I’m conflicted about this. I’m not linking directly to Salon’s article because I found the pictures revolting and I’m sorry that I saw them. You can go find them on your own. There’s part of me that feels as if every time another person views the photos, the men are brutalized all over again.
And yet . . . we can’t turn away. No progress is ever made toward righting wrongs that stay hidden, ignored, or denied. It was Sinclair Lewis’s vivid descriptions of the 19th century meat industry and the immigrant workers who were exploited by it that won Americans over to the idea that government should protect its citizens from threats to their health. Until news cameras captured Bull Connor’s police force turning firehoses and attack dogs on peaceful protestors in Birmingham, 1963, Americans didn’t believe that civil rights deserved and required legal enforcement.
Mike Treder gets runner up for giving us a little perspective on this thing by first quoting the Salon article, which observes that:
“It is noteworthy that some of the CID documents refer to CIA personnel as interrogators of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. But no CIA officers have been prosecuted for any crimes that occurred within the prison, despite the death of at least one Iraqi during a CIA interrogation there. . .”
and then offering his own observation, which will be decried as outlandish but which, even in 1963, would have been considered a proper one considering the unethical nature of what’s gone on under the Bush Administration:
“This is disgusting, repulsive, and tragic. The appropriate response would be the immediate resignations of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Vice President Dick Cheney, and President George Bush. An inquiry also should be conducted to determine whether any of those men may have committed crimes and should be indicted.”
So, LensCleaning isn’t always pleasant. People, be Americans like we should be and make it so this doesn’t happen again.