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Analysis of the U.S and foreign media of the abu ghraib scandal

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Sunmade A.
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  1. Media Issue and Background Summary
  2. Content Analysis
  3. Content Analysis of the American Media
  4. Chicago Tribune, October 21, 2004, Alex Rodriguez
  5. Foreign Media Outlets
  6. Islam Online, July 21, 2004, no author
  7. Aljazeera.Net, July 28, 2004, no author
  8. The Australian, October 25, 2004, no author
  9. Conclusion
    1. Comparison of the Media Content
    2. Interpreting the Content Analysis
    3. Changes to Policy

In April of 2004, shocking pictures from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq began to surface in the American media. The pictures depicted members of the 372nd Military Police Company engaged in acts of torture against Iraqi prisoners. Although allegations of abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison began in 2003 and the US government launched a formal investigation into the matter in January of 2004, it was not until the photographs of the torture began to surface that public awareness about this situation was raised. In the aftermath of the event, high-ranking US military officials argued that they had no knowledge of what had occurred at Abu Ghraib, leaving eight low ranking army personnel to incur the wrath of an outraged public and a military court marshal.

[...] Content Analysis of the American Media Looking first at the American media's efforts to cover the Abu Ghraib story, it becomes clear that the news stories reported about the events at Abu Ghraib all contain similar data and information. For instance the news stories often begin with some speculation about what the government knew about the event. In addition, the stories provide a detail of what has been uncovered in the scandal?i.e. the specific acts that have occurred. Further, the stories examine what steps have been taken to prosecute those who have committed acts of torture. [...]


[...] For instance, Rodriguez (2004) in his examination of Fredrick's experiences notes, when Frederick asked a military intelligence investigator how to handle one of the detainees, an investigator replied, I don't give a [expletive] as long as you don't kill him.'? Foreign Media Outlets While US news stories of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal seem to suggest that much of the abuse that occurred along the lines dealt more with the humiliation of the prisoners?as Rodriguez's story provides an account of an Iraqi woman that was stripped naked and humiliated?the accounts of abuse that have been reported in the foreign press indicate that the abuse that occurred at the prison was much more brutal. [...]


[...] In addition to detailing the horrific abuses that occurred at the prison, the author also reports that detainees and the wife of one detainee killed at the prison have filed a lawsuit against CACI International and Titan Corporation, the companies that had contracts with the Pentagon to run the Abu Ghraib facility. As noted by the author, suit was filed under the Alien Tort Claims Act, which allows legal action to be brought in a US court concerning violation(s) of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.? Interestingly, even though this lawsuit was filed more than two years ago, few US newspapers reported the story. [...]

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