17 February 2006

Jeremy Scahill: "Missing the scandal at Abu Ghraib"

CNN's Pentagon coorespondent Barbara Starr has spun the news surrounding the newest Abu Ghraib photos and skirted the real issue.

Instead of expressing outrage at the torture that those photos reveal, she expresses outrage at the fact that it was photographed.

Yeah, Barb. The torture itself isn't the issue, as long as we don't have to see it. Sheeeesh!

From a piece by Jeremy Scahill at AlterNet:
CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr should be given some kind of award for the most outrageously off-target reporting on the newly released photos and videos of U.S. torture and abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

In her numerous appearances during the morning news cycle on CNN after the images were first broadcast on Australia's SBS television, Starr described what she saw as the "root of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal" as such:

"Let's start by reminding everybody that under U.S. military law and practice, the only photographs that can be taken are official photographs for documentation purposes about the status of prisoners when they are in military detention. That's it. Anything else is not acceptable. And of course, that is what the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal is all about."

What? Here I thought the "scandal" was that the U.S. military was systematically abusing prisoners. These new photos, with their documentation of violently inflicted open wounds, obliterate any notion that what occurred at Abu Ghraib was anything short of torture by all accepted definitions of the term. They reveal some horrifying scenes of naked, humiliated, bloodied prisoners, some with apparent gunshot wounds. In a video broadcast on Australia's SBS, naked, hooded prisoners were seen being forced to masturbate in front of the camera.

But, according to CNN's Starr, the real transgression was that some soldiers documented the torture in violation of "U.S. military law and practice."
[Read more.]

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