Torture, it would seem, is as American as Apple Pie.
Torture, it would seem, is as American as Apple Pie.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – ABC Radio National: Late Night Live – Janis Karpinski – May 22, 2006 – ABC Radio National, Australia/Gordon Skene Sound Collection

With the latest set of horrifying revelations over torture and prisoner abuse via the CIA, I’m reminded there is a history here. Those of you who remember the photos leaked from the goings-on at the infamous Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq will no doubt not be surprised over these latest findings. What is surprising is that it took so long for these allegations of abuse to surface. Or maybe not.

Some 11 years after the Abu Ghraib incident, and a goodly amount of back peddling, justifying and sandbagging later, what many people suspected was going on all this time was in fact true.

At the time, the center of the storm circled around one Commanding General of the Abu Ghraib Prison and a group of guards. Janis Karpinski was singled out – labeled part of a group of “bad apples” and subsequently tossed under the bus, demoted in rank and drummed out of the Military in the hopes the nagging questions would go away.

With the ongoing odyssey of Guantanamo, it was clear the routine process of human rights violations and extreme interrogation techniques (i.e. torture) was still going on. And it was only until the past few days, with the release of the CIA Torture report that the true and complete picture has finally been known.

It should come as no surprise.

In 2006, as a way of attempting to exonerate her role in the earlier scandal, Janis Karpinski wrote a book One Woman’s Army in which she described what went on, how far this chain of command went and who was ultimately responsible for this system of abuses and how they were ultimately fruitless.

As a reminder, and an irony, here is an interview with Karpinski, conducted by Phillip Adams for the ABC Radio National program Late Night Live in Australia on May 22, 2006. He devotes practically the entire program to hearing Karpinski’s side of the story and it makes for fascinating listening.

Here is that entire interview.

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