SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
Need to create a login? Want to change your email address or password? Forgot your password?
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
Why does the story about photographs documenting abuse at Abu Ghraib go on and on? There’s one quick answer: because the U.S. government keeps dissembling and covering it up. The last exercise came yesterday, when the Daily Telegraph secured a description of some of the withheld photos from Major General Antonio Taguba. Pentagon spokesman Bryan G. Whitman responded with a harsh attack on the reputation of Britain’s principal conservative quality paper, and the White House chimed in. But they have a problem: the Daily Telegraph report is correct. I secured specific corroboration of the Telegraph report and further details on the photos in a story in the Daily Beast, just up.
What’s this storm all about? Remember that Barack Obama announced his about-face decision to withhold the photos with a carefully worded statement that “the people who appeared in those photographs” had been investigated and prosecuted. That’s true. But there has been no investigation of responsibility up the chain of command for the decisions that produced these abuses, and that’s just what Obama appears intent on blocking. He fully appreciates that disclosure of the photos would fuel demands for appointment of a special prosecutor and a criminal investigation of the torture regime.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”