On prisoner abuse

Given that the people involved in the Abu Ghraib disgrace are, in many cases, prison guards outside the military, is the disgraceful behavior something unique to the military aspect of the occupation, or is it business as usual for prison guards in general?

After all, a well known state Attorney General remarked with glee about the prospects of prison rape for convicted felons- at least, those he didn't like:

"I would love to personally escort [Ken] Lay to an 8-by-10 cell that he could share with a tattooed dude who says, 'Hi my name is Spike, honey.'"

Abuse of prisoners is commonplace in the US and, in the words of Weisberg and Mills, many people see it as "an appropriate element of the punishment regimen." So I suppose it, unfortunately, should not come as much of a surprise that when you take people from one abusive institutional culture and put them in charge of a similar institution _in an occupation zone_[1], that we get similar abuse.

The only fortunate aspect of this (aside from exposing bad seeds within the US military and providing an opportunity to weed them out) may be that the problem of domestic prisoner abuse may be highlighted once again.


fn1. Any military occupation will tempt the less moral and immoral to lord it over their wards, potentially leading to abuse-- which is why such occupations should be ended as soon as possible and turned over to local authority.

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