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Damn Right We Did It

While I was as horrified as the next person by the shocking photos of the torture, degradation, and abuse of Iraqi prisoners, in reflection I have to say I’m proud to have seen them. Proud as an American to see those pictures sent around the world.

In war, ugliness happens. It’s a fact. Good people do bad things, and bad people do bad things. It’s the nature of war.

What makes me proud, though, is not the photos themselves, but the story behind the photos.

60 Minutes did not “break” the story of the torture. They broke the story of the way the Army is dealing with the torture.

In many countries, including the ones we’re fighting, such abuse of prisoners would, at worst, result in a reprimand for amateurism and at best promotions and commendations. In the US, however, those behind it have been relieved, arrested, and are being tried. Those convicted (and based on the photos, I have a hard time imagining they won’t be) will be given healthy sentences.

What those idiots did was practically the textbook definition of “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.” Their juvenile sadism will serve as a reinforcement to perceptions of American imperialism, racism, and arrogance.

What needs to happen is these idiots need to be tried publicly. We need to show the world that yes, this happened, but it will NOT be tolerated. Right now Al-Jazeera and other Arab news reports are describing the abuse, but not the fact how the photos came to light and what is happening to those who committed it. We need to get ahead of this and head off this atrocity before it goes any farther.

J.


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