or any other expected source of torture.
This torture was perpetrated by Americans on imprisoned Iraqis.
Interestingly, there has been no outcry from the United Nations demanding trials be held according to the Geneva Convention. Why? Probably because the Geneva Accords apply only to enlisted military personnel… The torture, apparently, was by and large done by "private contactors" paid to interrogate the prisoners.
According to MSNBC and the Associated Press, the Red Cross issued a report on Iraqi prisons stating that, among other mistreatments, 55 top members of the former Iraqi regime were subjected to interrogations bordering on torture.
"They deserve it," is the answer from Joe American; when he takes his eyes off the football broadcast long enough to care about something other than Bush's approval rating and his thoughts on the great question of whether Miller is better than Bud.
Perhaps they do, in a karmic way, deserve what they've received. However, it is not the way of Americans to do this. Were these atrocities taking place on American soil, you can bet the outrage over these acts would be one hundred fold.
"We are better than that!" Would be the outcry. "What about their rights?" Would be the question.
Not so when it takes place in a nation we occupy during time of war.
The soldiers whose pictures are displayed on CNN.com for all to see will face punishment, that's sure. Not to bring about justice, but to keep the limelight off of those who were contracted and paid, outside of military service, to commit these acts. We aren't supposed to know about them.
If you have read special warfare books about the training and goings-on in many special forces units in our military, you would know that the torture being described in these photos and in accounts of the events is pretty standard fare for interrogatory procedure.
Dick Marcinco, author of Red Cell, spelled it out when his SEAL Team unit captured a high-ranking person from a U.S. Military base (as part of an exercise) and commenced torturing him in a motel room in order to "extract information." Marcinco's unit got in a lot of trouble over this…not because of the methods used, but because it was a peacetime "friendly" exercise!
The tactics used in that interrogation? Strip the man, blindfolded, and make various sexual remarks regarding his inadequacies and what you may or may not do to him… Make him believe he could be raped, murdered, or seriously maimed at any time... Get him to talk.
Go to CNN and look at some of those photos...you're seeing the same procedure in action.
Worse yet, a Gannett News Service report goes deeper into the photographs and says that there are incidents where at least one female prisoner was raped on video, several male prisoners were forced (unmasked) to masturbate for the camera and more. Worse yet, US military personnel are seen idly standing by, laughing, or going about their business as if nothing is wrong during these events!
I have three points I want you to consider before you decide that I'm just another nay-sayer on the war and the government's handling of things:
1. These military personnel, just like your elected officials and nearly all public servants in the nation, took an oath to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America."
2. The people who committed these acts and those who were directly in charge of them claim that they were ORDERED to do so...
3. Had the security been tighter and the photos/videos more tightly controlled...would we have ever been allowed to know about these atrocities?
Now a further question to keep your mind going...what is happening, right now, in Guantanamo Bay?
That's right...we don't know because it is being kept secure and top secret and we are not allowed to see what they might or might not be doing.
Now consider this simple (and likely) scenario: America is, once again, attacked by terrorists on a large scale - we'll say it's the bombing of a nuclear power plant and three airports nationwide. Because of this act, President Bush feels compelled to declare Martial Law in order to keep control of the nation.
Several hundred people who protest, threaten violence, post derogatory comments for mass consumption on the Internet, etc. are arrested and detained during this time of martial law.
Arrested and detained by the U.S. military...
Got comments? Email me, dammit!
To link to this article directly, use the URL "http://www.militantlibertarian.org/#torture"