How the Kent State Killings &
Abu Ghraib Horrors are Alike
Wired Magazine has some chilling new photos of the horrible abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American guards at the now-infamous Abu Ghraib prison. I have to warn you: they're pretty graphic. There's also a story accompanying the photos. As it happens, this week the National Geographic TV channel also debuted a splendid new hour-long documentary on the Kent State shootings of May 1970, and while the Kent State buffs and obsessives didn't find anything new in it, the average viewer probably did (me included). I learned, for instance, that while no one was ever convicted for the shootings, a number of grunts from the Ohio National Guard were subjected to criminal and civil proceedings. None of their leaders, however, had to answer for their decisions in a court of law. Sound familiar? The same thing happened in the wake of Abu Ghraib. Some low-ranking prison guards had to face the music, but further up the military chain of command--up to and including the defense secretary--no one never had to answer for the uniquely heinous crimes that will rightly stain America's reputation for decades. The horrible events at Kent State and Abu Ghraib were sad enough without that additional bit of injustice adding salt to the wound.