What Joe Darby Did Essay

What Joe Darby Did Essay

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Which is more unethical, a soldier who has been under the stress of war and not fully trained for the job abusing enemy prisoners, another soldier who after seeing pictures of horrible prisoner abuse and becomes a whistle-blower or the Secretary of Defense leaking the name of a whistle-blower? That is the question I will look at in this paper. Being a part of a team or group is very important to most people, acceptance and friendship is something we all long for. So when reserve soldier Joe Darby saw some pictures of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq he was taken aback. After a lot of soul searching he knew what he must do. This decision would change many lives forever. Nonetheless I feel the real ethical issue in this story is not what Joe or his fellow soldiers did in 2004 but what Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld did.
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...


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... moral and ethics to bring it to his superiors they were dealt with and punished appropriately. That should have been the end of the story, however when Donald Rumsfeld spoke the name Joe Darby in his statement he erased all the hard work many public sector administrators have done for decades to put ethics into government. It is totally astonishing that a man of his experience and knowledge would betray a whistle-blower the way he did. This writer hopes that this will be a lesson for anyone in the public life as to what not to do and may we learn from Joe Darby that loyalty above all but honor is the best way to make ethical decisions.



Works Cited

Bryan, D., (2007). “Abu Ghraib Whistle-blower’s Ordeal” Web. Retrieved 06 March 2012
The American Society for Public Administration (1999). “Article I, Section 4 of ASPA's
Bylaws”. Web. 23 February 2012

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