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Joseph Darby

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Joseph Darby, who worked an office at Abu Ghraib, was the person who exposed the tortures that had been going on.

Planning on sending home some pictures from Iraq, he asked Charles Graner if he had any pictures of their time in Iraq. Graner was known for taking pictures all the time, so he handed Darby two CD’s. Darby copied the CD’s and handed the originals back to Graner. On the first CD, Darby says, were some scenic photographs of Iraq. On the second CD however there were the pictures of the Abuse that was taking place.

He says that, at first, he didn’t realize that these people were Iraqi prisoners but thought that these were American soldiers ‘goofing around’. Flicking through the picture he then realized what was going on.

“I laughed. I looked at it and I laughed. And then the next photo was of Graner and England standing behind them. And I was like, ‘Wait a minute. This is the prison. These are prisoners.’ And then it kind of sunk in that they were doing this to prisoners. This was people being forced to do this,” says Darby.

He says that he couldn’t believe that people were doing this, but being able to tell between right and wrong, he says, he knew that this had to be stopped.

“I’ve always had a moral sense of right and wrong. And I knew that you know, friends or not, it had to stop,”

Darby wanted to remain anonymous, so he copied the CD and put them in an envelope along with a note and put it on the desk of the Criminal Investigations Division.

“I said, ‘this was left in my office. I was told to give it to the CID.’ I said, ‘Have a nice day, Sir,’ and turned around and walked away,”

45 minutes later an investigator came to talk to Darby, knowing that he knew something he promised Darby that his identity would be kept secret. The CID immediately started the investigation and questioning the suspects.

For Darby’s safety he should have been removed from the base once the investigation began, but was made to stay for another month, Darby says that he was scared that these soldiers would hurt him if they ever found out that he ‘told on them’, so he slept with a gun under his pillow.

“With my hand on it. I put it in my pillow case, I put my hand on it and cocked it, cocked the hammer and I’d sleep with it under my hand under my pillow,”

“I slept in a room by myself. And anybody could come in in the middle of the night. You walk in the door, you hang a left, and then come in and cut my throat”

Even though he was promised that his role in this would be kept secret, The New Yorker revealed his identity, however no one seemed to know about this in Iraq. Some time later as the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was testifying before Congress, Darby and his colleagues were in a mess hall. Donald Rumsfeld said:

“There are many who did their duty professionally and we should mention that as well. First, Specialist Joseph Darby, who alerted appropriate authorities that abuses were occurring.”

Darby says he was shocked ant that within a few hours everyone knew about what he had done. He was sent back to America straight away for protection against the other soldiers, who might see him as a ‘rat’ or a ‘traitor’.

To Darby’s surprise, arriving in America, the Army had done a security assessment in Darby’s hometown and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t safe for him or his family to go back, as “the overall threat of harassment or criminal activity to the Darbys is imminent. …a person could fire into his residence from the roadway.” His hometown is a Military town, and strongly felt that he was a traitor.

“He was a rat. He was a traitor. He let his unit down. He let his fellow soldiers down and the U.S. military. Basically he was no good”

He was asked to chose where he wants to live, which didn’t seem fair to Darby but he had no choice.

“It’s not fair. That we’re being punished for him doin’ the right thing,” says Darby. Darby wasn’t allowed to go anywhere without bodyguards for around six months.

Darby now lives in constant paranoia, being scared that people will get him back. Especially Graner who he testified against, saying that Graner wouldn’t take his eyes off him throughout the trial as if he was saying “You put me here. And someday I’ll repay you for it,'” says Darby.

Overall, Darby thinks it was worth it, is there was a crime going on and it had to be reported and the people who did it had to be punished. He says,  “it’s that simple.”



[;contentBody accessed 21/11/2010]


Written by coskufertingercmp

November 23, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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