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Orders and Torture.

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Despite the US Governments claims that “a few bad apples” were to blame for the torture and abuse that took place at Abu Ghraib, the Senate Armed Services Committee came to the conclusion that, at the end of the day, the Bush Administration, including Rumsfeld, were responsible for policies that “conveyed the message that physical pressures and degration were appropriate treatment for detainees.” Rumsfeld’s officials, however, denied this and insisted that these findings as “unfounded allegations against those who have served our nation”.

One may ask, what is the point in denying something that has been proven. There are documents, like I mentioned earlier, which show that he has approved extreme interrogation techniques, and wanted to take things even further.

Of course, they are not to take the whole responsibility, as the soldiers did take some matters into their own hands, but they gave them the assurance that this kind of treatment of detainees was okay.


The personnel of the 372nd military police company claimed that they were ordered to ‘soften up’ detainees by private contractors and Military Intelligence.

In August/September 2003 the Military Police were put under the control of Military Intelligence, so Karpinski was no longer responsible for them. So now these soldiers were officially part of the interrogation team, even though they had no training whatsoever. Their job was to ‘soften up’ detainees for ‘effective’ interrogation. As we know, Graner and Frederick were put in charge and their job was to get these people stressed enough that they would give the M.I and the O.G.A.s the necessary intelligence.

Abu Abbas, a former detainee at Abu Ghraib’s hard-site remembers: “ With the interrogations, the feeling was when they torture you, that meant that they would interrogate you the following day, as if they were getting you ready for interrogation.”

Many of the involved soldiers recall the M.I or the O.G.A telling them to ensure the prisoners they would interrogate the next day to have a ‘bad night’.


Abu Abbas also recalls: “everything is in the hand of the interrogators. Nothing happens without an order from the interrogator.  In fact when Graner ordered that I hang from a chain, there were interrogators present. The torture was in front of them.”


Another former detainee Mudahaffar Subhi remembers:

“After one or two in the morning, Graner and his buddies would bring four or five guards and start torturing people as if they were having a party. He would hang people by their hands, in positions that aren’t bearable for even five minutes. The inmates would start crying, He would hang them in 5 or 6 different positions. After a half hour or an hour all of them were screaming together. Then he would walk by and say ‘now that’s music I like to hear’.”

This doesn’t sound like they were only ‘doing their job’. They were enjoying it.


Both of these quotes support the fact that Graner, in a way, was the leader of everything. People would listen to him instead of questioning him. He was the authority figure.

Joseph Darby agrees with this saying that it you spent enough time with Graner, you saw that he had a “morbid” and “sadistic” side to him.


At his trial he claimed that he was only obeying his superiors:” We were asked to violate the Geneva Conventions. We were asked to do certain things that we weren’t trained to do.” He continues: “A lot of weird stuff came from the civilian contractors (referring to the photographs). Crazy stuff was ordered by the Military Intelligence soldiers.”


Another thing he said was: “There were a lot of things we did that were screwed up. If you didn’t look at them as funny, you couldn’t deal with it.”

This seems to be an attempt to make us think that he does have the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. However, because there is a possibility that Graner suffered from untreated trauma after the first Gulf War where he also served. Ross Guidotti who served alongside Graner in the first Gulf War said that there was no “malevolent side” to Graner and that he was a “funny guy”.

On his return there were claims of domestic violence. So maybe this was where everything started?


Another former detainee says that they would make them listen to weird sounds through loudspeakers or headphones and wouldn’t let them sleep for days. He says that on a regular basis there were fifty nights without sleep. “Just hunger, abuse and harassment.”


Abu Abbas is shown a picture of his brother being tortured in an interview for the documentary  “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib”. He says:” His arm was injured. They would make him hold buckets of water and run down the cellblock. I was ordered to watch him. They would say ‘either you confess to the charges or we will bring your mother and do the same to her.”


Davis Javal says that there were a lot of females and children in the prison. Usually they were spouses, children, sisters or cousins of detainees. They were kept there to blackmail or force detainees into confessing to the charges or turning themselves in.

Karpinski says that most of those prisoners were only guilty of being “at the wrong place at the wrong time” and that really they didn’t have any information about terrorism or “any information at all”.  The percentage of those prisoners that didn’t have any intelligence and were kept there without any valid reason was, according to Karpinski, 75-80%.


[ accessed 23/10/2010]

[;contentBody accessed 21/11/2010]

[Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, 2007, Rory Kennedy]

[ accessed on 23/10/2010]





Written by coskufertingercmp

November 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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