Standard operating procedure

by Philip Gourevitch

Other authorsErrol Morris (Author), Errol Morris (Author)
Hardcover, 2008




New York : Penguin Press, 2008.


Collects the stories of the American soldiers who took and appeared in the controversial digital photographs from Abu Ghraib, in a collaborative account of Iraq's occupation that reveals how it is being experienced by both guards and prisoners.

User reviews

LibraryThing member iftyzaidi
First published under the title 'Standard Operating Procedure' (one of the authors directed the accompanying documentary by the same name), this is an insightful and disturbing book which pokes under the hood of the Abu Ghraib scandal. At times I found it a slightly discomforting read since the authors do such a good job of humanizing the men and women who were found guilty of the Abu Ghraib abuses which shocked the world in 2005. But the authors' purpose is clear. Ultimately the responsibility for the worse of what happened at Abu Ghraib lies at the feet of those who were never tried or questioned. In some ways, the trials of the MPs who were in the photographs actually helped to cover up the crimes of others (particularly the Interregators). In fact some of the worse crimes (as defined by the Geneva Convention) were never tried at all, since they were considered to be part of 'Standard Operating Procedures' as determined by the chain of command. For example, no one was ever investigated or tried for the beating to death of a prisoner by interrogators in a shower cell, but the army did try to convict one of the MPs who found the body afterwards for posing with and photographing the dead body.… (more)
LibraryThing member whjensen
A most excellent, appalling book. It is an unflinching look at how individual people compromise their morals, and in the process, compromise the morals of an entire endeavor. Goerevitch has crafted a true crime story out of this episode and does not do it in a judging manner, but rather asks the questions of "Why?" without offering pat answers. Each reader will need to decide on their own why this happened.

My copy, on the Kindle, had many grammatical errors that distracted at first, but became invisible to my eyes as the story engrossed.
… (more)




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