In Their Own Words
Posted on Feb 15, 2006
By Blair Golson
Newly released photos and videos of inhumane conditions at Abu Ghraib have again shone a spotlight on America’s treatment of its prisoners. Read the sworn statements by prisoners at Abu Ghraib, obtained and translated by the Washington Post in 2004 at the height of the prison abuse scandal.
Excerpt: “As soon as we arrived, they put sandbags over our heads and they kept beating us…. And every single night this military guy comes over and beat us and handcuffed us until the end of his shift.”
In a gallingly disingenuous pronouncement, the U.S. State Department says that an Australian TV station was wrong to broadcast new images of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison—“not because there was anything to hide” but rather “because we felt it was an invasion of the privacy of the people in the pictures.”
The official also said the release would “further inflame and cause unnecessary violence.”
This is depressingly typical of Bush administration apparatchiks: Condemn the messenger, rather than respond to the message.
What’s more, this makes a mockery of our attempts to preach openness and transparency to repressive, totalitarian regimes around the world.
An Australian TV channel has broadcast previously unpublished images showing apparent US abuse of prisoners in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib jail in 2003.
The images on SBS TV are thought to be from the same source as those that caused an outcry around the world and led to several US troops being jailed.
story and video
Images: BBC / Illustration: Karen Spector
Images of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison were broadcast on Australian TV.