Oh, no, oh, no, oh, no.
At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.
Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.
So you knew it was happening.
But now you know it was happening.
Oh, no, oh, no, oh, no.
[President Obama] said: “The most direct consequence of releasing [the pictures], I believe, would be to inflame anti-American public opinion and to put our troops in greater danger.”
Right. Not to point out that military culture is tied to the performance of a very specific, very violent form of masculinity in which to be a “pussy” or a “bitch” or a “faggot” is the worst thing imaginable, that it is a culture that promotes and tolerates pro-rape attitudes, that it is a culture that promotes and tolerates rape. Not to point out that military culture systematically cuts the hearts out of our young men and women, makes them into sociopaths and racists and misogynists and sadists and murderers, in the service of allowing them to more efficiently torture and kill an Other, because recognizing the Other’s humanity would only slow our boys down. Not to point out that rape is inevitably a part of war, that rape is a weapon of war. No. None of those would be the most direct consequence.
Mr Obama seemed to reinforce that view by adding: “I want to emphasise that these photos that were requested in this case are not particularly sensational, especially when compared to the painful images that we remember from Abu Ghraib.”
Right. Because we can construct a hierarchy of offenses against the basic humanity of others, in which rape is lower down on the list than pretty much everything else. Because that’s not an argument frequently used by those who wish to minimize the impact of rape or anything. Whatever. The President is telling you that torture is worse than rape. That torture is more sensational than rape. As if rape isn’t torture.
Oh, Jesus Christ, no, no, no, no, no.
[NOTES: First, you know that “triggering” thing people talk about so much? Here is how that looks, with me: I get VERY VERY ANGRY. So I cut out bits of this that were just anger and not insight. Second, I started writing this after I saw Breslin’s DoubleX post, but before I saw the Shakesville post. You should check the Shakesville one. We have a similar take – which take, apparently, includes the need to type some variant on “oh holy shit” over and over because what else can you say, really? – but Melissa McEwan is, as always, really insightful. And doesn’t go off the deep end, as I tend to do, with the whole scorched-earth anger thing.]