“I saw it”
A new horrifying prisoner abuse scandal, this time revealed by a West Point officer and backed up by two sergeants.
Support for some of the allegations of abuse come from a sergeant of the 82nd Airborne who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Human Rights Watch quotes him as saying that, “To ‘F____ a PUC’ means to beat him up. We would give them blows to the head, chest, legs, and stomach, pull them down, kick dirt on them. This happened every day. To ‘smoke’ someone is to put them in stress positions until they get muscle fatigue and pass out. That happened every day. Some days we would just get bored so we would have everyone sit in a corner and then make them get in a pyramid. This was before Abu Ghraib but just like it. We did that for amusement.
“On their day off people would show up all the time,” the sergeant continues in the HRW report. “Everyone in camp knew if you wanted to work out your frustration you show up at the PUC tent. In a way it was sport. The cooks were all U.S. soldiers. One day a sergeant shows up and tells a PUC to grab a pole. He told him to bend over and broke the guy’s leg with a mini Louisville Slugger that was a metal bat. He was the cook.”
From Robert Hughes Goya:
Artists are rarely moral heroes and should not expect to be, any more than plumbers or dog breeders are. Goya, being neither madman nor masochist, had no taste for martyrdom. But he sometimes was heroic, particularly in his conflicted relations with the last Bourbon monarch he served, the odious and arbitrarily cruel Fernando VII. His work asserted that men and women should be free from tyranny and superstition; that torture and, rape, despoliation, and massacre, those perennial props of power in both the civil and the religious arena, were intolerable: and that those who condoned or employed them were not to be trusted, no matter how seductive the bugle calls and the swearing of allegiance might seem. At fifteen, to find this voice – so finely wrought and yet so raw, public and yet strangely private – speaking to me with such insistence and urgency from a remote time and a country I’d never been to, of whose language I spoke not a word, was no small thing. It had the feeling of a message transmitted with terrible urgency, mouth to ear: this is the truth, you must know this, I have been through it. Or, as Goya scratched at the bottom of his copperplates in Los desastres de la guerra: “Yo lo vi,” “I saw it.” “It” was unbelievably strange, but the “yo” made it believable.