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Why Would They Document Their "Aborent" Crimes With Photographs?

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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:13 AM
Original message
Why Would They Document Their "Aborent" Crimes With Photographs?
Did they want souvenirs? Personal momentos? Did they honestly NOT think their actions were criminal, abusive, torture? Were the photos supposed to be secretly archived for historians to view after all the perps and victims were dead?

Or is it stupidity on top of stupidity?

-- Allen
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LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:13 AM
Response to Original message
1. Bragging rights. n/t
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keithyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
2. Ever see the many, many phots of mobs standing at the foot of a lynch tree
Same kind of people, same reason. They are proud of their inhumanity. They don't see people of color as human. They could care less. They are simply evil.
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iamjoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #2
11. Evil?
I don't know. Maybe Rush was right in that they were in a tense situation and blowing off steam. But that doesn't justify or excuse it.

I mean, if a working parent has a stressful day at work, gets home and their kid hasn't cleaned their bedroom and got a report card of all F's the parent doesn't get to beat the child and call it "relieving stress."

But evil, not necessarily. Just a bunch of foolish kids who were likely trained by the military not to see these people (Iraqis) as human because it might interfere with their job.

Again, I don't excuse it and these soldiers should face the music (or the court martial) for what they did.
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Spentastic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #11
24. You are fucking kidding?
These people were sexually abusing prisoners. If that's not evil I don't know what is.

I actually cannot comprehend this attitude. What if that guy on the box was your Father/son/brother?

If I punch you in the face if I meet you, It'll just be me "blowing off steam"

You make me want to cry.

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iamjoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #24
52. No...
Hey, we're Liberals. When some one robs a convenience store, we look at the socio-economic factors that may have led to a criminal act. When we hear about gang activity, we try to understand what motivates people to join gangs. We don't just dismiss them as evil (Conservatives do that)

I am not saying their actions were not evil, And they must be accountable for their actions, not use the excuse they were just blowing off steam.

But I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now that they're basically good people caught in and reacting to a horrible situation.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #52
67. Basically good people?
I don't think so.

And you won't find this liberal excusing people who rob convenience stores either. Where'd you get your definition of "liberal?"
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iamjoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #67
69. I'm Really Not Condoning Crime
Conservatives think in black and white. As in, every criminal is evil. More educated people try to understand motives, what causes some one to commit a crime? Lack of education? Poverty? Then, let's work to reduce those situations and reduce crime. Conservatives unfairly paint Liberals as being soft on crime for this. That's not it at all. If some one commits a crime, they should pay for it. But what's wrong with trying to understand what motivates criminals and reduce the causes of crime?

I'm not trying to make excuses for the soldiers either (although admittedly, it seems like that) These soldiers involved in the torture should be court martialed for their crimes.

But why did they do it? Why were these soldiers so far gone that they no longer saw the Iraqis as human and thought the horrible acts they were committing were fun?

If you just court martial these soldiers and don't explore the underlying causes (and now there are rumors such abuse and torture was wide spread, not isolated) you are simply putting a band aid or patch on the problem.

Do you believe most of the people living in the southern U.S. prior to the Civil Rights Era were evil? Do you believe the vast majority of the Germans alive between 1930 - 1945 were evil? They did horrible, evil things, true, but were they ALL, by nature evil people? And now, one generation, two generations later, the people are mostly good and decent?

Are most of us basically good and sometimes something happens to certain people that makes them do evil things? Or are most of us basically evil and it is just simmering below the surface waiting for an opportunity to take over?
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EdGy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #11
31. evil is right
Edited on Thu May-06-04 10:36 AM by EdGy
There are not "evil people". Evil resides within each of us.

It's like the mass murderers whose neighbors are all shocked : "he seemed like such a nice young man, he was very polite and helped old ladies cross the street"...

Evil happens when people allow evil to triumph within them. And even then they do not admit they are doing evil things, they usually justify it as a positive contribution to society.

And for right wingers it's especially likely to happen because their ideology is one that is based on fear and hatred, and because their entire leadership and media mouthpieces (including especially "Rush") encourage people to act on the very worst of their instincts.

How would you feel if these were your brothers, sisters, mother, father, or grandmother treated in these ways? Would you so easily dismiss it as "just a bunch of foolish kids"?

What these people did was in fact evil.
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keithyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #31
39. Evil srpings from evil motives.
Our motives in Iraq were and are evil.
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Mountainman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #11
40. You are saying that any training these "kids" got from parents and school
Edited on Thu May-06-04 11:05 AM by Mountainman
and church etc. before they were sent to Iraq was nullified.

You don't go to war with a blank moral slate that can be filled up with instructions from your higher ups. You go to war with all the training that you have had since you were born.

The fact that these troops could humiliate the prisoners the way they did means to me that they were trained by their parents and teachers to see the Iraqis as less than human. It is similar to the way children were brought up in the South to accept segregation and racism as the norm and the right thing to do.

You can't dismiss the troops and blaim it on their supervisors.
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progressivebydesign Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #11
44. I'd say soddomy with a broom handle by force is evil..
..but then again, I don't live in YOUR neighborhood.. perhaps that's just childish pranks. Remind me to stay out of your neighborhood.
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iamjoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #44
66. That One Is Different...
Edited on Thu May-06-04 10:13 PM by iamjoy
I mean, the sodomy - but didn't something like that happen with a group of New York City's police several years ago when they brutalized a Haitian man in a similiar manner? How awful that men (and women) sworn to protect and serve would deliberately and sadistically attack the very citizens they are supposed to protect.

Anyway, I was talking about the blonde woman smiling behind the pile of Iraqis. I don't know anything else about her, I don't know if she is really evil or just young and foolish and something in her snapped and she took temporary leave of all senses including what was decent.

I guess it sounds like I'm trying to excuse them. I'm really not, it's just so horrible I'm trying to understand and make sense of it all. It is too easy to just say they are evil, end of story. But that is what Conservatives do.
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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #11
53. sorry but any post that includes the words "maybe Rush was right"
Is damned hard to take seriously.

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tiedye Donating Member (130 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #11
54. Fun?
Who torture is any less than torture when it's "fun" for the abusers?
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iamjoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #54
70. I Don't Know...
Edited on Thu May-06-04 10:32 PM by iamjoy
Do you not think our government has engaged in torture to extract information? They've openly discussed permitting some forms of torture in the war on terror (sleep deprivation, food deprivation, not letting them go to the bathroom, etc.) Now that pales in comparison to what some of these soldiers have done, but the point is, once you start justifying violations of the Geneva Convention...

But I don't think these soldiers were trying to extract information. These soldiers thought their horrible activities were "fun", and "the Iraqis deserve it" and "it isn't anywhere near as bad as what Hussein did" - it seems some Conservatives are willing to let it go at that. Those are quotes I've read from them, and I disagree.

I do not think it permissible to excuse this as fun or let them get away with it because they were "blowing off steam." I was so horrified, sickened and saddened when I first read about these atrocities, when I saw the pictures. But I'm not ready to call these soldiers evil either (read my earlier posts, I seem to be stirring up quite a bit of trouble today). That's a short answer to a thesis question.
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mopaul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #2
15. good comparison, to the lynching postcards from the old south
i remember one lyching photo, a black man hanging grotesquely from a branch, a crowd of leering rednecks standing around like it was a family reunion. and a little white girl looking right at the camera with a huge grin of delight on her face. reminds me of our girl in baghdad, smiling at torture.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #15
21. Not just "the old south", mo.
See the photo from Duluth.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #15
22. Thumb through these.
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #22
30. Horrid! Simply Horrid!
Nothing more than big game hunting trophies. Disgusting. (An excellent link to remind us all.)

-- Allen
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DemoTex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #22
68. Thanks, Butch


Sad, sad, sad. We lynched the black man in the early 1800s and, evidently, we are using the same technique against the Islamic man in 2004. We are fucked.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #2
19. Warning: GRAPHIC

The lynching of June 15, 1920 in Duluth, Minnesota, as photographed by Ralph Greenspun. The victims were nineteen-year-old Elias Clayton, nineteen-year-old Elmer Jackson, and twenty-year-old Isaac McGhie. This view later appeared on at least two postcards printed after the lynching.

It was a "show", like the circus or a tent revival meeting.
The lynch mentality is still alive and well in the homo sapien.

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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
65. Reminds me of the Vietnam era and the stories about the
Edited on Thu May-06-04 08:37 PM by calimary
twisted GIs who collected victims' ears. Hey, souvenir hunting and collecting is a great American pasttime.

Atrocities?!?!??!? Well, I NEVER!!!! AMERICANS????!?!?!??! That John Kerry fella is crazy. Doesn't know what the heck he's talkin' about!
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iamjoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
3. They Thought It Was Fun
Edited on Thu May-06-04 08:43 AM by iamjoy
This was not <cringe> "necessary torture" <shudder> to extract information from suspected terrorists to save American lives. This was not discipline to protect the soldiers.

They were, as Rush has so aptly said, having fun and blowing off a little steam.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Why wouldn't they take pictures? They didn't count on them falling into media hands, that's for sure.

The other possibility is that the ones who took the pictures didn't really like what was going on. They took the pics as proof and gave them to military superiors hoping for some disciplinary action.

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2Design Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
4. order by the military police to take the photos to use in other interogati
used in other interogations by military police. there was an article in yesterdays Washington post and buried in the article about 3/4 of the way was that statement.
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charlie105 Donating Member (408 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. That was one of the WH trial balloons. But that spin didn't fly. n/t
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progressivebydesign Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #4
46. BS. Then why are the photos on their own personal cameras???
Edited on Thu May-06-04 11:46 AM by Caliphoto
The photos the WP obtained are interspersed with travel photos, camel rides, etc. These were souvenirs.. these people are too fucking stupid and wicked to understand that what they did was wrong. If they were to be used in interrogation for official purposes, an official would have photographed it.. it would not be on their personal cameras.
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terrya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
5. According to a story I read in today's Chicago Tribune, this might be...
the tip of the iceberg, as far as abuse in prisons are concerned.

In answer to your question...yes, I think that's entirely possible that they wanted pictures. The woman pointing at the naked Iraqi looked like she was really enjoying herself. There are some people that have suggested that there are always "bad apples" in the military. But these folks were REALLY bad ones. I think they got off on what they were doing. And I think they wanted photos as souvenirs.
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Cerval Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #5
25. According to the government report on Iraqi prisons...
...under the occupation, "the problems are systemic and widespread". That means that these problems are not isolated.
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BJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
6. Gloating?
Edited on Thu May-06-04 08:35 AM by BJ
This isn't unusual behavior by occupying troops. The Rape of Nanking was disclosed to the United State and Europe by Japanese troops sending rolls of film to be developed at the Kodak lab in Hong Kong. German Einsatzgruppensoldiers took photos of the atrocities they committed. American in Vietnam also took photos of what many today consider atrocities.
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kegler14 Donating Member (541 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:23 AM
Response to Original message
8. What's really amusing
is to go over to Freeperland and read the spin some of them are putting on this. There's something not right about the photos, they're fakes, is that woman really an American (uh, her mother says she is, is that good enough?), that woman looks like a man-hating lesbian (never mind that she's engaged to a man). Best of all -- this is definitely some sort of vast, complicated left-wing conspiracy set up by Kerry and Clinton with the help of the commie media who's been holding these pictures until just this moment.

Everything imaginable except the real reason -- Bush went into Iraq for no good reason and completely unprepared for the aftermath. Now the U.S. has a train wreck on its hands.
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Cerval Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #8
23. That woman in the photos...
...was sent home because she got pregnant while she was in Iraq. Really. :puke:
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
9. Why?
Same reason hunters have their dead animals mounted.
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Bonhomme Richard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:24 AM
Original message
They seriously didn't think they were doing..............
anything wrong. They weren't hiding anything because that's what they were told to do. A lot of this has probably been long standing procedure and as long as you were not literally pulling out fingernails or electrocuting gonads you are just doing your job. What is different here is using soldiers (professionals would have never taken pictures) to soften up the prisoners.
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fishnfla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
10. They are now claiming they were ordered to take them
One of their family members was quoted as saying they were ordered to take the pictures by the MI and interragators, which I doubt.

But some have said this was to further the humiliation, blackmail the prisoners perhaps, or intinmidate other detainees by threatening these acts upon them. I dont know about that

From the description of the CD that has the 1000 pictures in the Wash. Post, it sounds like it was "here's what i did in Iraq." Showing off.
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Cerval Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #10
27. I actually don't doubt that they were ordered to take pictures.
The fact that they took pictures at all proves that they at least had tacit approval for their actions from their superior officers.
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Demoiselle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #10
35. Photos were part of the torture...
First, you humiliate people in ways s that are, given their cultural conditioning, carefully calculated to hurt them in the moment. Then,to prolong the moment and multiply the psychic pain... you TAKE PICTURES WHILE LAUGHING AT THEM!!!!
"I was just following orders" is NEVER an excuse. But I find it hard to believe these ordinary soldiers with no apparent training in the mind sets of Arab culture would think of this stuff without coaching.
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aintitfunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
12. Dumb as a post
IMO. I cannot imagine anyone with a grain of intellect or common sense enjoying the degradation of others, as was so apparent in the photographs. Let alone recording it for posterity. They did seem to be getting a kick out of it. The smiles and thumbs up are the nails in the coffin of guilt. Since their victims were blinded by the hoods, the displayed pleasure in abusing the detainees was not for the benefit of the detainees. Just following orders. This may be true. I suspect it was either orders or strong suggestion from military intelligence (there's an oxymoron!)rather than original thought that prompted such behavior. But they did not have to follow such orders and even if they felt they had to they did not have to relish their work as much the photos depict. Sad. Criminal. Stupid.
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Warren Stuart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
13. You got it Allen
There are fucking idiots.

We have this image of our servicemembers being these noble warriors, and some of them are to be sure. But, having been in the military, I can tell you from experience (as a former Battalion Legal Clerk) that there are a lot of idiots in the military.

The incredibly dumb things I've heard of would stagger you. I knew one guy who (drunk as hell) stole a jeep, funny thing was, the steering wheel was chained down, he stole it anyway. There was some slack in the chain, so he could only make left turns, he had to go into reverse to make a right turn.

After some effort the MP's were able to box him in and arrest him (after beating the crap out of him).

A lot of people are in the military, because they can't get a job (with comparable benefits) anywhere else.

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mopaul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
14. the PNAC plan is to inflame the whole muslim world for decades
thereby assuring plenty of profits from those unscrupulous folks at haliburton, kellog, brown, and root, etc.

and the military industrial complex is assured of a presence there to westernize and christianize and hebrewize the whole arab world.
armageddon cannot be delayed. world war three cannot be cancelled.
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EdGy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
16. "ethnic cleansers" in Bosnia did the same
They took videos and photos of their attacks on innocent civilians, etc.

For the same reasons that these US soldiers did:

a sense of impunity; a sense that they were doing the right thing becaues the enemy had been so dehumanized; "war trophies" to bring back home, the way US soldiers brought back from WWII the severed ears of Japanese prisoners and dead...
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mopaul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. my uncle had a korean skull for a souvenir
i kid you not. he was in the korean war and brought home a man's skull and made it into an ashtray. i never saw this monstrosity, but my mother told me about it.
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OKNancy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
17. Because the whole American society is fucked up
Why the surprise? We see these kinds of images in entertainment all the time. Even liberals on DU rave about the glories of porn. Violence is everywhere. It is condoned. Sexual violence is even more titillating. It's a sad, sad situation.
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progressivebydesign Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #17
47. You've got it...
That is my contention, though I'm usually attacked here on DU for insisting that violent "entertainment" is damaging to our society. Study after study, ones that run for decades, PROVE that violence as entertainment can cause violent behavior. Also, people are so desensitized now.. things that would have killed a person to see (literally) only 40 years ago, is considered entertainment. We've become a violent, hateful society.. very detached from our humanity. Blame popular "entertainment" on that. Why exactly people think watching people being killed, maimed, or raped is entertaining is beyond me. Garbage in, garbage out. It will always be that way.
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OKNancy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #47
51. Any time there is a thread asking this question
"What positions do you take that could be considered Republican"?
I usually reply with something about the coarsening of our society. No one likes high art anymore. It has to be low, very low "art".
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neverborn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #17
63. Porn?
wtf, give me a break
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pansypoo53219 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
18. i fear
this is a result of an all volunteer army.
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
26. Trophies and cult stuff. Maybe they're Setians too.
Don't ever underestimate the cults within our society, but especially in intelligence and military-remember, it was Col. Michael Aquino of the US Army and Defense Intelligence Agency who was a Church of Satan priest that took them over and replaced the Church of Satan with his own Temple of Set. He did this while on active duty. :nuke:
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thebigidea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #26
32. That tired Set line is getting old... better to blame Scientology
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #32
43. You are the only poster at DU that takes issue with my hidden history
lessons, you seem to be an apologist for evil worship or a person that has been conditioned to respond a certain way imo.

:hi:
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thebigidea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #43
56. Yes, I serve the Dark Lord and his Earthly Agent, Donald Rumsfeld
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neverborn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #32
64. Scientology is evil, no doubt about it
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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #26
37. I would be willing to bet this idea of "Trophies" is probably close
Just like some of the Nazi's thought lampshades made from tattooed skins of butchered men were cool. They crave on the Macabre

http://www.chgs.umn.edu/Visual___Artistic_Resources/Fri...

Docent Guide

Ilse Koch (aka, "The Bitch of Buchenwald), the wife of concentration camp commander Karl Otto Koch, shared her husband's hobby of collecting patches of tattooed human skin and shrunken human heads. It was she who selected the living persons with the interesting tattoos whose skin she wanted. After they were killed, she had them skinned and used the tattooed patches of skin to fashion lampshades. The issues raised may seem macabre, but reflect back on body parts taken by conquerors in other times and places against their victims. This was true on both sides in the American frontier experience, as well as in other acts of genocide. Ilse Koch was first released, then re-arrested by the Allied Control forces and sentenced to life imprisonment and committed suicide in 1967.

Hirschberger shows the Koch's with their collectibles, as well as items of punishment on the wall. The lampshade in the center is based on an actual item using human tattooed skin.

Information from the Nizkor web site: http://www.nizkor.org/features/techniques-of-denial/app...
Deceit & Misrepresentation
The Techniques of Holocaust Denial

Documents concerning Ilse Koch.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Researchers:, John Drobnicki, Stephan Bruchfeld, Mark Van Alstine

This page contains exerpts from sources concerning the case of Ilse Koch and the the issue of human skin ornaments at Buchenwald.

The Buchenwald Report, trans. and edited by David A. Hackett (Boulder: Westview Press, 1995).
(snip)
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 09:11 AM
Response to Original message
28. "Getting away with it" is deep in the American psyche
We are a country of people who escaped things, and our emotional identity, bad and good, is underpinned by this attitude. This is why get rich quick schemes are so prevalent, this is why private property and accumulation are so sacred and it's responsible for much of what we are.

The meanness is justified to many because "these people attacked us", even though they had nothing to do with 9-11 and quite the opposite is true.

It's not just Americans, it's human nature. The dark and ugly parts of human nature are why laws and governments were invented: to protect us from other human beings.

At least there are good traits to the species, but the bad can't be denied. All one has to see is the historical pattern of marginalized groups when they've found a place to hold sway: the Puritans were guilty of religious persecution that was as bad as anything they'd suffered, and it didn't take long to get started.

If you look at how many successful crimes have been solved throughout history, it was because of bragging by the criminals; this is from a need to crow about it. It's all a human need to stand out from the crowd, be special and get away with it. When one starts from a point of accepting that one is superior to certain kinds of people, there will always be some (losers among their own kind) who will revel in being of the master race and do things like this. Strip away the rhetoric of Americans being good and noble, and you get to the real statement: we're better, and deserve to do as we please.
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chimpymustgo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #28
34. Damn, Purity. You should be writing for Kerry.
Thanks for your post.
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MNBrew Donating Member (5 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 09:11 AM
Response to Original message
29. Momentos....
Edited on Thu May-06-04 09:29 AM by MNBrew
...like Nam where soldiers made necklaces out of ears (oh, I forgot, atrocities never happened in Nam :-) ).

IMO, the fact that they took photos in indicative of a feeling of normalcy--that this was acceptable and widespread behavior.

I once asked a close friend--who had admitted to me that he murdered an elderly South Vietnamese civilian on a drunken bet with his buddies during that war--if he feared it ever catching up to him. He replied no, because "everyone did that stuff." He said they saw no difference between the enemy and those they were there to "protect." They were all seen as subhuman "gooks," he said.

I think this is the same mind-set at work here. The enemy is dehumanized and then everyone who is racially similar also becomes the enemy; this would explain why some of those tortured were not even enemy combatants--they are all just subhuman "sand-niggers" (pardon the offensive term) to many of our soldiers.

The Iraqis are sick people and we are the chemotherapy. I am starting to hate this country. Wait till I get hold of a fuckin Iraqi. No, I wont get hold of one. Ill just kill him. Corporal Ryan Dupre, U.S. Army.


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hang a left Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
33. IMO-Set Up from the very beginning.
:tinfoilhat:
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maggrwaggr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
36. with digital, you no longer have to take your pics to the drugstore
this has changed everything.

Kinda like polaroids, only free (once you buy the camera).

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goodhue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
38. Did they honestly NOT think their actions were criminal, abusive, torture?
I'm afraid they probably gave it little thought, but if they did I figure they honestly did not think their actions were criminal. Probaly never heard of Geneva much less the Geneva Convention. Ignorance.
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KayLaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
41. Some murderers enjoy it
One serial killer got caught that way because he captured his own image in a mirror in the photo. One team of serial killers kept tape recordings of their tortured victims screams.
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Ezlivin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
42. Drug-free soldiers with too much time on their hands
Hey, if we'd let our soldiers enjoy a joint or two, this stuff wouldn't happen.

In this case, the guards would have been mellow and would have spent most of their time looking for the nearest geedunk machine.

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tiedye Donating Member (130 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #42
57. Drug free- not
These people are on drugs and alcohol. I think I heard a report claiming the pilots use specialized drugs to make them need less food and sleep. Superhumans from the superpower nation sexing it up. They do crack.
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BigMcLargehuge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
45. same reason soldiers of every war since the dawn of affordable
photography have documented their exploits. Look at The Rape of Nanking... Hell, here's a photo collection on it, all of these, or most of them, were taken by the soldiers themselves as souveniers.

http://www.cnd.org/njmassacre/njm-tran/index.html

War makes people insane.
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wabeewoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
48. Mob mentality
People who are otherwise perfectly 'moral' and respectable will do despictable things in a mob setting. I'm sure there has been much written on the psychological aspects of it. That said, how can anyone defend this behavior?? I say it stems from bush's major problem: lack of empathy for anyone. Everything is me me with him and he can't see the humanity of anyone else. Several posters have said, what if that was your father or brother. THAT is what was lacking in the soldiers participating. And it seems to be prevalent in our society these days. How else to explain people liking watching shows that embarass and humiliate other people?
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Laughing Mirror Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
49. To prove to their superiors that they were doing their job
As directed.
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chookie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
50. To "share the moment"
Besides the Abu Ghraib incident, and the British incident currently under investigation, there was at least one other instance where photos of sexually humiliated Iraqi prisoners surfaced. An English soldier was on leave, dropped a roll off at a one hour photo lab -- the clerk was appalled, contacted the authorities, who busted the guy. The photos were very similar to the Abu Ghraib one -- most notably in posing POWs to similate sex acts.

As far as I have been able to tell -- the wanted to "share the moment." They were passing them around to their fellow sadists, and to buddies back home, so they could have a giggle. There also seems to be an aspect of sexual expression here -- indulgence in and enjoyment of the suffering and humiliation of others -- the images are at least marginally pornographic in intent.

A bizarre aspect to this whole case is that it is alleged that some of these photos, and others of humiliated Iraqis, have turned up on porn sites. Not my turf, but apparently there is a big audience for S&M "uniform domination" images on the internet. Sick sick stuff.

Stupid? You betcha. They may have lost the war, and possibily the election, for their beloved George W. And a LOT more people on both sides are going to lose their lives over these images. And America's reputation will suffer for years, if not decades.

Interesting that many on the RW have tried to dismiss these images as mere fratboy pranks -- given the carefree fratboy gleeful ignorance and brutality which is characteristic of George W.

In their own small way, they were merely acting out their own George W fantasy of power and subjugation. Like George W, they gave no thought to the immorality or consequences of their actions. They assumed they would never be caught, or ever be punished. Like George W.
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DrWeird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
55. No fear of prosecution.
Just look at My Lai.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
58. They thought it funny and entertaining
worth sharing with others. They felt protected. They were arrogant and buffeted against a conscience by their warped and twisted thinking

They didn't care.
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Oddman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
59. And as Senator James Inhofe thinks . .
Torture is OK as long as we win the war!


Torture Accomplished


I is sorry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .that we got caught!
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doubles Donating Member (357 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
60. THEY WERE BUSTED
Edited on Thu May-06-04 08:28 PM by doubles
Please, don't think these rednecks are representative of the US military.

I believe someone was playing along with these rednecks, telling them it would be cool to take pictures and then bust the group. The fact is if he/she did not play their game, pictures would never have been taken and released.

One good apple in a crowd of rotten apples is all it takes.
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Oddman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #60
61. There are 35 seperate investigations of abuse going on
it is not a couple of bad apples!


Ann Coulter Mercenary!
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doubles Donating Member (357 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #61
62. I said a crowd not a couple..... nt
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