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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Dispatch from Down Under

Because I've been seriously ill, this blog is posting slowly.

However Thanks to Rossi The Aussie, we have still been keeping up.

The many links she has sent me will be posted soon. In the meantime I feel the need to print this one link as it is very much WHY I can not support or even imagine supporting the Iraqi War.

I am not anti- any war.

I am anti- this war. ..Here is some of why....

The Abu Ghraib Scandal You Don't Know

American soldiers often have a tough time with Arabic names, so to guards, he was just "Gus.'' To the world outside Abu Ghraib prison, he became an iconic figure, a naked, prostrate Iraqi prisoner crawling on the end of a leash held by Private Lynndie England, the pixyish Army Reserve clerk who posed in several of the infamous photographs that made the name Abu Ghraib synonymous with torture. Now, it emerges, there may be another dimension to Gus' story and certainly to the horrors of Abu Ghraib. In what amounted to a perversion of the traditional doctor's creed of "first, do no harm," the medical system at the prison became an instrument of abuse, by design and by neglect. As uncovered by legal scholars M. Gregg Bloche and Jonathan Marks, who conducted an inquiry published by the New England Journal of Medicine, not only were some military doctors at Abu Ghraib enlisted to help inflict distress on the prisoners, but also the scarcity of basic medical care was at times so severe that it created another kind of torture.

Medical personnel and others who worked at the prison tell TIME that, with straitjackets unavailable, tethers--like the leash on Gus--were put to use at Abu Ghraib to control unruly or mentally disturbed detainees, sometimes with the concurrence of a doctor. That such a restraint-- which is supposed to be placed around legs, arms or torsos--ended up instead around a man's neck seems to be a case of a medically condoned practice degenerating into abuse. But there was also medical disarray at the prison: amputations performed by nondoctors, chest tubes recycled from the dead to the living, a medic ordered, by one account, to cover up a homicide. That in itself would have made Abu Ghraib a scandal even without the acts of torture inflicted on the inmates by their guards.


If you want to know who is to blame, he sits now as Attorney Genral of the United States of America.

And now we all STINK of tortured human flesh.


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