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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Mistreatment of Prisoners

The mistreatment of prisoners by US authorities, to include soldiers and others, has been an open secret not only in Iraq, but in Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan, Diego Garcia, and elsewhere. Deaths of prisoners at Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Force Base, for instance, even when ruled homicides, were never pursued. Abuses have been repeatedly reported by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Given the ready availability of such information for at least two years, one is led to believe that the sudden release of photos of prisoner abuse worldwide is viewed as a public relations problem for the current administration, not a human rights disaster.

Torture at Abu Ghraib, though, and elsewhere is a symptom of the greater problem, the war in Iraq itself, a war as tragic and ill fated as the US war in Vietnam. The best figures available suggest that tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been killed, maimed or wounded the American invasion of Iraq.

Sadam Hussein, had, for all his brutishness, nothing to do with 9/11/01. There were no weapons of mass destruction; that small, weak country posed no imminent threat to us, no matter the president’s and others at the highest levels of government’s assertions to the contrary. The willful dishonesty at the top of the chain of command has and their flouting of international law and convention led to this war and to the current abuses as surely as any individual misdeed by and PFC or sergeant.

Having destabilized Iraq and created chaos there, we might well return to the UN, pay our unpaid dues, and humbly beseech other nations to help stabilize the country we needlessly invaded and bring out troops home.

John R. Guthrie, 2005