Terrorism in the Grip of Justice

Christopher Hitchens in Slate:

A favorite slice of reality TV in today’s Iraq is the melodramatically named program Terrorism in the Grip of Justice. Aired on state-run Al Iraqiya, which doesn’t require a satellite dish, it shows the confessions of captured “insurgents,” mainly foreign fighters. When possible, it also shows the videos that these people have made, so that, for example, a man can be viewed as he slices a victim’s throat and then viewed, looking much less brave, as he explains where he comes from, how he was taught to rehearse beheadings and throat-slittings on animals, and other insights into the trade. On occasion, these characters are confronted with the families of their victims. At other times, they have been able to tell the families of the missing what happened to their loved ones. The aim is to demystify the holy warriors and also to encourage civilians to call in with further tips…

Terrorism in the Grip of Justice could only be shown once the transfer of sovereignty to an Iraqi government had been made. The United States could not have put any of these people on television, because the Geneva Conventions forbid the exhibiting of prisoners.

More here.

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