Monday, May. 02, 2011

Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay

A solitary prisoner balances on a box, head covered, electric wires hanging from his fingers. The image, a photograph from Iraq's infamous Abu Ghraib prison, shocked the world when it was released in 2004 alongside a trove of pictures showing Iraqi prisoners being subjected to all manner of violence and sexual humiliation. In some of the most infamous photographs, American soldiers grin and joke around as scenes of almost unimaginable abuse unfold. These snapshots, as well as ongoing accusations of torture at the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have generated waves of anti-American sentiment abroad and deepened political tensions at home. Together, they've sparked a decade-defining debate about the place of human rights in a time of war.