Tara McKelvey is the author of Monstering: Inside America's Policy of Secret Interrogations and Torture in the Terror War.
Ken Silverstein interviewed her for Harper's Magazine.
Their opening exchange:
The general story of the abuses at Abu Ghraib has by now been well covered. What has the media missed?Read the entire interview.
The media only focused on the photographs. They missed the fact that the abuse was systematic and that the worst things were not even shown in the pictures. That’s what my book is about: what happened beyond the frame of the Abu Ghraib photos. Thousands of detainees have gone through U.S.-run facilities in Iraq, but thousands more — anyone held for less than fourteen days — were never registered or tracked. Human-rights reports and interviews I conducted show that some of the worst abuses took place at short-term facilities — a police station in Samarra, a school gymnasium, a trailer, and places like that, where individuals were held for up to two weeks. It’s also important to remember that reports from the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as numerous military documents, show that 70 to 90 percent of the detainees had no information that would have been useful to the troops.