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Should Torture Pictures Be Shown?

Pictures of U.S. soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners and the video of the beheading of an American by terrrorists has raised the question whether they should have been published. DW-WORLD readers share their thoughts.


Iraqis wait outside the prison where the torturing took place

Governments always try to hide their criminal behavior and the U.S. in Irak has committed acts of bestiality which Washington ignored until these pictures were revealed. The International Red Cross, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch warned Washington about these crimes last year, but the U.S. Defence Department ignored this information until the pictures were disclosed to the world public. Now, Washington is finding ways to place the blame on lowest ranking soldiers while Rumsfeld and his generals go free. Such pictures and tales of horror inform the world to react against state-sponsored brutality and I think the media must stay vigilant. -- Atilla Iftikhar

The media must show graphic pictures, or the world wouldn't know much about the atrocities committed by the U.S. and Israeli soldiers! Jordan Stefanov

The photos of torture that have been displayed in the media need to be seen. We living in the U.S. must share in the humiliation caused by these photos. As a first world nation our international responsibility is not limited to finding and apprehending those who have intent to cause harm. While the effort to prevent catastrophes from terrorism is an interminable struggle it in no means authorizes activities that are in violation of human and civil rights. This breach of conduct makes me wonder what is so sacred about my way of life that these disgraceful means are employed to protect them. Please believe that not all Americans support the group of U.S. politicians that have brought this degradation upon us all. I am both deeply saddened and immensely angry. -- Jonathan Hanken

No, I don't think highest-ranking officials will be held responsible. Already young, naive soldiers from a small town in rural Appalachia are being charged for these crimes despite the fact that no one will tell who gave the order. This administration is the most crooked and evil administration my country has ever seen, and us Americans are pissed off about it. I wish that people all over the world could see this. Any decent minister would resign because of this, but Rumsfeld is a power hungry bastard, just like the rest of the administration. I remember hearing stories about Gulag prisoners passing around battered copies of the U.S. constitution during the Soviet era because it gave them hope. I am ashamed for my country and the behavior of its government. That constitution still is the best damn document on democracy, but I fear it will forever be tarnished by those who spit on it everyday when making their policies. -- Cathleen Glover, Washington, DC, USA

I don't believe the publication of the photos was appropriate -- shame on whoever released them. Though I think the pictures are disgusting, we are at war. I don't believe there is a harmless method of obtaining information from a prisoner of war. I believe in the guidelines of the Geneva Convention so far the insurgents that are fighting against peace have not followed the guidelines for Coalition POW's. I am sorry if these poor prisoners were humiliated and may have a nightmare but if their resolve is finally broken and they provide information that prevents further attacks against the Iraqi civilians, or anywhere in the world for that matter, then so be it. Plain and simple: war sucks - but countries at war with America have an advantage knowing the world will hold us to an unfair standard of fighting. -- Ann, Atlanta, GA USA

This is a question that must be addressed in volumes rather than 20 words. The world is at war and strategies conducive to winning it must be realized. Losing the war for the sake of sparing a few lives would prove costly with many more lives lost. All parties must realize the severity of war and its consequences. No war was ever fought or won on humanitarian platforms. All laws, religious or legal allow for pre-emptive action to stabilize situations. The middle east should have advanced with time...but didn't. A little nudge will go a long way to save the region from total anarchy. -- Sam Tayar

The Berg video must be shown, so that the entire world sees the shameful face of terrorism. -- Robert Glenn Hughes

Yes, the Berg video should be shown. If people are being buchered beyond recognition, why is it ethical to pretend it is not that bad? If the public knows what is really going on, perhaps there is still hope for mankind. -- Ivana Walldner

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