Saturday, December 04, 2004

New Iraq Prisoner Photos

The U.S. military has launched a criminal investigation into photographs that appear to show Navy SEALs in Iraq (news - web sites) sitting on hooded and handcuffed detainees, and photos of what appear to be bloodied prisoners, one with a gun to his head.

Some of the photos have date stamps suggesting they were taken in May 2003, which could make them the earliest evidence of possible abuse of prisoners in Iraq. The far more brutal practices photographed in Abu Ghraib prison occurred months later.

An Associated Press reporter found more than 40 of the pictures among hundreds in an album posted on a commercial photo-sharing Web site by a woman who said her husband brought them from Iraq after his tour of duty. It is unclear who took the pictures, which the Navy said it was investigating after the AP furnished copies to get comment for this story.

As usual, there is so much to be sickened by here that it is difficult to know where to start. But the most mind-boggling part is that the pictures were hidden in plain sight on a commercial photo-sharing website. Rather than hiding their transgressions, these guys were so proud of their exploits that they wanted to share them with the world. What more do you need to know about the culture the Bush team has created among our military? How much more evidence do you need to force the admission that Abu Ghraib was not an anomaly, but was rather the inevitable consequence of the work of folks like Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto "Anything Goes" Gonzales?


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