hearts and minds.

War Pornography:
For almost a year, American soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been taking photographs of dead bodies, many of them horribly mutilated or blown to pieces, and sending them to Web site administrator Chris Wilson. In return for letting him post these images, Wilson gives the soldiers free access to his site. American soldiers have been using the pictures of disfigured Iraqi corpses as currency to buy pornography. [...]

The captions that accompany these images, which were apparently written by the soldiers who posted them, laugh and gloat over the bodies. The soldier who posted a picture of a corpse lying in a pool of his own brains and entrails wrote, "What every Iraqi should look like." The soldiers take pride, even joy, in displaying the dead. [...]

The legal fight over whether to release the remaining photographs of atrocities at Abu Ghraib has dragged on for months, with no less a figure than Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Meyers arguing that the release of such images will inflame the Muslim world and drive untold numbers to join al-Qaeda. But none of these can compare to the prospect of American troops casually bartering pictures of suffering and death for porn.

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25 Responses:

  1. azul_ros says:

    Man, that really shows how FUBAR'd the Bush Admin's gone!! They've started a War On Porn while this crap is going on!!!

    I'd laugh, but it's not very amusing. :/

  2. irma_vep says:

    Well, we show guts, brains, and mutilation on TV from all the major crime shows. The video games are violent. Movies show ramdon killing and destruction, So when soldiers are trained to kill, and that the Iraqi are the enemy, why are we suprised about this ? Add the fact that there is no access for men to hook up with women, and you have dead Iraqi for porno shots.

  3. jqmark says:

    Man some of those photos are the most disgusting things you will see in your entire lifetime. My god they even me kind of sick. What's worse is the discussion around the photos.
    There is no hope ! they breed faster we are doomed

  4. ammonoid says:

    I'd say thats about par for our culture. Violence, brutality, death? No problem. Tits? Oh NOES.

    • deafscribe says:

      Yes, exactly so. And these images are hidden away on an obscure Dutch website precisely because if they were getting mainstream exposure, support for the war would have rapidly evaporated long ago.

      Many of the discussions around the pictures talk about how the dismembered Iraqis had been blown apart in the course of attacking American troops. Which leads one to ask - why are American troops there? All the rationales offered up by Bush have been discredited, and the potemkin "democracy" the administration pretends to be creating rings rather hollow amid the echos of daily bombs.

      Progressives have spent much time and energy the past few years explaining why the war is wrong, but reason won't, unfortunately, match the emotional power and impact of images like these.

      So turn them loose. Let the world see for themselves what we have spawned. Let them ask how many Iraqi civilians have perished in this conflict. Let's demand answers for the truths we're seeing on the ground. Let's look at these pictures and remember there are American soldiers who have died horrible, grotesque deaths, and ask the men who sent them there:

      Why? Does the oil mean that much?

      • ammonoid says:

        I think you completely missed what I was saying. Do you think the pictures would erode support for the war if they were widely dispersed? I don't think so. I think most Americans wouldn't care. Look at what a non-issue the Abu Gahraib thing has become.

        • deafscribe says:

          I understood your point. That IS the cultural standard in the U.S. - violence is accepted, sex is demonized.

          My point was that if the reality of the violence we instigate were made apparent, it would become less acceptable. I disagree that people have ignored Abu Ghraib. It has largely disappeared from view in the mainstream media, but it has contributed much to Bush's basement polling numbers.

          The administration tried to isolate and dismiss Abu Ghraib, but taken together with all the other messes they've made, their incompetence is clear. If Americans see their soldiers brains lying on the roadside, with no useful results to show for it, they'll be hollering for change.

          BushCo knows that - it's why they get all bent out of shape over simple pictures of coffins.

          • chloralone says:

            Perhaps you're both right. Pictures of dead Iraqis disturb most Americans. Pictures of dead Americans infuriate the living hell out of them.

            I remember the shitfit water-cooler discussions going on at work during the Daniel Pearl/Nick Berg/Jessica Lynch motorcade* videos. That really pissed people off and got them cursing the war.

            A dead Iraqi is a dead Iraqi. A dead American soldier kind of looks like your son, or your neighbor's son.

            PS: I don't mean to devalue either Iraqi or American lives here, just poorly illustrating a point ;)

            * At least I believe it was her motorcade. Anyway, the video of the row of vehicles on the Iraqi road littered with dead American soldiers. The video later shows their corpses being dragged around in a room. It was shown on CNN and I'm sure BushRove threw a fit.

        • chloralone says:

          The Abu Ghraib photos eroded support, and these photos have been brought up by anti-war folks as examples of war atrocities. So yeah, I think it would erode support for the war.

          And I don't believe that its not that Americans don't care, it's that they've got enough shit to worry about in their own lives (mortgage, paying off the lexus/honda/kia, taking the kids to soccer practice, ircing, posting on lj, etc). There's also probably a known element of futility. There's also the fact that the war is many miles away and our only information about it comes from the media, who tidies it up and desensitizes it.

          Yesterday on CNN, we read about "22 Iraqis found dead". What did you think when you read it? Did you think about each and every one of those 22 people's families and the anguish they must be experiencing?

          No. You probably moved down to the next article about Britney Spears' new baby, as I did. It doesn't make you or I a horrible person, it's just our way of coping with all of the madness.

  5. lars_larsen says:

    "Guess who received pornography in exchange for their photos, and who received a court martial."


  6. snitrocket says:

    So, about that dissolving the Union thing... I'm starting to think a Balklinized US is positive. Those in favor?

  7. hmmz says:

    I don't even have to read the article and I know this is about NTFU, one of the best sites on the net. It is well worth the cost (monetary or through photography) of becoming a member.

    • jwz says:

      If you think that pictures of mutilated murder victims is "one of the best things on the net", you are among the world's largest douchebags. You can go away now.

      • dasht_brk says:

        Perhaps he's one of those people who are paid to blog-comment for a site to generate "buzz". And, even if not, the one's that are serve as "thought leaders" in what makes for a good blog commentary post -- me-tooism.

        While not "great" (in the enthusiastic sense), these photos are kind of important. Whether you're for or against the war, it's important to not be unrealistic about what it entails -- what effects it has on people.

        My thing is: if we don't win on the ground, we're sure to win from the air in a far less personal way.

        Facists have condemned a lot of people to death. The only questions are how many and at what cultural/psych expense to non-facist people. These photos underscore that question.


        • jwz says:

          I agree that they're important; I disagree that they're "awesome!!!111" as this joker seems to think.

      • chloralone says:

        I believe the poster was referring to the site as a whole, which IS great, if you like amateur porn, or you're lucky* enough to have a girlfriend that likes being naked and flaunting it.

        The "dead iraqi" forums are only a small, non-busy part of the site. They are posted by soldiers sent over to Iraq/Afghanistan. They are constantly shot at and not very well-liked, and probably too young to be adequately equipped to cope with the horror. It seems this is their way of blowing off steam in a world gone mad, to quote the Beastie Boys.

        I've seen some other "private dead brown people" photo collections that make these appear somewhat tame. Lots of media hype over noth^H^H^Hnot much.

        I'm sure you don't think soylent is a horrible person for his site? It's the same sort of deal.

        (* Yes, I'm a lucky one)

        • hmmz says:

          Thank you, that's exactly what I'm talking about. There are a ton of different sections on the site. It is built like a forum (it /is/ a forum, really), and each board has a different "topic". If you don't want to see dead bodies don't go in that board, if you don't want to see anal 3somes, don't go in that board. But the site as a whole is awesome, and the people on the site are all very nice to deal with. For a bunch of pervs, they are some of the nicest people I've known.

        • jwz says:

          Um. Yeah, I'm sure the fucking Beastie Boys invented the phrase "world gone mad". They're like, philosophers, dude.

          You've now quoted fratboy rappers, bragged about your pr0nstar girlfriend, and defended murder all in the same post.

          Go away.

      • hmmz says:

        I'm not talking about those. Yes, those are on NTFU, but there is also homemade porn and other things that are more pleasant to look at. I don't go into the sections that have that sort of stuff.

  8. Imagine the fallout for the next 50 years as these people reenter the civilian population. It'll make Rambo: First Blood look like the Care Bears Movie.

  9. kyronfive says:

    I think the logical aftermath of this in our culture qualifies for the "grim meathook future" tag as well.

  10. britcool5 says:

    Anybody know of a desktop program to archive a site? The site might well be used in war crimes trials, it's essential it gets archived before Uncle Rummie pulls it down, more to save face than anything. In any case, I doubt the incriminating data will be on there for long.

  11. I thought you'd appreciate a device to suck the snot out of your baby's nose and store it in a sac. The pressure is provided by the parent sucking on a straw. With pics, including one of it in action and two of the packaging.