What noble people? What noble cause?
Sadly, the US Department of Defense has stated it will not investigate the gross display of barbarity, trophy-taking and desecration for "lack of proof." It's just distressingly galling to know it went to war against Iraq with less proof than the photos uploaded to NTFU.
Update: 27 September 2005 The on-line German technology magazine, Heise Online, linked to the story on these pages in its Telepolis rubrique in an article penned by Thomas Pany, Der viehische Krieg.
Update: 26 September 2005: Please see Mark Glaser's excellent article on this scandal in the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review.
Apparently Don Rumsfeld's orders banning cellphone and digital cameras to US military personnel exists on paper only. Today's headlines in La Repubblica and Il Corriere della Sera concern a website where US troops upload their images from Iraq of the burnt and mutilated corpses of their Iraqi and Afghani enemies. The damage may be worse than the Abu Ghraib scandal because accompanying the images are the most inhuman and cynical comments--by Americans.
I ask, What noble people? What noble cause? If you question the President's lies, you're a subversive. If you hold a candle in solidarity with Cindy Sheehan, your an old hippie consigned to the dustbin of history. If you complain to your Senator, you don't understand the nobility of our cause. If you go downtown and carry a sign, you're part of a flakey focus group. But if you hate the human race, if you're devoid of compassion, if you sell your soul for a peep show, if you ambush Italian reporters, if you stalk "foreign-looking" civilians on the Tube, if you murder the wounded and the imprisoned, if you torture for information then to our twisted masters, or so-called Executive, the you are a twenty-first century hero for democracy.
Below is a translation of the Corriere article:
Rome. Horrible images from the war in Iraq in exchange for free access to a port site. The "deal" has been accepted by a number of US military personnel. A website is born--a genuine chamber of horrors. The discovery was reported by an Italian blogger and the story has been carried by the Italian press agency ANSA, which has a a long description in a dispatch written by correspondent Gioia Giudici:
As if they were figurines, terrifying images of Iraqis and Afghanis dismembered by explosions are exchanged on-line for free access to a porn site. The invitation to post photos of shocking cruelty is propsed to US combat troops who are asked to post their horror shots in order to enter the porn section of the site. Once gaining entry, many site visitors have been unable to resist the deal offered by www.nowthatsfuckedup.com : "If you are a US soldier deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan or any other theatre of war and you would like free access to the site, upload the photos which you and your buddies took during your service."
The site, primarily pornographic, is structured like a forum where users exchange pornographic material, not covered by copyright, which runs from voyeur photos to hardcore shots of lovemaking with girlfriends and wives. In two special sections, soldiers can receive free access by publishing the most audacious photos taken during their deployment. One is a general section displaying photos of soldiers, including war humor. The other section is a veritable chamber of horrors with photos of dead Iraqis and dismembered bodies. Once you enter this section you are immediately advised that you will be seeing cruel images and that persons not wishing to view this type of material should not enter.
Browsing through the posts is like a descent into hell. Each post contains the most graphic of images, escalating in barbarity and viciousness and accentuated by the comments left by posters. The posts exalt the violence of the images, shot in a theatre of war. You see headless, armless burnt bodies, a face in a bowl, the remains of suicide bombers, an arm or a leg accompanied by inhuman comments, extolling the horrors..."the only good Iraqi is a dead Iraqi." The comments are stupefying in their cynicism...there is even a barbaric quiz, asking the question, "what body part is this"...?