The New Yorker
has several clips from “Standard Operating Procedure,” a new Errol Morris documentary about Abu Ghraib.
ERROL MORRIS: Are these kids [locked up in Abu Ghraib] suspected of being terrorists or just…?
SABRINA HARMAN [a U.S. Army specialist who took photographs at Abu Ghraib and was convicted by court-martial for her conduct there, shown here]: No.
ERROL MORRIS: If you could talk about that?
SABRINA HARMAN: I don’t know what all of them were in for. We had so many from age 10 all the way up. I think the youngest one was because his father was passing notes or doing something illegal, but they held him also. I don’t know if the kid was involved, but he, he’s, he’s a little kid. I mean, he could have fit through the bars he was so little.
ERROL MORRIS: So how does this make you feel? I mean, you’re seeing all these kids...
SABRINA HARMAN: Well, you go numb. I mean there’s…You really don’t have any feelings. You can’t feel because you’ll just go crazy, so you just kind of blow it off. You can only make their stay a little bit acceptable, I guess. You give them all the candy from the MREs [“meals ready to eat”] to make their time go by better, I guess, but there’s only so much you can do or so much you can feel.
ERROL MORRIS: And do you think that there were reasons that these kids were being held, other than their mother or their father?
SABRINA HARMAN: I’m sure the older ones, like the 16, 17 year olds, they probably assisted in something, or the IPs [Iraqi police] probably picked them up for some reason. But it’s kind of corrupt there with the system because five different people can be in there charged for the same murder, and you could just wait there, forever. I mean, if your neighbor doesn’t like you, he can be like, “Hey, this guy’s a terrorist. This guy just killed a soldier,” and the soldiers of course would think it’s true and they would go over there and they would arrest him. I mean, a lot of that happened, but it’s just a matter of time before you can prove it, that it happened, that these guys were actually innocent. Because there are so many people flooding in, we just didn’t have the resources to get to each one of them in a normal fashion.