Britain’s Channel 4 television screened a documentary on March 2 that should be mandatory viewing for those who believe that America’s justice system is in dire straits, or that wayward guards only let loose at Abu Ghraib. Cataloguing torture, abuse and shocking sadism, we’re given a picture of an ideology ruled by a punishment mantra. A lawyer fighting for victim compensation says that Abu Ghraib, far from being the work of a few rogue individuals, was simply the export of the worst practices that take place in the domestic prison system all the time.
Video footage allegedly exists from within Guantanamo Bay. US authorities claim that no systematic abuse has occurred there, but they refuse to release the material. We should be asking many more questions. Can we as Australians seriously believe the Bush administration when they say that “our” detainee David Hicks hasn’t been tortured?