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The Media Are the Enemy

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Salon’s Walter Shapiro does his best to justify publishing the Abu Ghraib rerun photos. (Hat tip: Allah.)

Abu Ghraib cannot be allowed to fade away like some half-forgotten domestic political controversy, which may have prompted newsmagazine covers at the time, but now seems as irrelevant as the 2002 elections. Abu Ghraib is not an issue of partisan sound bites or refighting the decision to invade Iraq. Grotesque violations of every value that America proclaims occurred within the walls of that prison. These abuses were carried out by soldiers who wore our flag on their uniforms and apparently believed that Americans here at home would approve of their conduct. Rather than hiding what they did out of shame, they commemorated their sadism with a visual record.

That is why Salon is willing to publish these troubling photographs, even as we are ashamed to live in a country that somehow came to accept that torture and prisoner abuse were simply business as usual — something that occurs while a sergeant catches up on his paperwork.

No word on how this oh-so-courageous defense of the “world’s right to know” fits with their craven refusal to publish the Danish Mohammed cartoons.

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