Monday, March 26, 2007

The American Ghosts of Abu Ghraib

By Sam Provance
March 27, 2007

For those of you who have not heard of me, I am Sam Provance. My career as an Army sergeant came to a premature end at age 32 after eight years of decorated service, because I refused to remain silent about Abu Ghraib, where I served for five months in 2004 at the height of the abuses.

A noncommissioned officer specializing in intelligence analysis, my job at Abu Ghraib was systems administrator (“the computer guy”). But I had the misfortune of being on the night shift, saw detainees dragged in for interrogation, heard the screams, and saw many of them dragged out. I was sent back to my parent unit in Germany shortly after the Army began the first of its many self-investigations.

Read on.

4 comments:

Karen said...

Dear Sam,
Thank you for the beautiful statement about your harrowing experience at Abu Ghraib, with the media and military, and with Senator Graham. Thank you for standing up for decency and true American values. You and General Karpinski are true South Carolina heros.
Soundspring

Sonja said...

Dear Sam,

In the Netherlands, our new government has simply forbidden a parliamentairy inquiry on the reasons for our political and militairy support of the US invasion of Iraq. In a secret deal during the formation of the government. Human rights and international laws were passed among eachother as if they were twinkie wrappers.
The majority in parliament demands such an inquiry. The majority of the Dutch people (73%) were against supporting the Iraq war.

I used to live in a liberal and tolerant country, but things have drastically since 9/11. The brother of our fourth time prime minister (don't even ask...) Balkenende is CEO of a pipeline making multinational. Our transatlantic minister of Foreign Affairs (Ben Bot) about the demand for an inquiry: "We're not going to stir in that pot." Muslim bashers with extreme right connotations are already voted into parliament. And the political situation in the Netherlands is still benevolent if you compare it with other European Union countries.

My country is decisively turning into a new American state where hypocrisy rules and facts are things the government wipes its bottom with. That's why we desperately need, in Europe too, people like you who have the courage to stand against the lies and the hypocrisy. So, thank you.

Sam Thornton said...

Hello, Sam. I'm another Sam from another era. Volunteered for Vietnam, all that crap. Experienced some amazingly perverse stuff in my time in MI, but nothing remotely like what you witnessed. We both know where the shit comes from and which direction it flows.

Impeachment is necessary but insufficient for the clowns responsible for this BS. At a minimum, George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, and Alberto Gonzalez must each be referred to an international war crimes tribunal, if for no other reason than to restore the credibility and honor of the US. These men are each in their own way the blackest of tyrants, rivaling Saddam in the acts of butchery, torture, and murder committed on their orders.

publion said...

I'm especially concerned about Graham and what his matirity (or lack of it) says about JAGs. I think their whole arrogant, fratboy attitude (compensating for the vicious scam that is their bread&butter?) has helped enable this whole rotten slide into the mess things are in today.