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Democracy's Blameless LeadersFrom Dresden to Abu Ghraib, How Leaders Evade Accountability for Abuse, Atrocity, and Killing$
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Neil James Mitchell

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814761441

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814761441.001.0001

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(p.138) 8 Baghdad
Democracy's Blameless Leaders

Neil James Mitchell

NYU Press

This chapter narrates how Donald Rumsfeld denied allegations of being involved in the abusive treatment of captured Iraqis at the Baghdad Central Correctional Facility, Abu Ghraib. This case shows that one of the difficulties with explaining the issue as an individually initiated rather than a state-initiated violation was that the Taguba Report linked the abuse to interrogation practices. Mistreating detainees was expected to produce information on the Iraqi insurgency. Moreover, the chapter explains that the evidence of abuse from Abu Ghraib implicated individuals and policymakers. It fitted a wider pattern of ill-treatment and was consistent with a strategic narrative emphasizing the use of violence and humiliation to extract information.

Keywords:   Donald Rumsfeld, Baghdad Central Correctional Facility, Abu Ghraib, Taguba Report, interrogation practices, violence, humiliation

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