Michael Keller is co-founder and chief technology officer of International Direct Selling Technology Corporation. He served in the Florida Army National Guard from 2001-2007, attaining the rank of sergeant. Keller, a graduate of the University of South Florida, lives in Tampa, Florida, with his wife and children.
Torture Central: E-mails From Abu Ghraibby Michael Keller
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Michael Keller was once a software executive from Florida. Then came September 11, 2001. A few weeks after the al-Qaeda attacks on America, he joined the Army National Guard and was deployed to Iraq in November of 2005.In this revealing collection of e-mails and photographs, Keller shares his first-hand experiences in the War on Terror. Discover how it feels to man a gun-turret during convoy operations through the “Highway of Death,” what it’s like to guard the detainees at “Torture Central,” and what goes on in a soldier’s mind during the moment he decides whether or not to kill someone. But at the heart of Torture Central is Keller’s frustration at being assigned to the prison at Abu Ghraib without any training and with orders to torture detainees and ignore the Geneva Convention. His candid accounts illuminate his struggle to end the atrocities despite threats of punishment by superior officers. Shockingly, this mistreatment happened a year after the infamous abuse photos were published, following numerous investigations and public promises stating that the situation had been corrected. Thought-provoking and full of chilling detail, Keller’s vivid look at Operation Iraqi Freedom is a must-read for all Americans.
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Everyone knows the conduct of the American military at Abu Ghraib was questionable. But most people have no idea what happened beyond the few infamous photographs that sparked so much scandal in 2003. This collection of emails, sent from behind the walls of Abu Ghraib to friends and family at home, is the only existing, first-hand account I know of, published about the events in the aftermath of the scandal. They are exceptionally well-written, from an author who is a husband, father, software programmer, and current Republican party activist at home. He is certainly not a conscientious objector, but he does not let blind subservience to the military establishment or the fielty of Republican politics stand in the way of the truth about Abu Ghraib. He tells stories of children imprisoned for crimes on their arrest cards like: "because we felt like it"; children raped in exchange for cigarettes; descriptions of complicated torture devices rigged up by U.S. soldiers and used with impunity on detainees as punishment for crimes like wetting their pants. Everyone will have a reaction to these stories. Some people might cringe; some might call their revelation a slap in the face to the military criminals who perpetrated them. But either way, the nation not only deserves to hear them, the nation needs to hear them.
I was also stationed at Abu Ghraib during the same period of time as Keller and I can assure everyone there was no policy of torture. Matter of fact, the detainees at Abu enjoyed a higher standard of living than those of us who were guarding them. Of course Keller wouldn't have known this fact because he never spent a day in the detainee compounds. His job entailed spending his days inside an air conditioned office assisting the local internet administrator. While the rest of us were doing the all the hard work, Keller was busy downloading porn. So, buy the book if you want to read bad fiction or if you simply need to start a fire.