Friday, March 10, 2006

I'M NOT SURPRISED THAT IRAQIS don't want to use Abu Ghraib as a prison now that the U.S. military has announced it's giving the prison back to Iraq and transferring the 4,500 prisoners still there to a new prison facility at the Baghdad airport. Not that a full menu of human rights violations -- kidnappings and summary executions, torture, and more -- is not still endemic in post-Saddam Iraq. But better to set up "new Abu Ghraibs" with different names than to use the one that evokes memories of Iraq under Saddam, or, for that matter, Iraq under U.S. occupation.

As for the Bushies, obviously they're hoping that the world will equate no more Abu Ghraib with no more prisoner mistreatment.

Not bloody likely, as long as the U.S. military is strapping down prisoners in "restraint chairs" so that they can forcibly shove feeding tubes up their noses and then yank them out to cause as much pain as possible; and then leaving the prisoners in the chair for "hours at a time to defecate on themselves."

The United States is not going to convince anyone that it does not torture prisoners by continuing to torture them while taking symbolic actions like shutting down Abu Ghraib and paying hacks to write pro-U.S. propaganda. The only effective way to change the terrible image is to change the terrible policy.

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