Exposure

The woman behind the camera at Abu Ghraib.

  1. All that the soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company, a Reserve unit out of Cresaptown, Maryland, knew about America’s biggest military prison in Iraq, when they arrived there in early October of 2003, was that it was on the front lines. Its official name was Forward Operating Base Abu Ghraib. Never mind that military doctrine and the Geneva Conventions forbid holding prisoners in a combat zone, and require that they be sped to the rear; you had to make the opposite sort of journey to get to Abu Ghraib. You had to travel along some of the deadliest roads in the country, constantly bombed and frequently ambushed, into the Sunni Triangle. The prison squatted on the desert, a wall of sheer concrete traced with barbed wire, picketed by watchtowers. “Like something from a Mad Max movie,” Sergeant Javal Davis, of the 372nd, said. “Just like that, like, medieval.” There were more than two and a half miles of wall with twenty-four towers, enclosing two hundred and eighty acres of prison ...

The complete text of “Exposure” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.newyorker.com.

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