Abu Ghraib Photographs

How Many Pictures Are There?

June, 2004 -- That people worldwide cared about the Abu Ghrai prison scandal is certainly due to the wide broadcast of photographs of the prisoners in postures of humiliation or apparent pain. The impact was so great that some seemed to think that there were more pictures than there are. I saw mention of "hundreds" of these photographs, so I decided to find out how many actually are available. I have collected every one I could find on the Web, along with some that were published in the print editions of two newspapers, The New York Times and the Washington Post.

I have found a total of 31 unique exposures. Several of these shots have been published with different croppings or tonal ranges, for a total of 47 images.

The Making of an Icon

This is the most widely published picture from the scandal. One reason, of course, is that it's one of the few in which the subject is fully clothed. There's another likely reason, though: the original photo was enhanced after it came from the camera to make it into an easily reproduced icon. Click on the picture to read my analysis.

Charles Packer mailbox@cpacker.org
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