American Proscenium

Porno War

Just how high did authorization go for the Abu Ghraib “abuses,” as the deliberate torture and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by American troops are demurely called?  Was it really, as President Bush claimed in his flatulent “address to the nation” in May, a mere case of “disgraceful conduct by a few American troops who dishonored our country and disregarded our values,” or were the people who really did the dishonoring and disregarding by authorizing and encouraging what happened on a far higher level than the trailer-trash grunts elevated to global celebrity by the dirty pictures in which they leer and smirk at their victims?

And why were the photographs taken in the first place?  Are they simply barracks-room pornography for an Army riddled by the same pathologies that eat through the muscle of American society?  Are enlisted men and women really so dim as to think they can take scores of photos of themselves engaging in conduct both grotesque and illegal and not get caught and punished?  Or was there another purpose behind taking the photographs that few have yet grasped?

Pfc. Lynndie England, the new poster girl of the U.S. occupation of Iraq who has replaced Jessica Lynch as the iconic American Amazon, gave an interview to KCNC-TV in Denver soon after being hauled back to this country to face charges.  Pfc. England has every motive to lie her little...

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