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Posted June 27, 2012
Posted March 5, 2009
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.
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