LETTER FROM ABU GHRAIB
So, I guess you've heard about the controversy at the prison in Iraq...the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. It's been a strange past two days since I first heard. That's the same prison I'm heading to. A wave of feelings has rushed through me. Mostly contempt, bewilderment. The photos are horrific, and that's not what I was trained to do. I don't exactly know how to process this. For the most part, I know what the leadership of interrogation facilities do, and I've also heard that the military police (which is who the six perpetrators are) are not well educated in the Law of Land Warfare, or the Geneva Conventions (of which Interrogators have to be specialists). But when I hear the prisoners being called "detainees" it troubles me. Detainees have fewer rights than prisoners of war. POW's have special status as lawful combatants, heightening their Geneva Convention provisions. Since these prisoners are being labeled other than POWs, I don't know just how far envelopes are being pushed...The angry side of me wants on the first plane, and to be pinned my sergeant stripes as soon as possible so that I can have some authority and ensure that nothing of the sort happens under my watch. Then the "what the hell am I doing" side of me shows up, wondering what a blond, blue-eyed Iowan boy is doing in Iraq in the first place...at least with Caesar's body armor and an M-16.