23 October 2006

Eyes wide open

How do we punish people as deeply twisted and malignant as George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzalez and Condoleeza Rice? John Wolfowitz, Colin Powell and many others, all of whom invented and spoke lies to justify waging war on Iraq?

How do we punish both Houses of Congress -- Republican and Democrat alike -- who voted to support this unspeakable atrocity?

How do we punish the ones who ignored their lies, who enabled them, who cheered them on, or who just didn’t care?

How, my friends, do we punish ourselves?

October 23, 2006

BAGHDAD — I keep seeing his face. He appears to be in his mid-20s, bespectacled, slightly bearded, and somehow his smile conveys a sense of prosperity to come. Perhaps he is set to marry, or enroll in graduate school, or launch a business — all of these flights of ambition seem possible.

In the next few images he is encased in plastic: His face is frozen in a ghoulish grimace. Blackened lesions blemish his neck.

"Drill holes," says Col. Khaled Rasheed, an Iraqi commander who is showing me the set of photographs.

He preserves the snapshots in a drawer, the image of the young man brimming with expectations always on top. There is no name, no identification, just a series of photos that documents the transformation of some mother's son into a slab of meat on a bloody table in a morgue.

"Please, please, I must show these photographs to President Bush," Rasheed pleads in desperation, as we sit in a bombed-out palace along the Tigris, once the elegant domain of Saddam Hussein's wife, now the command center for an Iraqi army battalion. "President Bush must know what is happening in Baghdad!"


Hat-tip to Digby at Hullabaloo.

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