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Iraq prison abuse not THAT surprising...consider US prisons

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midnight armadillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:03 PM
Original message
Iraq prison abuse not THAT surprising...consider US prisons
The stories mentionthat two Reservists with prison guard experience (one is Sergeant Chip Frederick, can't remember the other) were giving particular authority in overseeing the their fellow soldiers.

US prisons are violent places, where where abuse, rape, and violent acts are commonplace and are often perpetrated by the guards. From the 2001 Human Rights Watch report: Guard violence, if not endemic, is more than sporadic in many penal facilities. In 1999, for example, news stories detailed a series of horrific stories of guard abuse--stories of inmates being beaten with fists and batons, fired at unnecessarily with shotguns or stunned with electronic devices, slammed face first onto concrete floors, and even raped by correctional officers.(57) In some instances, entire state prison systems are found to be pervaded with abuse. A March 1999 federal court decision concluded, for example, that the frequency of "wholly unnecessary physical aggression" perpetrated by guards in Texas prisons reflected a "culture of sadistic and malicious violence" found there.(58)

It's even a cultural joke - go to jail, become a black man's "bitch" and be raped on a regular basis.

Given the condition of US prisons, and the culture of abuse that surrounds the idea of prison even outside them amongst the mainstream US, is it really all that surprising that the Reservists treated the Iraqis so savagely?

Add the pervasive anti-Arab racism that abounds these days (recall the "sand nigger" phrase that caught on in Gulf War I), the 'evil-doers' rhetoric from BushCo on down, and the extrajudicial prison oversight by mercenaries and the CIA, and this was almost inevitable. We reap what we sow.

Link to HRW's report, No Escape: Male Rape in US Prisons.
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THUNDER HANDS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:05 PM
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1. yeah, try doing anything to a police officer
and see how many times you accidentally fall down the stairs on your way to a holding cell.

(note - not that I've ever done anything to a P.O. I'm just saying)
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enough Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:19 PM
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2. Yes, a grand old American tradition
and now going international.

See "The New Gulag" by Sidney Blumenthal today in the Guardian.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1210588,00....

snip>

Bush has created what is in effect a gulag. It stretches from prisons in Afghanistan to Iraq, from Guantnamo to secret CIA prisons around the world. There are perhaps 10,000 people being held in Iraq, 1,000 in Afghanistan and almost 700 in Guantnamo, but no one knows the exact numbers. The law as it applies to them is whatever the executive deems necessary. There has been nothing like this system since the fall of the Soviet Union. The US military embraced the Geneva conventions after the second world war, because applying them to prisoners of war protects American soldiers. But the Bush administration, in an internal fight, trumped its argument by designating those at Guantnamo "enemy combatants". Rumsfeld extended this system - "a legal black hole", according to Human Rights Watch - to Afghanistan and then Iraq, openly rejecting the conventions.

more>
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Oddman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:22 PM
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3. Wasn't it in America not too long ago
that we would tie people to the back of pick up trucks and drag them to their deaths because of the color of their skin?

Didn't we hang our fellow human beings from tree limbs until they died?



Im sorry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .that we got caught!
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:30 PM
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4. american machismo in full swing
consider that rhetoric bush used linking iraq with terrorism gave these people all the excuse they needed.
while it's fine to prosecute the soldier who did this -- bush has to be held responsible for setting the ground work.
these people acted on what they heard from their commander in chief.
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