The latest batch of Iraqi prison abuse photos published in he Washington Post, further established the fact that the reported prison abuse is not the isolated work of a “handful of bad apples”.
The US authorities wants the world to believe that the photos show isolated incidents perpetrated by a small number of disturbed lower ranking military men in moments of boredom or juvenile playfulness.
But one photo in particular offers clues on what really is going on in Iraq, Afghanistan and most undoubtedly in the U.S. military detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay. Unlike the other photos, this one opens up the field of view:
(1) It shows prison guards standing around in a corridor, chatting and not even looking at the pile of naked prisoners a few feet away. Body language is the most telling sign. As you look at this picture, do you get the sense that the guards know they're doing something wrong? Or do they look like they're going about their normal daily activities?
(2) Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon brass claim that the pile of naked soldiers in this picture is the work of a few twisted misfits. Most of the photos released so far show younger soldiers sporting stupid childish smiles, holding their thumbs up or making similar gestures that could be used to support the claim that they were being “playful”.
But look at the GI's huddling over this pile of naked prisoners. The two wearing khaki T-shirts and protective gloves are not playing games. They are WORKING. They are serious and business-like, carrying out duties specified by their superiors, as every soldiers does.
(3) Finally, look at the officer in camouflage uniform, who is clearly engaged in questioning or other tough probing with the help of the other GI in khaki T-shirt. These men are not playing on the sly. They are interrogating as planned and intended.
This photo tells us all we need to know. And if you honestly listen to the story these pictures are telling — and not the version the Bush administration is presenting — then we're being lied to. We're being lied to just like we were lied to about the reasons to invade Iraq in the first place which is why our young soldiers are put in these situations to begin with.
The damage inflicted upon the America's image in the world, whatever's left over from George W's adventures, calls for serious and immediate action. We need to demand the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld, at the very least. We must also compensate all the abused prisoners. And finally, the action that can go a long way in showing our disgust with these acts and serve as a strong symbol of our resolve, would be the immediate destruction of the notorious Abu Ghoraib prison complex.
What amazes me the most is that the previous president faced impeachment for lying about sexual encounters involving two adults. Meanwhile the current administration's naked lies to justify an unnecessary war are ignored, even though these lies have resulted in the death and injury of thousands of human beings.
The decision to go to war was apparently made only to save a presidency without a mandate, while giving into pressure by special interests and religious zealots surrounding George W. Bush. Add to all that the mismanagement in invading Iraq. And yet it is shocking that half of the American public still doesn't want to see the naked truth and refuses to exercise its democratic right in demanding accountability.
This could only lead many people in other parts of the world to wonder if democracy is really wasted on the average American voter!