This photo shows an American soldier torturing an Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib. The guard sits while the Iraqi must lean on the bars.
The Australian SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) television network broadcast photos and videos on the Dateline program Wednesday night. The images purportedly show further abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison by American military personnel. The Pentagon has determined that the images are authentic and are part of those previously found in 2003, but not released at that time. However, executive producer of Dateline, Mike Carey, said that program researchers had uncovered new cases of abuse at Abu Ghraib Prison run by the US since the invasion.
At a Senate Armed Services Committee inquiry in May 2004, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld testified that not all known photographs of the abuses at Abu Ghraib had been released publicly.
"Beyond abuse of prisoners, there are other photos that depict incidents of physical violence toward prisoners, acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman," Rumsfeld said at the time."
This (left) is clearly abuse and torture. It is likely it was done under US jurisdiction as it is reminiscent of photos seen in 2003 of other prisoners with underpants placed on their heads.
At right, the man has what may be shrapnel or shotgun wounds. The Australian SBS claims these are torture wounds. It is not known whether the wounds were received before or after incarceration. This photo may, in fact, be part of a medical file.
The left arm of this prisoner has obviously been injured. The skin appears to be burned and swelling is noticeable in the hand. Again the wounds are plain, but not the cause or time of injury. He has a bandaged wound on the right arm and the white area may be a burn salve. But, this too is only a guess as is SBS's conjecture of torture.
Torture or restraint? Although nudity is considered humiliating to Muslims, without context it is not possible to know whether torture, humiliation, restraint, or some other activity is taking place.
The hooded man carrying a box is most likely the same guy in the fake electrocution crucifixion. Notice the hanging wires on the wall in the rear.
Standing in this position must be painful after a period of time. But, is it torture? Was he actually forced to maintain this position or was this a snapshot of a moment when the man leaned forward? This is the problem with photographs which record only a single moment in time, but not what came before or after. Again there is the partial nudity that Muslims deem more serious the decapitation.
The photo at right shows a uniformed individual handcuffing the man on the floor. Clearly there is blood from the prisoners thigh area, but how the injury was incurred is not explained. The photo does not show torture, there is that accursed nudity, however.
A naked man is being guarded in the background. In the foreground, SBS suggests this is a pile of dead prisoners. The fact that it is a still photo and the bodies are not moving does not justify a conclusion of death and murder.
The man at right may be smeared with excrement. Or it may be some other substance. Without context, it is hard to tell, but excrement is probably correct. If so, then this was totally out of line. Humiliation and entertainment would be the only reasons for such an act.
Reportedly, some 87 photos have been received by Australian news services, but only a few have been broadcast. The SBS says too many are so vile as to be inappropriate for airing. The US government contended the photos would add nothing to the debate and probably only throw oil on the flames.
The photos that are available have been published here because we all should know what is being debated. The photos will no doubt fan the flames of Muslim anger, but, alas, so would pictures of Bugs Bunny.
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.