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Archive for October 2010

The Abu Ghraib Scandal, CBS

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On april 28th 2004 the Canadian TV channel CBS were the first to broadcast the story on Abu Ghraib and the torture which had been going on in their television news-magazine 60 minutes II. The report included images of the physical and mental abuse carried out by US Millitary Police Personnel on Iraqi prisoners and an interview with Brig Gen Mark Kimmit, the deputy director of coalition operations in Iraq.

Kimmet: “Our soldiers could be taken prisoner as well. And we expect our soldiers to be treated well by the adversary, by the enemy. And if we can’t hold ourselves up as an example of how to treat people with dignity and respect … We can’t ask that other nations to that to our soldiers as well.”

They also interviewed Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Chip Frederick, who was one of the soldiers facing trial.

“Frederick told us he will plead not guilty, claiming the way the Army was running the prison led to the abuse of prisoners.”

Frederick: “Military intelligence has encouraged and told us ‘Great job.’ “

Frederick:”We help getting them to talk with the way we handle them. … We’ve had a very high rate with our style of getting them to break. They usually end up breaking within hours.”

Frederick and his attorney claim that he shouldn’t be charged because of “the failure of his commanders to provide proper training and standards”.

Also he claims that he never got trained according to the standarts of the  Geneva Conventions (a set of detailed arrangements for inter alia the Treatment of Prisoners of War (adopted on 12 August 1949 by the Diplomatic Conference for the Establishment of 
[ accessed 28/10/2010])

Another reason that Frederick gave for the way they treated the prisoners was the fact that they were understaffed.

Frederick: “There was, when I left, there was over 900. And there was only five soldiers, plus two non-commissioned officers, in charge for those 900 — over 900 inmates.”

Kimmitt’s response to this is that this might be a contributing factor but “That doesn’t condone individual acts of criminal behavior no matter how tired we are. No matter how stretched we are, that doesn’t give us license and it doesn’t give us the authority to break the law,”

The full story is available on


Written by coskufertingercmp

October 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm

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Study Diary

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Reflecting on my blog so far, I have done both Lynndie England’s and Charles Graner’s biography up to the point to when they went to Iraq. I haven’t gotten very far yet as I am cross-referencing my research. However I have found some very good sources which I can use as I go along, such as a documentary which includes an interview with Lynndie England, which backs up some of my secondary research and some of my personal opinions about her.
Also, I couldn’t find any useful books about Abu Ghraib in the library, so I am planning to go to regent street where I will have more choice.

My next step will be researching into Graner’s and England’s time at Abu Ghraib and what lead to the scandal and the scandal itself.

The one thing I particularly find difficult is finding enough primary research about Graner.


Written by coskufertingercmp

October 20, 2010 at 10:53 pm

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Who are they?

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Lynndie England:

The woman in the picture, Lynndie England was born in 1982 in Ashland, Kentucky. When she was two years old they moved to Ford Ashby, West Virginia.  Her dad, who was a railway worker and the rest of her family, lived in a trailer park.  At a young age she was diagnosed with a learning disability, which was caused by oxygen deprivation at birth that caused her to have difficulties reading and speech impraiment. When she was 17 she joined the US army reserve and after finishing high school she got a job as a cashier at a supermarket. There she was briefly married to a colleague. Back then her dream was to become a storm chaser. In 2003 she was sent over to Iraq.

[ accessed on 13/20/2010]

[ accessed on 13/10/2010]

Written by coskufertingercmp

October 13, 2010 at 6:25 pm

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Who are they?

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Charles Garner:

The man in the picture is Charles Garner, who was born in 1968 and grew up in Whitehall, a suburb of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

After finishing Baldwin High, he went on to Pittsburg University to do a degree, however he dropped out after two years to join the US marines in 1988.

In 1990 he married 19-year-old Staci Dean, who he had two children with later on. In 1991 he was posted to Iraq for the first Gulf War as a Military Police Officer.

In 1997 Staci Dean filed for divorce, claiming that Graner was violent, also filing for a series of restraining orders against him.

In 2002 Graner joins the Army reserve and is called for duty in Iraq in 2003.

[ accessed on 14/10/2010]

Written by coskufertingercmp

October 10, 2010 at 11:08 pm

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Initial Reading.

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This is a portrait of a man and a woman, clearly in an army uniform so, firstly, we can assume that they are soldiers. The woman is sitting on a plastic chair in a very ‘masculine’ nature, resting one leg on her other knee and with her arms resting on the armrest. The man is behind her, leaning down towards her and resting his head on her right shoulder closely to her head with his arms on the armrests too. Both have huge smiles on their faces posing for the camera, and look very comfortable and intimate, which suggests that they are comfortable with their surroundings.

In the background we can see a prison cell and handcuffs along with their keys suggesting they are in a prison. Due the their uniforms and the desk made of what looks like boxes, as well as the ‘cheetos’ chips bag and the torch we can connote that they are officers who work in a prison. The fact that they look happy and comfortable in their surroundings, and again their uniforms, we can see that they obviously have some authority in that place, as a prison isn’t exactly a ‘happy’ place.

The colours in this photograph are all similar, greens and browns, which are colours used by the army, give this image an earthy feel. However this probably wasn’t done on purpose as this is closer to domestic photography, only taken to reflect that moment as a ‘good’ memory.



Questions that arise from my reading above are:


1)   Who are these people?

2)   Why was this picture taken?

3)   Why do they seem so happy?

4)   What are they doing in this environment or ‘workplace’ and where is it?


Written by coskufertingercmp

October 7, 2010 at 7:39 pm

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Lynndie England and Charles Graner, Abu Ghraib, Iraq, 2002

Photographer: Unknown.


Source: [accessed 07/10/2010]

Written by coskufertingercmp

October 7, 2010 at 6:49 pm

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