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By any other name at Abu Ghraib

April 18, 2006

Clothed in tatters, arms outstretched, he stood

upon a box, wires dangling, bowed head covered in black hood,

sad image of a shattered faith.

O shame there was, and more thereof:

to shame and to be shamed,

while shameless men concocted code words

euphemistically framed.


Favorably Conditioned could not possibly be blamed,

  nor Stress Positioned.”

“Could we not tell unpleasant truths within an obscure Latin phrase?

 Tormentum Insomnae, say,

 or A Canibus Cavete?”

“No, no!

 Somebody might conclude we knew what we were doing... .or

 what they had done.”


 Let’s keep it simple: Managed Sleep and Contact with Our Canine Friends,

 while Torquemada teaches us what means lead to what ends.”


Why do I see him still?  Clothed in tatters, arms outstretched,

he stands forever on that box, wires dangling from his hands,

head bowed, alone, yet with us all,

iconic symbol of our fall.

September 26, 2004

For letters section
To Leora Douraghy

Leora Douraghy


Book of the day

Three volume box set of the Persian Book of Kings
Translated by Dick Davis




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