Abuse at Abu Ghraib

Not aberrant but systemic
Both the International Red Cross and Amnesty International knew about the horrors of Abu Ghraib. Both organizations had sent reports detailing brutal behavior in U.S.-run Iraqi prisons to military authorities. But no action was taken until Specialist Joseph M. Darby alerted the army’s Criminal Investigation Division and mentioned photographs. Darby said he “felt bad about [the abuse] and thought it was very wrong.”

The subsequent army investigation led to a 53-page report written by Major General Antonio M. Taguba. The report was intended for internal army use, but a copy was obtained by New Yorker writer Seymour M. Hersh. Included in the report, Hersh writes, was a finding that “between October and December of 2003 there were numerous instances of ‘sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses’ at Abu Ghraib.”


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