Ashamed of my naivete
by Jerry Gilio
February 22, 2007

I've just finish watching Ghosts of Abu Ghraib on HBO and I'm ashamed. This documentary by Rory Kennedy is about the awful events at the infamous Iraqi prison. It reminded me of just how naive I can be.

At the time that the photographs were first leaked I wanted to have faith in my country. We were the good guys. Our reputation was of defending human rights, not violating them. I assumed that the media was just hyping these photos to grab ratings and sell newspapers. In a blog back in May 2004 I said, "It seems to me to be an insult to actual torture victims to call posing for goofy photos torture."

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. Less than six months after my initial comments I'd already admitted that even humiliating pictures were unacceptable. A moral friend had convinced me that even a little bit of evil is too much.

But until tonight I had no idea. The last bits of my innocent faith in my country, which I'd clung to since childhood, have been crushed. I'll never forgive George W. Bush and his Administration for that.

Prisoners in the custody of my countrymen were unable to sleep in Abu Ghraib. It wasn't because of heavy metal music being blasted from a boom box to harass them. It was because of the begging and screaming of their fellow prisoners who were being tortured. God bless America?

Watch this documentary. Don't get defensive or indignant. Don't start making ridiculous claims, like that people who oppose such treatment want the terrorists to conquer America. You don't have to be an animal to dispense justice. Watch it and remember what America is supposed to be. Watch it and try not to weep for what America has become.

Copyright © 2007