Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The Whole Story? The leash lady from those Abu Ghraib Mapplethorpe pix is talking:
"I was instructed by persons in higher rank to stand there and hold this leash and look at the camera," [Pfc. Lynndie England] said.

England said the actions depicted in the photos were intended to put psychological pressure on the Iraqi prisoners.

"Well, I mean, they [the photos] were for psy-op reasons," she said "And the reasons worked. I mean, so to us, we were doing our job, which meant we were doing what we were told, and the outcome was what they wanted. They'd come back and they'd look at the pictures, and they'd state, 'Oh, that's a good tactic, keep it up. That's working. This is working. Keep doing it. It's getting what we need.'"

I'm no more inclined to believe her than her CO, but it does go straight to what I've been saying for the past week. Should the extent of out interrogation methods be to bring in POWs, give them a nice meal and a good cigar, politely ask if the happen to know where the next Jordanian Embassy deal will go down, and nod and send them off with personal Red Cross minders after they say "No" (or "I spit on you, yankee jackal")? Can we, in good conscience, do a little more? Not rape or beatings or the rack or fingernail pulling, but just a little humiliation or bruising of the ego?

Validity of methods could be a big deal here if she was truly "just following orders." Perhaps "orders" don't excuse real atrocities, like sytematic murder, brutalization, or rape, but they might just excuse the leash.

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