Rated: Unrated
Genre: Documentary
Directed By: Rory Kennedy
Running Time: 1:18
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 6/05/07
Special Features:

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In the beginning of Rory Kennedyís film, we watch an experiment held by a psychiatrist in the sixties, in which he enlisted folks to shock a man, which he presumed would bring about violent reactions from him. The actual experiment though, was to see how obedient humans could be under a stern authority, as the man being shocked, and the actual electrocution was all an act. As the tapes roll and the volunteers continue upping the electric shock, they seem to be enjoying hearing the actor scream in pain. A few protest, but the rest seem to laugh whenever his screams are heard in the next room. The message here is clear. Sure, they were just following orders, but something in them enjoyed inflicting pain on this man.

The same could be said for the folks who took part in the torture of Abu Ghraib, and in the continuous torture occurring in US Sanctioned death camps to suspected terrorists. The problem with this attempt justification that the terrorists deserve this, is that it is against the Geneva convention, itís utterly illegal, and that with Habeus Corpus completely deleted from the Constitution, any one of us suspected of terrorism, can be held and tortured without protest or defense from an attorney.  

In 2001, we were hit with a massive terror attack by the Al Qaeda, in 2003 we went to war with Iraq, a country that had no connection to the attacks. The US, purposely misled by the government, was lead into a war that we shouldnít have been fighting in the first place, and among one of the many fiascos of the results of this war, was Abu Ghraib. Whatís shocking is how permissive the US government was to allow this torture to be held under our noses, and even vote to make it policy. Since when is torturing just because our ďenemiesĒ torture actual justification? Itís not. The events of Abu Ghraib were just an indirect result of human sadism on other humans under a pretext we assumed justified our holier than thou country.

And itís funny to hear the soldiers interviewed to try and justify their own actions, even in the admittance that what they did was cruel. They followed orders, they were upset, Abu Ghraib just got to them mentally. Itís rather eerie how similar they sound to Naziís during the Nuremburg trials, including the sheer lack of apologies from all the interviewees. And itís a shame the soldiers involved havenít paid for their crimes as the Naziís have. Thatís America for you. "I was just following orders." Keep saying it. It might sound true after a while.

Kennedyís documentary is one of the most grueling, and horrible examples of unjustified human cruelty, war crimes we allowed under our noses, and pure sadism, and we were the causes of it. We have to keep remembering that this happened because of us.



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