The Current

Tortured conscience haunts former Abu Ghraib interrogator

Eric Fair never intended to torture for the U.S. government but there he was in Iraq, an interrogator at Abu Ghraib and then Fallujah. Eric Fair returned to the U.S. laden with guilt at what he'd done and seen. Now he confronts the consequences in his memoir.
Relatives of Iraqi prisoners being held by U.S. authorities at the Abu Ghraib prison denounce treatment the prisoners are receiving at the detention center as they hold a local newspaper featuring photos of U.S. soldiers abusing prisoners inside the jail, May 2004. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)

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"His hands are tied to his ankles, he wheezes and gasps for air,too tired to cry, but in too much pain to remain silent — this is a sin, I know it as soon as I see it.- From Eric Fair's memoir,

In 2004, graphic pictures surfaced in the media — glimpses of depravity — of the physical, sexual and psychological torture that happened inside Abu Ghraib prison's walls. 

To see those images was to be haunted by them -— photos of U.S. military personnel, grinning for the camera, while they abused Iraqi prisoners of war.         

And the abuse at Abu Ghraib and other U.S. detention facilities in Iraq haunts Eric Fair to this day.

Eric Fair worked at Abu Ghraib as an interrogator. He was not one of those military police officers ultimately charged for those crimes, but he admits that he did abuse and torture prisoners. Fair has written about his experiences and coming to grips with his own culpability in a new book called, Consequence: A Memoir.

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.

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