Beneath the Hoods

What if the FBI had tortured Zacarias Moussaoui, the would-be 20th hijacker, into revealing the plot to destroy the World Trade Center in time to stop it? Who could blame it? These were not people playing by any rules of civilized warfare, and nor are terrorists in Iraq. At Abu Ghraib, military-intelligence officers were concerned about the poor “product” they were getting from prisoner interrogations, and they pressured the military-police guards there to “soften up” their charges between sessions. That, at least, is the defense of the six MPs now facing charges in the scandal. So why did Cpl. Charles Graner Jr. order a young woman to pull her shirt up to her neck? She was an accused prostitute. MPs allegedly ordered Hussein Mohsen Matar to masturbate, and rode on his naked back as he crawled on all fours. He was an accused thief. Haqi Ismail Abdul-Hamid, famously menaced by a snarling dog, had at least kicked an Iraqi policemen and threatened to kill Coalition soldiers. But he was…

Read more