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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 May 2004, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
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Your comments on the Shamed programme.

Due to the high number of e-mails we get we cannot guarantee to publish every single message we receive. We may also edit some e-mails for legal reasons and for purposes of clarity and length.

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Frightening state-sponsored brutality superbly reported
Chris Collins, Wales
However much I abhor the thought of anyone using torture, I've always thought it naive to think that Western countries don't, at least occasionally, operate outside of the Geneva convention.

But to take us into war on 'moral' grounds and not make sure that these practices either weren't carried out, or were at the very least better hidden, was true stupidity at best, and the fodder for a brilliant recruitment campaign for al-Qaeda at worst.

A very interesting programme. I can only hope we'll see some US administration heads roll (metaphorically speaking!) but I won't hold my breath.
Steph, UK

Shame
Shane, England, UK

This story is just another example of the unbalanced anti-American reporting at the BBC. It seems like everyone in England has no gratitude for America saving the UK in both WW1 and WWII.
Marty, Tucson, USA

Although the abuse at the Abu-Ghraib was not un-condoned by the US government, it is going too far to say it was encouraged and systematic. Rather, it was probably the result of disorganization and the abusers and their immediate superiors were left too much to their own devices. I don't wish to lessen the importance and outrageousness of the entire affair, from the abuse itself to the government's handling of it, but I think the media should be showing us the rest of what's happening in Iraq rather than playing up the same scandal for weeks. The only good that can, but probably won't, come from of this is that the Bush administration will realize it ought to hold itself within the bounds of the Geneva Convention, etc. I thought my government was above saying "since they did it, we can do it, too." I also pray that somehow the Iraq situation can be saved so that all the honourable coalition soldiers and Iraqis have not been through hell for nothing.
Anne, USA

Frightening state-sponsored brutality superbly reported. The politicians need to be brought to account. Excellent to see Panorama back to a night slot. Makes TV worth watching.
Chris Collins, Wales, UK

Thank you for highlighting the current problems in Iraq. I am absolutely outraged, but not at all surprised, at the findings at the Abu Ghraib prison. This is yet again a demonstration of America's/(UK?) double standards. I can only hope that those responsible be made accountable, all the way to the very top, as leadership comes down the chains of command and not from ground level.

I remain convinced this conflict's primary aim was routed in oil. After all, have we done anything in the poorer African countries which have recently endured mass genocide? No.

Whilst USA continues with it's current foreign policies, uses double standards, sidesteps the Geneva convention at it's discretion (Guantanamo Bay), it can only expect further reprisals. I feel disgusted and dread to think how Muslims will view this state of affairs. Are we trying to breed the next generation of suicide bombers?
Simon McCabe, Wareham, England

Apparently, 'Jane Corbin investigates who had command responsibility for [...] British forces implicated in this scandal'.

Alternatively - The BBC recycle the same stories from the news over the last three weeks, highlighting one (already known) complaint against British forces that is subject to an investigation, whilst dressing it up as being indicative of systematic abuse by British troops.

Impartial journalism? I thought not.
Ian, Lancashire

Being British, I feel embarrassed, as a Muslim I feel confused
Sadia Sajid (17), Bolton
A very informative documentary, shocking and embarrassing. Unlike some of the people above, I do not think there is any excuse for this abuse. If we were to defend this abuse as revenge for Nick Berg, then surely somebody could maintain that terrorist actions are justifiable by the suffering of their brothers and sisters at the hands of another enemy? But that is beside the point. As a British Muslim I can say that coalition forces in Iraq left a doubt in my mind at the beginning, but I like many others began to look at the positive side. However, these pictures are very worrying. Being British, I feel embarrassed, as a Muslim I feel confused.
Sadia Sajid (17), Bolton, England

It is disgusting and disturbing that Saddam's practices are adopted by the liberators. Iraqis must be given a chance to live, not be humiliated. This is a whitewash. From your programme there is every indication this goes right to the top, and really the UK government are as guilty.

Hoon and Blair should carry the can for not distancing themselves from such practices and highlighting it to the US administration. It is particularly humiliating to tell my daughter who is an Iraqi Briton that this has been done in her name by her country against her brothers and sisters.
Yasar m.s. Hasan, Iraqi in UK

I wasn't shocked by your programme as I think we all suspected the photos in the papers were only the tip of a very large iceberg, but I watched it with a deepening unease. When the most powerful, and supposedly just, nation on earth not only condones but actively encourages torture and human rights abuses where the hell is it all going to end up! I know Americans have a (unfair) reputation for stupidity but surely these well educated, intelligent people in Washington can see the far reaching implications of their actions at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. I got the feeling with your programme that you were trying to cram as much in as possible, I bet you could have done with another hour or two, unfortunately.
Matt, Scarborough, UK

The longer the media persist with the mistreatment issue ... the Western world's reputation in the Middle East will be tarnished further
Paul Davies, Reading
Watching the photos was disgusting and the fact that there are more photos waiting to shock the world is a terrifying feeling. The US has always imposed its views on the world and this case is no different. They will mention a dozen scapegoats and the real culprits - the advisers in the Pentagon will live another life.

After a few moments of intense discussion, the topic will lose the imagination of the American public and the CIA, FBI and DoD will breathe a sigh of relief and go about these practices once again, as if nothing happened. Hence for all the outrage now, the markings in history will be different.

The US, which has consistently criticized a lot of nations including China (Tibet and democracy), India (Kashmir), Middle East etc is the biggest violator of human rights. They not only violate human rights but double the violation by hiding it from others. To think, it is a pity that George Bush is going back to Imperialism as a solution to globalization issues.
Ch V Kalyan, Boston, US

I am so glad we have the BBC and the Red Cross in these places.
Margaret Martin, Scotland

The reputation of the Western world has been damaged enough in recent weeks. The longer the media persist with the mistreatment issue the longer it will stay in the public eye meaning the Western worlds reputation in the Middle East will be tarnished further. Please stop it.
Paul Davies, Reading, Berks

I would like to know how the BBC can justify a programme like Shamed, being so one-sided, seeing that it is paid for by the whole country. It should produce a balanced view of the issues concerning the nation as a whole. I am, being an ex-marine, a wholehearted supporter of the Geneva Convention. Also being a First Gulf War veteran, I am fully aware of the supported tactics of prisoner handling and tactical questioning. An observation is that we used hoods to keep the enemy in confusion and to maintain that confusion. If i were a POW in Iraq I would expect a lot worse. However, why vilify the West saying that we want to adjust the Geneva Convention to suit ourselves - rubbish. If only the Iraqis, al-Qaeda, or any of the West's enemy's obeyed it.

Finally what a tone to end on... Rumsfeld saying he is a survivor. After all the spin you put on the programme he could not have been taken more out of context. Did I lose those mates for nothing? Can we at least free Iraq and not stab ourselves in the back!
Simon Waldron, Plymouth

I've been a long term supporter of the US but this has gone too far. I believe that there is systematic torture by the Americans coupled with a programme to ignore the Geneva conventions where possible. We in Britain are guilty by association in the eyes of many, and in some ways - the interrogation of prisoners in Diego Garcia - guilty through direct involvement.

Britain should threaten to pull out of the coalition if American does not clean up its act, follow the Geneva convention and obey its own laws. Otherwise we shall reap what American has sown.
Matthew Baker, St Albans, UK

I am ashamed at what has been done in our name
Donna Billing, Norwich
I could not believe what I was seeing. One person has been murdered by these terrorists. Do you not understand you are just fuelling their fire by showing this. I do not agree with the abuse some of the prisoners have been subjected to but when one of our lads was shot 25 times by a mob and his body dragged through the streets it was mentioned a couple of times on the news and that was that. Stop having a go at our lot and start showing the better lives a lot of the Iraqis are having.
Paul Evans, Shrewsbury, England.

Actions speak louder than words. It would seem that behind all the words the truth has reared its ugly head and shown the Arabic world that we in the West are truly evil, just what we needed. Are we creating a nightmare inheritance for our offspring or what? br />James Grover, Hoek van Holland, Holland

A very disturbing report. It shatters any illusion that the UK/US have the moral high ground in this war. It also makes me deeply ashamed of my own country for being allied to such a morally bankrupt US administration, and for its own involvement in prisoner abuse.
Nicholas Britton, Cardiff, UK

I am ashamed at what has been done in our name
Donna Billing, Norwich, England

Words fail me. Why are we not watching a war crimes trial with the Bush in the dock and Tony Bliar beside him.
David Murray, UK


SEE ALSO
Shamed
12 May 04 |  Panorama
ICRC still concerned on Iraq jail
19 May 04 |  Middle East


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