Ghosts of Abu Ghraib
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- Over 30 minutes of previously unseen footage
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Forty-two years later the United States is taking Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq. But how should they be classified, as prisoners of war? John Yoo, counsel at the Department of Justice explains that these "detainees" do not fit the description of prisoners of war, and therefore, are not afforded the protections the Convention provides. Furthermore, it is believed that these detainees have information vital to the war on terror, and it must be gotten from them. But, once again, John Yoo is perplexed by the wording of the Geneva Convention which forbids "severe" treatment of prisoners. "What does that mean," Yoo asks the camera. He suggests that it should only describe loss of bodily functions, organ failure, or death. Yoo does not note for us that the last two are usually too late to reverse the technique. By this standard, Japanese officers executed after World War II for torturing allies did not commit torture at all--not even Saddam Hussein! The White House agrees with Yoo's assessment and decides that those in their custody will not be given protection under the Geneva Convention.
Now, it's a question of how to get information. Major General Geoffrey Miller (USA) is transferred from Guantanamo to Iraq. He believes that information must be obtained at all costs.Read more ›
After the Iraq debacle began, presidential counsel Alberto Gonzales redefined torture so as to UNdefine it, thereby justifying anything this country did. Then Iraqi prisoners were taken into Abu Ghraib.
Interesting, but the troops interviewed for the film reflected on how badly prisoners there at Abu Ghraib were treated by Saddam's regime, how many, for example, had been brutally executed there. Interesting, huh?
The MPs were eventually taken from the Abu Ghraib and military intelligence was given a more active role. Unfortunately, the interrogators weren't getting any information. God forbid, did it occur to them that the prisoners didn't have any information to give? Apparently not.
So the army felt it would make more sense to get a very Rumsfeld kinda guy, Gen. Geoffrey Miller, from Gitmo which was/is notorious for their getting information despite "techniques" used. (Note that just yesterday the Red Cross's report was released which indicated that what the US is doing in Gitmo IS torture, and it IS a war crime.)
This is apparently when "mistreatment" of prisoners occurred. They were sexually humiliated, electrocuted, all sorts of techniques of torture you have to see the film to believe that those purporting to represent "democracy" would practice.Read more ›
First off, as you can see by the title, the documentary is about the prison camp Abu Ghraib. At first you get an introduction, through soldiers stationed there about the prison, and it's dreary past. This was a former prison used by Saddam after all; however, the focus wasn't on phantasms. In fact, the ghosts are perhaps a forewarning of the abuses we now know of; abuses that, as you find out throughout the film, are even more disturbing then you might have imagined, and once again show how humans can lose themselves in the situation, as these soldiers, who are actually narrating this themselves, did during their time in Abu Ghraib.
What most impressed me was the fact that this documentary was able to gather as many soldiers that worked there, along with a couple of the former prisoners. See at first, I didn't realize the people I was watching talk about the prison, the soldiers, were indeed the one's that were a part of the egregious acts, and you'd never imagine that till the end. Even more disturbing, is how these soldiers, clearly not jailers, were hung up to dry as "a few bad soldiers" when, as the movie shows, torture was a policy from above, not a spontaneous action from below.
Clearly, this film may shake peoples ideas differently based on their political viewpoints; however, I believe that no matter the party, or persuasion, you should watch this film. My only warning is that this film is graphic, so be forewarned. Otherwise, hopefully this excellent documentary will open your eyes, as it did mine, to the situation in Abu Ghraib that we only thought we knew...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ronald Rumsfield was the one responsible for all this mess; the low-ranking soldiers were following orders, or the lack of, and were clearly scapegoats for the US Government.Published 13 months ago by Bernard Noel
I feel a bit disconnected to a rating of 4 stars....only because, in the very furthest reaches of my mind do I connect the USA Armed Forces, any branch... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Flap
Gave a decent perspective from both sides of this mess.Published 16 months ago by Jerene Rosenbrook
Very good and informative documentary. Actually it's an infuriating account of the deeds all Americans should be ashamed and horrified of. Why isn't the Bush regime in prison?Published 17 months ago by Gregory Sasser
Interesting look into what went on during the Iraq war and how the US treated some of the prisoners. Good interviews with people who were there at the time.Published 19 months ago by Bdub
Very moving, I'm a retired USMarine and it makes me think hard.... And think!Published 20 months ago by Manny Martinez