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By M. Martin

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He was beaten with a broom and at one point his head was held in a pool of urine on the floor. While all this was happening another soldier was yelling at him through a loudspeaker. Still other abuses occurred in November when a number of detainees rioted in protest against their mistreatment. As reported by The New Standard, immediately after the riot fourteen Iraqi men were stripped naked and brought into a corridor beneath the cell of a female inmate named Um Taha. Two American soldiers grin behind a pile of naked and hooded Iraqi prisoners.

Kelman wrote a chapter that sought to explain why humans throughout history have been so easily persuaded to torture others. Kelman, a social psychologist and author, believes that most torturers must become convinced that their actions are part of a greater cause. Only then can they operate without feelings of guilt. Kelman’s description of typical torturers can be applied to those committing abuses at Abu Ghraib: “They have come to share the view of the authorities that the task they are engaged in serves a high purpose that transcends any moral scruples they might bring to the situation.

Rumsfeld also faced tough questions about the possibility of American troops committing murders. One of the more disturbing photos from Abu Ghraib showed a dead body wrapped in cellophane. According to reporter Seymour Hersh, the bruised and battered corpse had been packed in ice until someone decided the best way to dispose of it. After twenty-four hours, men posing as medics placed a fake intravenous needle in one arm, then took the body away to an undisclosed location. One of the guards testified that the dead man’s name had never been entered into the prison’s inmate-control system.

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