Somehow, the Sydney Morning Herald obtained some of the additional Abu Ghraib photos that the Obama administration is in US court trying to keep hidden as it fights an ACLU Freedom of Information lawsuit. Fifteen of the 60 are published on-line Saturday (Sydney time) by the newspaper.
Is it because we’ve become inured to photos of Americans torturing prisoners of war that I don’t have the same violent, angry reaction to this latest batch as I did when the first Abu Ghraib pictures were leaked? Have I watched that same video loop of a jump-suited Army volunteer being waterboarded too many times to feel the same intense nausea at images of what George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the Inquisition priests authorized in my name? Did seven years of a constant drip-drip-drip on my head as each new piece of information leaked out of yet another crime against humanity desensitize me to the horror of what we became?
America finally jumped the shark, dooming us and our time to be remembered in history as the moment when we joined a long list of nations whose self-betrayal led to our own collapse. And why do I not feel an Arctic chill blain down my back when I think of this horrific possibility, or how and why it happened? Why we let it happen?
I am revolted by my own lack of revulsion.
Mourning In America
Meanwhile, Daily Kos is reporting Seymour Hersh saying the US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
“The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking,” the reporter told an ACLU convention last week. Hersh says there was “a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher.”
This may be the reason behind President Obama’s decision this week to fight releasing the images and video tapes.
Hersh was speaking to the ACLU’s 2004 America At A Crossroad membership conference last week. According to Kos, Hersh also said,
Some of the worse that happened that you don’t know about, ok. Videos, there are women there. Some of you may have read they were passing letters, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib which is 30 miles from Baghdad [...]
“The women were passing messages saying “Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened”. Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it’s going to come out.
It’s impossible to say to yourself how do we get there? Who are we? Who are these people that sent us there?
As Dick Price wrote to me, whatever moral high ground we once held is gone. Maybe forever. We should all be in mourning for America.