The following letter appeared in my local paper today.

“Publicity of Iraqi prisoner abuse rooted in liberal media bias”

I’m sorry that must not have been good journalism, or maybe it just didn’t have the anti-Bush, anti-American theme the “media” seem to thrive on these days. I for one think the “media” should concentrate more on unbiased reporting and not so much on pushing their liberal agenda. You have to remember, you do have conservative readers, and we would like something to read too.

Eric Bryant


There is just so much wrong with this. The fact that this man believes that, as a conservative, he shouldn’t have to read stories about torture in American-run prisons in Iraq scares me. Clinton getting a blow job was a scandal; this is a disaster.

These Iraqis were tortured by military intelligence for information. They did not disserve it; no one disserves it. It was a failure in the chain of command to allow this to occur. To put people in charge of a prison without adequate training is irresponsible. Maybe because many of the reservists were prison guards back in the States they thought they had enough training already. Of course, how much training does it take to say “don’t fuckin’ torture people.” My mother could have done that.

These were war crimes. These were crimes against humanity. The Bush administration and the chain of command should not get a pass on this. The American people need to stand up in November and say “enough.”


I think what happened at Abu Graib was closer to abuse than torture, although it’s possible further disclosures will reveal true torture.

This is not to minimize what happened; it is inexcusable and should result in prosecution of those involved up to and including generals and cabinet level officials. It is a terrible smear on the US and will almost certainly result in more deaths in Iraq and perhaps other places. I hope Bush is kicked out of office in November for this among many other reasons.

No, it was clearly torture.

[T]orture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

By that definition it was torture. By the dictionary definition it was not so clearly torture. The only reason I differ on this is that there may come a time when the behavior is very clearly torture in the classical, accepted defintion, and I don’t want the expression to be diluted.

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This page contains a single entry by Reed A. Cartwright published on May 10, 2004 4:14 PM.

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