Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Now it's Britain's turn

After Abu Ghraib, now we get to see the British Army involved in acts of abuse (torture?) of Iraqis. Apparently the circumstances are different (these were regular soldiers trying to put a stop to Iraqis looting aid supplies, rather than MPs charged with holding long-term prisoners) but even so, it does not look good (see this BBC page for a slide show of the pictures). And of course, the soldiers concerned, who are all facing charges, are saying they were "only following orders".

The last time we saw photos of British prisoner abuse in Iraq, last spring, they turned out to be fakes - fakes which struck a blow to the British Daily Mirror, which ran them, and led to the resignation of the Mirror's editor, Piers Morgan. These new photos, it seems very clear, are not fake! I suppose this was inevitable. I wonder if it's becoming increasingly obvious to world leaders that any improprieties carried out by their soldiers - no matter how well they're trained - will end up somehow being captured in digital form and sent through our world's vast network of digital channels in pretty-near real time.


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