Thomm Quackenbush, author

Iraqi Prisoner Abuse

Okay so the prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq has hit, everyone knows about it, our allies that are with us in Iraq, our allies that didn't join us, and our enemies. This is probably going to be one straw that has either broken the camel's back or is one huge step closer to doing so. Practically no one wanted us in Iraq when our excuse was WMD. There were no WMDs. No one supported us when we claimed that Iraq was in cahoots with terrorists and now we see that terrorists weren't very prevalent in Iraq, until now when terrorists are killing US soldiers, Coalition soldiers, Iraqi military, Iraqi police forces, US citizens, Iraqi citizens, and citizens from all over the world on a daily basis. So that kills plan B huh Mr. President? Then we said we were liberating Iraqis. Plan C claimed that we are saving Iraqi citizens from abuse, torture, and the lack of basic human rights such as freedom of speech and the right to vote. We are abusing them, we are torturing them, we are not allowing a vote in the near future (do you really think that we will allow anyone who wants to run for office on the ballot anyway, um no), and we are trying everything in our power to prevent them from speaking out against the United States. So now what? Why are we there? How long are we going to be there? How many people, and I mean ALL people, American, Iraqi, and otherwise, are going to die? I want answers and I am shocked that all of America is not demanding answers to these questions and demanding them NOW.

At the end of this essay I will be presenting what I think we, as Americans should do about our precarious situation but I am going to justify the point before I come out and say it because if I did it the other way around I might be blown off before I make my case.

So here we go-

When I was actually in college, I learned of a psychological test that took normal everyday citizens and placed them in a prison environment. Half were made corrections officers and half prisoners. There was no history taken into account, none of these people were actually officers or criminals. The pretend prison was run as though it was a real jail and the corrections officers were given power over the prisoners. And surprise, surprise, abuse happened. Average people do not handle power over other individuals appropriately. Corrections officers and police have extensive training to learn to avoid inflicting abuse but, as we all know, even this training does not guarantee the lack of mistreatment. The prison guards in Iraq were trained for combat and not for being corrections officers. I think that already set the stage for abuse to occur.

So in Iraq, the military took young, army reservists and placed them in charge of Iraqi detainees. Also keep in mind the rhetoric that they and all of us had been fed about how Iraq is full of terrorists and terrorists are "Evil Doers" and the like. Propaganda like this set the stage for de-humanizing Iraqis. These young soldiers saw evil terrorists, not people. I feel this was the second ingredient for a perfect recipe for abuse; we have people who were not trained watching over prisoners that they saw as things rather than people, it should be no shock that this occurred. The media is talking a lot about the woman who was in charge of this group of soldiers and I can't even remember her name but I remember that she was in charge of over 1000 troops. I think that alone tells why she missed the horrible actions of a few.

It is also coming out that CIA and Intelligence officers used these pictures to show new prisoners what would happen to them if they did not cooperate and start giving some information. It has been said that this was quite effective. Now I am not 100% positive that they were the ones who told these soldiers to do this but wouldn't it be odd if higher ups in the military just found these pictures and said "Hey, we could use this". I find THAT hard to believe. The media does not like the "We were just following orders" excuse but I think we need to consider the situation that these young people were in. In the military you do as you are told, no questions, no second guessing and it has been shown over and over that average people who join the military will do horrible, horrible things if they are ordered to do so. I don't think that every member of the Nazi German Army was evil but they helped in the slaughter of millions none the less. Then there is Vietnam and a lot of horrible things happened there that were perpetrated by US soldiers who I feel, would not burn down a civilian village on there days off. We need to understand that the military is a whole other world and we can't find a comparison in our everyday lives.

So who is to blame; the soldiers that are in the photos, of course. They did a horrible thing and I support any disciplinary actions taken against them. It would appear that the chain of blame ends there according to President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld. I don't think it does. I think the CIA agents involved should also face some disciplinary action along with any intelligence officers. I also feel that whoever was directly in command of them should be dealt with too and the people in charge of those individuals as well and so on and so forth. Eventually the chain of command would lead us to Secretary Rumsfeld who has made it clear that he is not going anywhere and his punishment was to apologize, which makes it all okay, right? Oh wait, no, no it doesn't. Rumsfeld knew about this abuse for a long time and did nothing. Rumsfeld also called his boss/best friend President Bush and shared this juicy bit of gossip and he did nothing as well. They sat on it and hoped to keep it quiet. The investigation into this abuse did not begin until the photos were leaked to the media and I have a sneaking suspicion that if that hadn't have happened, there wouldn't have ever been an investigation.

So now, my proposed solution to the entire "quagmire" in Iraq: Now, I know it seems rash but I see it as the only option. Impeach Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. They have committed war crimes and should be dealt with. They ordered the slaughter and torture of Iraqi citizens. A few years ago we impeached a President for lying about cheating on his wife. Let me stress that he lied about CHEATING on his WIFE and he was impeached. We now have a President that stole an election, ignored warnings about a terrorist attack because he was too busy worrying about his Daddy's unfinished business in Iraq, used the subsequent attack as an excuse to invade Iraq, passed the Patriot Act which takes attempts to take away the freedom of the American people, has gotten us trapped in a horrible situation in Iraq, ignored abuse of Iraqi civilians, and has contributed to the death of no less than 13886 people (that number includes those killed on 9/11, the coalition Soldiers in Iraq, and Iraqi citizens but I could not find a count of the Iraqi military that have been killed or the civilians from other countries that have been killed in Iraq so and I did not include ANY numbers from Afghanistan, so just to be safe try adding a minimum of 10000 people to that tally). So is America outraged; mostly no. We were outraged that Clinton lied about sex but 25000 people being dead is okay as long as it was to keep us safe. Safe, you really think we are safe? Ask Israel how well using military force stops terrorism because it has worked oh so well there. We need to do something; we need to stop this totalitarian government from killing more people. I am so angry right now and it seems there is only a small population that is with me in this. We need to open our eyes and stop having blind faith in our leader. We need to stop hating all Muslims and acting as though we are a Christian state because we aren't. We are America, this country was founded on freedom of everything and all of those great things are being taken away from us one by one and we are all sitting here with big grins on our faces thinking that its all worth it as long as there is not another 9/11 and we aren't seeing that we are heading straight toward another 9/11 because we are getting the world to hate us even more. Bush didn't prevent 9/11/01 even though he had the information to do so and if he stays in power there is no guarantee that he will stop the next one unless it comes straight from Iraq. Bush is blind to what his business partners in Saudi Arabia are doing that THAT country will be the one to spawn another Osama bin Laden. Oh yeah, good old Osama, forgot about him didn't we? I wonder where the hell he is. I guess we gave up on that one and needed a distraction. Okay I have to stop now because I am freaking out, but if you agree with me at all please visit

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Works by Thomm Quackenbush


Find What You Love and Let It Kill You by Thomm Quackenbush
Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft by Thomm Quackenbush
A Creature Was Stirring: A Twisted Christmas Anthology by Thomm Quackenbush
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