“The Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal: Sources of Sadism” is written by Marianne Szegedy-Maszak. The author is a reporter for the U.S. News & World Report. The author has written this article to explain how and why such instances as Abu Ghraib and others are being allowed to occur. The author claims that the isolation of the prison, and the natural cruelty that is present in humans is the main reason that the atrocities are being allowed to occur. However, the author fails to recognize the ways that authority figures are involved in the acts of torture that are being committed.
One of the examples that the author uses to support her theory is an experiment conducted by psychologist Stanley Milgram. This experiment helps to show how each individual …show more content…
The authority figures in the army place a little over 450 soldiers in a prison holding over 7,000 prisoners. This causes a great deal more stress on the guards then there would normally have been, even in a war situation. Normally the soldiers would have some small releases for their tension; however, in their situation they do not even have this.
The author uses this to explain how the circumstances of war influenced the soldier's mentality. However, she fails to address the actual problem seen in this situation. The problem being shown is not a failure to release tension in the soldiers; but is in the authority figures that fail to place a reasonable amount of guards in the prison. Thereby causing the guards to be more willing to act with extreme force.
The most obvious and completely overlooked piece of evidence in this article is a seemingly simple sentence that changes the whole argument included within the article. “The guards at Abu Ghraib were told that they were merely “softening up” the prisoners for interrogation”(Szegedy-Maszak 77). This sentence is the one piece of evidence that clearly shows how it is not the soldiers fault, but authority figures. The only ones who can order the soldiers to act this way is their commanding
Marianne Szegedy-Maszak, a senior writer at U.S. News and World, published her article, "The Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal: Sources of Sadism," in 2004. She uses the article to briefly overview the scandal as a whole before diving into what can trigger sadistic behavior. The Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal took place in 2004, wherein American troops humiliated and tortured Iraqi detainees (Szegedy-Maszak 75). The main objective of Szegedy-Maszak’s article is to investigate the causation behind sadistic behavior, exclusively in the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal. She effectively does so by gathering information and research from professional psychologists and professors of psychology, specifically Herbert Kelman and Robert Okin (Szegedy-Maszak 76). She finds
The soldiers must depersonalize themselves. They must be detached."This is a book about seeing and not seeing, about not being there in order to be there. It presents the paradoxes of a psyche, of an art that is compelled to examine itself, and yet is determined to control reality in a way that makes it able to be indured."
The original study took place at Yale University. Milgram came up with an advertisement to gain participants to contribute to his study. He offered them four dollars and told them it was a study about memory. Three people took place during each experiment. The three subjects were the experimenter the “learner” and the “teacher”. The experimenter was a dressed as a biology teacher and the “learner” was trained to act out his role. Of the three participants the teacher was only person that didn’t know about the actual study. The “teacher” and the “learner” were placed in separate rooms so that they were unable to see one another. The teacher’s role was to ask the “learner” a number of questions and punish the “learner”” for answering incorrectly. The “teacher” was advised to issue a shock to the “learner” each time he answered incorrectly. The participant was also told to administer +15-volts of shock for each additional question answered incorrectly.
Upon receiving the orders, Major Trapp delivered the news to his Battalion with tears in his eyes while his voice was shaking. To try and make this task easier, he reminded his soldiers that bombs were falling on women and children back home in Germany and that the Jews of this village supported the Partisans. Trapp spent that day in the town of Jozefow in the homes of the local priest and the mayor and ‘weeped like a child’(p.314). Even though Trapp had these feelings and knew that what he was tasked to do was morally wrong and inhumane, he carried out the orders, because ‘orders were orders’(p.314). This is similar to the Stanford prison experiment. This experiment was a simulation of a prison in the basement of Stanford University. Test subjects (university students) were divided into two groups: inmates and prison guards. The prison guards took advantage of their authority and ended up abusing the inmates verbally and physically. After a few days, many of the prisoners went mad. They felt trapped and wanted to hurt the guards. Five of the prisoners were so upset that they quit the simulation early. They had gone insane. The guards, who were regular students had turned into something that they were not; mean and scary prison guards. They ended up having no feelings about what they were
When Joe Darby first saw the images on those photos of Iraqi prisoners being tortured and abused by not just his fellow soldiers but by people he had known since high school he was torn between two choices. Those choices for Joe were, should he do or say nothing to protect his friends or should he do what was ethically correct. He chose the latter; “I knew that some people wouldn't agree with what I did... They view it as - I put American soldiers in prison over Iraqis (Joe Darby, 2004)” The photos showed Iraqi prisoners naked and posed in sexually suggestive ways. Some of the Iraqis in the photos were dead. Joe knew what was happening in these photos were wrong but because of the fear of repercussions it took him three weeks to turn them over and only after he was promised anonymity. He felt that was the end of it and he could go on doing his job. When the accused soldiers were removed he st...
Stanley Milgram, author of "The Perils of Obedience," conducted an experiment at Yale University to see if average citizens would partake in a study revolving around obedience to authority (Milgram 78). In said experiment, a professor from Yale would give an ordinary individual the authority to shock another person. If the ordinary individual asked to stop, the professor would coax them to continue and remind them they hold no responsibility (78). Not only did Milgram 's study revolve around obedience to authority, it also stressed the point of every person could be capable of torture and doing so without feeling responsible. In the article, "The Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal: Sources of Sadism," author Marianne Szegedy-Maszak states, anyone can
In short, the movie The Ghost of Abu Ghraib is about military police becoming prison guards for the Abu Ghraib prison. They had to watch hundreds of detainees at once, which could have been very dangerous if they came together to attack the guards. There was some torture at this time, but things really started to get worst when military intelligence took control over the military police. The interrogation tactics became harsher and the military police were forced to become more involved in the interrogation processes. They were told to do whatever they had to do to keep the detainees awake at night, have them naked most of the time, put them in stressor positions, anything to get information out of them. The military police didn’t necessarily agree with everything intelligence was telling them to do, but they did it any ways because they had too, it
Until there is a credible way to determine whether or not torture is in fact effective, I pass judgment that the practice should be discontinued. The question as to if the torture policy is a human rights violation or if it holds crucial necessity, is not answered in the essay. Applebaum explores the reality that torture possesses negative implications on the inflictor. After presented with the compelling stance and evidence, Applebaum raises the interesting question as to why so much of society believes that torture is successful. I agree that the torture policy is wrong, a point emphasized by Applebaum, contrary to the popular attitude surrounding the topic.
...experiment, felt that the experiment made such a deep impression on him that he became convinced that “social sciences and psychology, are much more important in today’s world.'; One can only imagine the inner conflicts that were running through his head. After the experiment, he described the mood, “I did want to stop at that time. I turned around and looked at [the experimenter]. I guess it’s a matter of…authority.';
Baumrind, Diana. “Review of Stanley Milgram’s Experiments on Obedience.” Writing and Reading for ACP Composition. Ed. Thomas E. Leahey and Christine R. Farris. New Jersey: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2009. 224-229. Print.
What has our society classified as a prisoner of war? A prisoner of war is someone who is a member of regular or irregular armed forces of a nation at war held by the enemy. After two years of war with the Middle East our society wonders what happens to the prisoners in jail. The other conflicts of prisoners of war is how they are treated in jail, also what did they do to be detained as a prisoner of war? In most situations, there is a legitimate reason why these people are taken captive. So many might ask what is happening to the Iraqis detained under Coalition forces custody, and do the prisons comply with standards set fourth in the Geneva Conventions? This subject is very controversial to the U.S and other nations. The controversial part of this subject is the alleged abuse of prisoners in jail in custody of U.S soldiers. There are many cases of prisoners dying in prison but is it because of abuse by American soldiers. This subject of abuse upon prisoners of war has reach all over the world especially to the United States. Our president George W. Bush, along with Congress, has arranged investigations on the events that happen inside the prisons. He has addressed to the nation that such things have not occurred, but what a U.S soldier knows may be a little different. This kind of action toward prisoners of war is illegal according to US law, which is dictated by the Geneva Conventions. If a soldier is found guilty of abuse, or other forms of mistreatment, that soldier will be recommended for court-martial. The other issue about this subject is that there are so many different opinions on this matter. One opinion is that U.S personnel really did cause the death of many prisoners of war. The other question i...
The use of torture has become a prominent matter of dispute as we enter an age of the global war on terror. The debate on whether it has become morally permissible to torture terrorists is argued by many as the legitimacy of such actions are brought into question in a world where global terror is outstanding. With the use of the ticking time bomb scenario, some make a desirable case that in special circumstances, there is a right to torture individuals implicated is acts of mass violence. Yet many would still argue that there are an array of inconsistencies hidden within the ticking bomb scenario and there are no circumstances where torture can be morally permissible, no matter what the consequences may hold.
There is a lot of parts that make a prison operate. From the generators to give out power to the building, to the janitors to keep the building clean and the mail room to sort and pass out the mail that’s comes through. But there is three key parts that make a prison function. One of those parts is; the outside fencing and barbwire that’s wrapped around the building. Without it inmates are able to come and go when they please. No boundaries are set making the jail pointless. A second key part is the commanding officer. His job is to control the inmates on what they do. The officer knows what the inmates are doing through the day, meaning if an inmate did something the officer knows about it. Lastly the holding cell.