MoJo Video: Inside the Secret Cellblocks of Abu Ghraib

A soldier-narrated tour of the detainee camp during its final days.

Photo used under a Creative Commons license by flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rayphua/">Ray (rayphua)</a>

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With the recent release of new torture memos, and the news that Obama isn’t entirely ruling out prosecutions, it’s important to remember just how widespread America’s use of torture has been. This video footage was taken of Abu Ghraib during its final days in 2006, after the prisoners left but before it was torn down, and evidence of the camp was buried and burned. While not as dramatic as hundreds of rounds of waterboarding, the abuse outside interrogation rooms was another cog in the torture machine. The thousands of detainees living in the sprawling tents were kept in squalid conditions, exposed to the elements and mortar fire. The soldiers who filmed this tape point out the outdoor segregation cells where detainees were kept and deprived of sleep—even years after the Bush administration said the camp had been cleaned of any abusive practices. Abu Ghraib has closed, but these two matter-of-fact video tours remind us what it was like. That chapter in American history is not over.

 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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