A Permanent Accusation
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Uploaded on Jan 27, 2007
This series has been seen all around the world in major museums, but in the United States no institution will have them. Since the making of this movie, only two - UC Berkeley's Doe Library and the American University Museum in Washington DC - have had the courage to expose this controversial work to the American people.
"I was very impressed by the nobility of some of the people you saw in the photos. Many were old people with beards that look like prophets from the bible. There were people who grew beards because of their religious conviction, who were proud of their religion. And they were at the hands of teenagers who had no knowledge of their religion, who had no respect. They called them rag heads. This was terrible. There was no respect for these old people. Thats why in some of my paintings I tried to make them look like prophets to show that these people have a tremendous dignity. And they were treated in a terrible way by people who are ignorant. Of course these soldiers were poor people who have no knowledge of anything that is not American. For me it was important to try and give back dignity to the people despite them being victimized."
US Brigadier General Karpinski:
"We must face the realities of what the occupation of Iraq has done to US military personnel, prisoners and all Iraqis. Torture and abuse was authorized by the highest levels of our government, in clear violation of the Geneva Conventions and human rights. Our elected officials used our ill equipped soldiers by playing on their fear and anguish. These soldiers did what they were told, desperate to please instructors who promised that their actions would help bring the war to an end - negligent, evil minded instructors who were actually independent contractors more concerned about lining their pockets with profits. Thousands of innocent Iraqis were detained without hope of release. They were subjected to torture at the hands of their captors and the guards assigned to protect them. Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and other senior officials remain blameless. Those who knew, directed it, endorsed it and supported it stepped casually into the role of torturers and abusers, replacing the former Iraqi dictator himself, Saddam Hussein."
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