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Ghosts of Abu Ghraib (2007)

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An examination of the prisoner abuse scandal involving U.S. soldiers and detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison in the fall of 2003.

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Israel Rivera ...
Himself
Megan Ambuhl Graner ...
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Javal Davis ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
John Yoo ...
Himself
Alberta Mora ...
Himself - Navy Department
Scott Horton ...
Himself - New York Bar
...
Himself - Author
John Hutson ...
Himself (as Rear Adm. John Hutson)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Dick Cheney ...
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Ken Davis ...
Himself - MP
Anthony Lagouranis ...
Himself
Mohammad Talal ...
Himself
Roman Krol ...
Himself
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Storyline

Examines the abuse, torture, and murder of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison at the hands of U.S. military police in the fall of 2003 and debunks the "bad apples" theory. The film asks: how can decent young soldiers take these actions, and, what orders came from the chain of command. The filmmaker interviews former detainees, soldiers, and MPs involved in photographed degradation. He references Dr. Stanley Milgrim's early 60's experiments. The film also traces memoranda from Secretary Rumsfeld, General Sanchez, and the U.S. Department of Justice allowing various interrogation methods along with a 2003 visit to Abu Ghraib by General Miller, who had been running Guantanimo. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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The Chilling Firsthand Account of Iraq's Most Notorious Prison


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January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fantasmas de Abu Ghraib  »

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Trivia

Donald Rumsfeld was approached to be interviewed, but turned said offer down. See more »

Quotes

[Screen Text]: The U.S. Military has not released the total number of deaths that occurred at Abu Ghraib.
[Unidentified Iraqi Prisoner]: [Speaking Arabic, translated to English Screen Text] The most painful thing for the inmates there, were the cries of the people being tortured. One day, they brought sheets to cover the cell...
[pause]
[Unidentified Iraqi Prisoner]: ... in order for no one to see anything. They began torturing one of them and we could hear what was happening. We listened as his soul cracked. The sound of his voice really twisted our minds and made our ...
[...]
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User Reviews

 
The Shame of America
23 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

HBO Films is currently presenting one of the nominated documentaries for a Grand Jury Prize at this years Sundance Festival: Ghosts of Abu Ghraib. This is a film that needs to be seen by every American. It is a stark lesson in what happens when we are led by individuals who have no respect for law and human rights.

Rory Kennedy's film is a masterpiece that demonstrated how and why America was shamed. It begins and ends with the lessons from the Milgram Experiment conducted in 1961. The actions of the guards at Abu Ghraib replicate the Stanford Prison Experiment of 1971. What is crucial is the fact that, as in the experiments, it has to be assumed that the soldiers were acting under higher authority. Part of the shame of what happened is that this higher authority escaped punishment for their crimes. This is, of course, the way of the world. The peons get the shaft while the higher authorities get medals and promotions.

A critical piece of evidence present might be missed: the techniques used at Abu Ghraib came from the Brazilian Military. These low-ranking soldiers would not have known of these measures. They had to be taught.

Again. all Americans need to see this excellent film to see what happens when authority is abused and law is ignored.


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