Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal Summary

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“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

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