Talk:Abu Ghraib prison/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

local or offsite picture hosting

There should probably be external links to sites hosting the relevant pictures. Anyone know of any? --Dante Alighieri | Talk 16:39, Apr 30, 2004 (UTC)

I disagree, I've seen that currently there is no Web site hosting all of these pictures. CBS has access just to the videos, and they are likely to pull them out or start charging for seeing them. Until there are two or more places were all of these photos are hosted, I think it's better to keep them here. ChaTo 16:56, Apr 30, 2004
I don't think Dante was saying we should take the photos down. I think he was just saying we should add a link. I added a link to the Memory Hole, which will keep them up, free, indefinitely. Quadell 17:57, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)
To clarify, my comment was written before the pictures were up. I'm not suggesting we remove them. I just didn't realize at first that we could host them without copyright issues, but then Eloquence cleared that up. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 17:59, Apr 30, 2004 (UTC)

NPOV of pictures

The pictures violate NPOV policy. They make the soldiers look like monsters. I'm saying this and I was pro-war. --MerovingianT@Lk 22:00, Apr 30, 2004 (UTC)

They don't "look" like monsters. They are monsters. And pictures should stay here with the article to accurately, not partially, portray what happened. --Hiwamy 17:35, 7 May 2004 (UTC)
If you think they make the soldiers look like monsters, I think that says something more about you and your value system than about the pictures. The pictures accurately represent factual events... hard to see how that's POV. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 16:57, May 1, 2004 (UTC)
War is about killing people. It turns men into monsters. check this pir 15:11, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
The pictures are why this article exists and is on the front page of Wiki. The individual soldiers involved do indeed look like monsters and its going to have a significant impact on US involvement in Iraq. Its a historical event, or at very least a very newsworthy one, and probably one Iraqis are going to remember for a long, long time.Stargoat 22:04, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)
That doesn't tell me why they violate the policy, suggested by your assent, and are still allowed here. --MerovingianT@Lk 22:08, Apr 30, 2004 (UTC)
Asserting something does not make it so. Do you claim that the images are an inaccurate presentation of what happened? If so, how? If not, then they are clearly factual and thus perfectly acceptable in accordance with our policies. If you don't like what happened because it conflicts with your preconceived notions of how the world should be, then that is unfortunate, but unrelated to Wikipedia policy. It is not our job to shape reality in such a fashion as to make it more convenient for your brain.--Eloquence* 22:43, Apr 30, 2004 (UTC)
Hisss... You're right; the pictures are factual, and therefore acceptable. --MerovingianT@Lk 22:47, Apr 30, 2004 (UTC)
Does that mean the neutrality of the article is no longer disputed? Victor Gijsbers 19:26, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
My contnetion is that too much weight is bieng placed on the most recent developments. There are 3 lines about the jails history and dozens about the most recent events there. TDC 19:54, May 1, 2004 (UTC)
TDC, what are you waiting for? just add info about Saddam, nobody here disagrees with you, hence it is not POV. There is no NPOV dispute in that. Please do not diminish the quality of this excellent but uncomfortable article. Please do not use the NPOV boilerplate in vain.
The reason why there is more information about torture committed by the US is (1) that it is in the news at the moment (2) the US government continuously repeat that Iraqis are better off under the occupation, that they plan to install a democratic, human-rights based system.
I believe you are acting in bad faith. 21:07, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
Well first off, I am already involved in too many anrticles to invest any time inthis right now, secondly, your remarks indicaye exactly where you want this article to go, and lastly, fuck off for insinuating that I am acting in bad faith. TDC 00:54, May 2, 2004 (UTC)
There's only one direction I want this article to go : as close to an objective account of the facts as possible. Can you not see that this story is important and widely reported on because it contradicts the occupiers' propaganda, no matter what our respective points of view are? What a shame you feel so strongly that this article is POV that you put the NPOV message, but don't have the time to improve it (not that I'm insinuating anything...). 01:13, 2 May 2004 (UTC)
I think that all the editors of this article especially, need to be careful about not giving their opinion. It is difficult to write an encyclopedia entry when not all the facts are out. An encyclopedia's strength is in its hindsight. I think that before pics and "anti-propoganda" are posted, you need to let the facts straighten out.

Media coverage

This story has been receiving widespread coverage in the UK and presumably many other countries. But we are told that it is receiving little attention in the US and failed to make the front pages of pretty much every newspaper in the USA (page 22 of the Washington Post according to Channel 4 News). So I'm proud that Wikipedia has this on the "In The News" section. Now of course we have new pictures of British soldiers mistreating prisioners splashed across the Daily Mirror. It's a shameful business. Mintguy (T) 23:17, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Well, it's been the top story on all day, and was all over the TV news. --Delirium 23:34, Apr 30, 2004 (UTC) did not show the images and the thrust of its reporting has been "European media are in a frenzy" (in fact right now they are showing European newspapers). Furthermore, it has not been the top story all day -- at least three other stories have taken the top spot during the day, including Michael Jackson and Jayson Williams.--Eloquence* 23:39, Apr 30, 2004 (UTC)
That does seem to be the way it's heading now, which is unfortunate. When I first checked CNN (I don't usually, but I wanted to see how they handled this case) at around 1pm US Pacific time, it was the top story and illustrated by an image similar to Image:AbuGhraibAbuse05.jpg. It also gave more article space to "Bush says it's bad" than to the European media it's currently focusing on. --Delirium 23:43, Apr 30, 2004 (UTC)

The following "Sir Michael Jackson, chief of the UK general staff, said similarly, "if proven, the perpetrators are not fit to wear the Queen's uniform and they have besmirched the Army's good name and conduct." is in completely the wrong place. Mike Jackson was referring to the the incident that is depicted on the front of the Daily Mirror, which is a completely different incident, not occuring in Abu Ghraib prison. So I'm going to remove the text on this basis. Mintguy (T) 23:27, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Ah, sorry about that. The BBC article was confusing, and didn't mention where the other incident took place, so being that it was in the same article, and the issue was raised on the same day, I assumed it took place in the same location. Perhaps we should move all this to a separate page on mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by the coalition, regardless of location, and link to that article from here? --Delirium 23:34, Apr 30, 2004 (UTC)

News coverage - anyone with a newspaper can help

If we can address the issue of news coverage more empirically (who covered it where) that would be great. So anyone who has a newspaper from today, please check where and at which length the issue was covered and state the name of the paper here.--Eloquence* 00:10, May 1, 2004 (UTC)

I think this should go in a separate article, possibly with a link from here, and I'm not too sure about it entirely—it seems a little bit like original research. We could do these sorts of analyses for all sorts of events: for example, do Israeli suicide bombings get covered more or less prominently in some countries than others? How was the WTC covered the first day after the attacks in various countries? How were was the UN oil-for-food corruption scandal covered in various countries? All interesting, but seems like a job for a media watchdog, not us, and then we should report the results of such a study. Perhaps someone like FAIR will issue a report we can link to? --Delirium 00:16, May 1, 2004 (UTC)

This is source research and certainly allowed. If we come to the conclusion that these is no disparity between US and European media reports we may do away with it, but if there is - as seems to be evident - a significant gap, then that bears mentioning in this article.--Eloquence* 00:19, May 1, 2004 (UTC)
No. Rather, if SOMEONE ELSE raises a fuss about the disparity, and that fuss gets noticed, then we mention it in this article. Meelar 00:21, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
Uh, no, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and not simply a news digest. This is exactly the kind of stuff we should be doing.--Eloquence* 00:25, May 1, 2004 (UTC)
The phrasing is a giveaway: "If we come to the conclusion"? That would be original research about media coverage, which is still original research. Meelar 00:30, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
No, coming to conclusions is not "original research". Wikipedia policy does not forbid the application of logic.--Eloquence* 00:31, May 1, 2004 (UTC)
While I think this is interesting analysis, and the fact that the British media has been saying that this isn't being covered in a big way in the US, it might be difficult to prove a point with this about the resot of the world. Most of Europe is covering the enlargment of the EU as the main story. The British media on the other hand is focussed on the Iraq situation because we are actively involved in it. In the muslim countries of the world the story features prominently for obvious reasons. Mintguy (T) 00:33, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
This is certainly original research: I would have felt confident submitting this to my professor in "Policies, Politics and News" for my final paper, had it come a few weeks earlier. And what you and a U.S. rightist might consider "logic" would vary considerably. Meelar 00:38, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
Hardly. In my experience, these kind of people do not even argue - they just try to remove whatever information they don't like. Question number 1: Which are the largest papers in the US, the UK, Germany, France, ..? Question 2: How did the coverage differ in these papers? These two questions are objectively answerable with source research only, the kind of research encyclopedists conduct constantly, and the answer to these questions is unambiguous and factual. So please stop trying to sabotage legitimate community efforts.--Eloquence* 00:49, May 1, 2004 (UTC)
I haven't even edited the page, actually. I'd appreciate not being a labeled a saboteur simply because we hold differing views on what constitutes an encyclopedia (I should say "differing views--mine are right"--but I'm above that). Thank you. Meelar 00:54, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
There's no point in editing the page because the information in question is not yet included. We're still collecting. It seems absurd to me when an attempt is made to do serious source research -- something we should do a lot more of when everyone just uses Google -- this is immediately torpedoed with what I consider to be a very weak argument at best. The "no original research" policy is for fringe physics theories, vanity pages or controversial interpretations of source material, it is not intended to stifle the collection of data from paper-based sources.--Eloquence* 01:02, May 1, 2004 (UTC)
As I read Wikipedia:No original research, it doesn't say anything about fringe theories only. Even if I were a famous researcher, publishing my work here would not be kosher, until it gets picked up by the wider community. This is clearly research in the field of political science. Meelar 01:08, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
Even if standards for publication in this area are not particularly high that doesn't mean that source research, which is essential for an encyclopedia, suddenly becomes unacceptable.--Eloquence* 01:15, May 1, 2004 (UTC)
What is unacceptable is when we make a claim about the potential meanings of the varying patterns of coverage. If someone else makes this claim, we can and should include it, but we aren't empowered to do it on our own. Meelar 01:27, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
Nobody was talking about making such claims.--Eloquence* 01:35, May 1, 2004 (UTC)
"If we come to the conclusion that these is no disparity between US and European media reports we may do away with it, but if there is - as seems to be evident - a significant gap, then that bears mentioning in this article"

--Forgive me for getting the wrong impression, then. Look, you can make changes if you'd like, and then I'll see. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to wait until I actually have something to argue about. Yours, Meelar 01:45, 1 May 2004 (UTC)

A study of media bias is very much original research, and is actually a very active field of academic research. I don't trust Wikipedians to be competent to make claims of media bias unless those claims are published in a peer-reviewed journal (as many such claims have been, and those claims I'm much less suspect of). There's a lot of methodological issues that are commonly dealt with by serious research in the field, and which I doubt would be properly dealt with here. Some of them include: an unbiased and representative selection of the sources to survey; controlling for the non-political biases of the sources (for example, the paper's domestic vs. international focus, or sports vs. non-sports focus, and so on), and lots more. If, for example, it were found that US papers downplayed this story to the exact same extent that they typically downplay non-US stories (US papers typically are biased towards events that happen within the US's borders), that would be uninteresting. If they downplayed it more than usual, that would be interesting. Basically, I'd be very interested in a carefully controlled, peer-reviewed study of the matter, but I don't expect Wikipedia to be the place it's published. --Delirium 03:13, May 1, 2004 (UTC)

News coverage data

  • Daily Mail: page 1, full length article with "hooded man/wire" photo (from photo)
  • Washington Post:page 22, no photo (from today's edition)
  • Der Spiegel (German Weekly) Front Page Article about the Torturers of Baghdad Front Page
The British story is an exclusive for the Daily Mirror, for tommorow morning's (Saturday 1 May) paper, so the story has not had time to generate much reaction yet. The second editions of various British newspapers for Saturday will probably feature this story. I you go to and look at the right hand section of the screen (you might have to switch to the UK edition) there is a pop up you can open up to view the front pages of various British papers (no URL for this unfortunately). You can select the date you wish to view. For 30 April 2004 , The Daily Mirror, the Daily Mail and The Guardian all have the photos of the US incident on the front page (It is possible that the other UK papers had the story in their second editions). All of the British news channels had this story as their lead story throughout most of the day until the British story broke in the late evening. Mintguy (T) 00:20, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
According to the May 1 Guardian, "the Baltimore Sun [was] the only major US newspaper to comment on revelations of abuse at Abu Ghraib." Elsewhere in the paper they revealed "CBS admitted it had come under severe pressure from the Pentagon not to broadcast the images".
Just a note--the story was front-page above the fold on Saturday's Washington Post. Meelar 23:25, 1 May 2004 (UTC)


Citing everything2 seems less than ideal: both they and us are essentially trying to summarize the story. Pointing a reader to yet another summary but a different one isn't that helpful; more helpful would be adding whatever they have that we don't so that the Wikipedia article contains everything a reader might need to know. --Delirium 03:20, May 1, 2004 (UTC)

We're not citing them, we're linking to them. Citing them would be inappropriate because we should cite primary, not secondary source. Listing them as an external link does not strike me as problematic. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 17:07, May 1, 2004 (UTC)

More to the story

Rape. The Guardian reports: "[A]ccording to several sources with detailed knowledge of the case, [An American contractor] raped an Iraqi inmate in his mid-teens."

Widespread abuse. Major General Antonio M. Taguba found that between October and December of 2003 there were numerous instances of "sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses" at Abu Ghraib. Taguba's report listed some of the wrongdoing:

Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.

Other evidence. Staff Sgt. Ivan L. "Chip" Frederick II faces a court marshall for Abu Ghraib, mailed his diary home. It lists detailed, dated entries that chronicle abuse and name names. Excerpt:

They stressed him out so bad that the man passed away. The next day the medics came in and put his body on a stretcher, placed a fake I.V. in his arm [to suggest he died under medical care] and took him away. This OGA [prisoner] was never processed and therefore never had a number."

And also:

MI has been present and witnessed such activity. MI has encouraged and told us great job [and] that they were now getting positive results and information.

I'm not sure what of this should go into the article itself, but it's clear this is not an isolated incident. Quadell 16:02, May 1, 2004 (UTC)

Daily Mirror photos

  1. Copyright status: "courtesy of Daily Mirror" -- seems to that imply permission was sought and granted. Is that the case?
  2. Relevance to this article: this incident didn't take place at Abu Ghraib. Maybe it's time to address the overlap of this article with Human rights situation in post-Saddam Iraq

Hajor 18:01, 1 May 2004 (UTC)

Civil discussion

I want to congratulate everybody on maintaining a civil tone during all of these discussions. RickK 20:10, 1 May 2004 (UTC)

Questionable link removed

I've removed this link. It duplicates the images we already have but also has some images which are completely unrelated to Abu Ghraib. They depict a rape scene, but to me they look staged - even if they aren't, there's no source information and it has nothing to do with this article.--Eloquence* 23:31, May 1, 2004 (UTC)

I thought this link was appropriate. Very questionable, but that's what external links are for, questioning. The rape may be out of context but the last two show more believable photos of naked prisoners being led around outdoors somewhere, possibly unrelated to Abu Ghraib, but possibly related to the significance of this story (U.S. war crimes in Iraq.) Plus it seems to be the only non-western site linked, and I've always found Arabic media (while lacking the NPOV) of interest in getting a better understanding of the situation. I think this link should be kept, with a disclaimer of it's questionable nature. If nothing else it's an example of anti-U.S. propoganda, that the rape images are included with only "these pictures were e-mailed to albasrah" as a source. Very telling of what the Abu Ghraib incident has done for US/Iraqi relations to say the least. Links need not necessarily be NPOV... --PJV 17:05, May 2, 2004 (UTC)

That link does not improve this particular article. Instead, start an article on Write about the origin of the site, its evolution, and describe its content. Kingturtle 17:22, 2 May 2004 (UTC)
Some of the pictures on the website have apparently been taken from porn sites depicting forced sex with Iraqi women in a war situation, as described in this [] article - so thanks for removing it, and sorry for putting the ink in the first place without checking it more thoroughly. I don't know abything much about the al-Basra website itself. (still, given the trade of pictures of abuse among soldiers, it doesn't seem totally impossible that they are genuine ; and the al-Basra website may not have acted in bad faith.) pir 09:14, 10 May 2004 (UTC)

New Yorker photos

The New Yorker has higher quality photos without the CBS logo in this gallery (click the "View images" link). If someone wants to replace our current images, that would be great.--Eloquence* 23:36, May 1, 2004 (UTC)

All this talk...

Thanks for posting these pictures. It was not 'too much' or 'not enough.' I have a very good idea of the situation, and this is why I visit Wikipedia before I visit Slashdot or, in the morning.

could v. would

"(which would qualify as torture under the United Nations Convention Against Torture)."

We cannot say would. There is no guarantee that in an international court, the verdict would decide it qualified as torture. We can only say that it could. Kingturtle 17:26, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

I don't think it's exactly a matter of courts of law and verdicts (I'm not sure how the Committee Against Torture operates), but I'll have a go at rewording. Hajor 17:40, 2 May 2004 (UTC)
Nicely worded. Kingturtle 17:49, 2 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks! I was about to c&p the convention definition of torture, but I got an edit conflict. Here it goes, anway; might be useful for future reference: torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him... information or a confession, punishing him for an act he... has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him. Hajor


If they were both "detained and demoted," then why is it wrong to include their names in this article? Kingturtle 21:41, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

Presumption of innocence? If some angry vigilante goes and throws a molotov cocktail through the female PFC's parents' kitchen window tonight, do you want him to be able to say he tracked the address down through I'd rather let the New Yorker (or any of the other hundred press sources out there) take the rap. I see I was reverted PDQ after deleting the names. Whatever, as the kids say. But if we're going to name those two, then in the interests of balance we have to name the other five (per the NYorker) who are under investigation. Hajor 23:16, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

Hajor, I did not revert your edit. I chose to ask you in TALK instead. Including the names of two people "detained and demoted" because of this incident would be stating a fact. As long as we don't surmise or make false allegations, the facts should be included. At least, that is my opinion. Kingturtle 23:22, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

Sublime Sovereign of the Chelonians, whatever else I was doing in my previous message, I certainly wasn't playing the blame game about who reverted. My point about discretion in naming names has been made – and if it fell on deaf ears, then that was probably because of the USA's extraordinary openness about such information, compared to the countries I'm more familiar with. A matter of different cultural perceptions. More deponent sayeth not (other than pointing out (again) that if we're going to name two, then we should name seven). I'm cool. Hajor 23:37, 2 May 2004 (UTC)


OK, this has been changed from Abu Ghraib to Abu Grahib. Is the move wrong? RickK 22:37, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

There seem to be a number of spellings possible using Roman letters:

Abu Ghraib, Abu Ghurayb, Abu Gharab, Abu Ghuraib, Ab-e Gharib, Ab-e Ghereyyeb, Abi Ghurayb, Abi Gharib and Albu Gharib AndyL 23:30, 2 May 2004 (UTC)