Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
the Shadow of Abu-Ghraib Prison
Short Version: mp3,
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The color photos
coming out of the dreaded Abu Ghraib prison on Baghdad's outskirts
are racing around the world, silent yet eloquent testament to what
think about the people they allegedly came here to 'liberate.'
especially in the age of the Internet, are racing through the Arab
and Muslim world, and showing a side of the American character that
seldom gets to be
seen, especially abroad.
of naked Arab men, some posed with laughing, jeering US women, is
the height of humiliation, and tells everyone who can see, that
Americans hold the Iraqis, and by extension, other Arabs, in utter
is not America," a politician huffs.
appalled!," yet another exclaims.
Yet, what is
truly appalling, and perhaps more chilling than the naked, human
pyramids shown, is the sheer glee shown in the faces of the Americans.
flashed in British tabloids, of soldiers urinating pissing!
on naked Iraqis, tells the same baleful tale.
These are the
actions of contempt, hatred, disrespect and conquest.
Are the Americans
and the British liberators or occupiers?
One need look
no further than the faces in the photos of Abu Ghraib for the answer.
recently with Emory Douglas, the celebrated former Minister of Culture
of the Black Panther Party, and chief graphic artist of its famed
newspaper, *The Black Panther*, Emory brought to mind an image that
is almost lost in history.
me of a police raid on the West Philadelphia offices of the Black
Panther Party, on August 31, 1970, when the police, armed with automatic
weapons, stripped men in the streets.
I also thought
of the infamous Charles Stuart case, from Boston, when a white man
claimed a Black man killed his wife. The cops descended on Roxbury,
Black Boston like a plague. They stripped men in the streets of
Many of the
Americans working in the prisons of Iraq, especially in the reserves,
are cops or prison guards in their civilian lives. Indeed, one of
the men identified as a suspect in the brutal mistreatment of people
in Abu Ghraib, indeed a corporal in the Army, works here, at SCI-Greene!
treatment of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib has its dark precedents in the
prisons and police stations across America.
Seymour Hersch, of *The New Yorker* magazine, has alleged that there
have been cases of sodomy against Iraqis there at Abu Ghraib, and
even killing. Does
the name Abner Louima ring a bell?
If you hate
someone; if you disrespect them; if you fear them, how can you 'liberate'
As we have
said from the very beginning, the Iraq Adventure is not, and never
has been, about 'liberating' an oppressed people. Indeed, a recent
CNN/USA Today poll suggests Iraqis have come to that conclusion,
with 71% stating Americans are "occupiers."
call it 'liberation,' but they are bringing torture, humiliation,
Nor are these
events the work of people who are "untrained", "poorly
trained," or the always useful, "bad apples."
As we have
suggested above, many of those who are there in Iraq, and hundreds
of the people working in Abu Ghraib prison, were reserves, and came
from jobs as prison guards and cops in civilian life. They are perhaps
better trained than the average M.P.
Don't buy it.
It is somehow
fitting that these depraved acts have happened in one of the most
dreadful gulags of the Hussein regime; it shows the continuity of
torture and terror.
Now, let us
prepare for the inevitable whitewash.
Those of us
who know history are certain it is sure to come.
2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.