In this essay I will talk about the torturing of prisoners in Abu Ghraib. I will also write about the Stanley Milgrim Experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment. All of these relate to one of the topics we have covered this term. There is an excellent example of uniforms influencing power in the Stanford Prison experiment which took place in1971, it was lead by Prof Zimbardo1 (see footnote) in which a group of students were selected to act as prison guards and prisoners in a ‘fake’ prison.
Even though the students who were selected to take part were completely aware it was a simulation, the experiment descended into chaos, the guards had started to torture the prisoners and even made the prisoners simulate sodomy on each other. The experiment was abandoned after the six days of the intended 2 weeks as it was too immoral. Perhaps the guards tortured the prisoners because of the uniforms. 30 years later, this behaviour was mirrored in a real prison at Abu Graib as I will explain.
Boston Globe Article: ‘Good soldiers turn into bad eggs’, May 2004 There is another excellent example of how uniforms influence power and dehumanisation in the prison at Abu Graib. The incident at Abu Ghraib has left a black mark on America’s history but also provides an excellent subject to write about. The incident at Abu Ghraib happened from 2003-2004. The prisoners at Abu Ghraib were tortured and degraded until they managed to get information out of them, this included stripping them naked and piling them on top of each other, putting a leash on them and pulling them around the prison and forcing them to masturbate.
The people that we know did this were, Lynndie England and Charles Graner who was Lynndie’s lover “Some residents said Pte England was a model soldier who only did what she was told and must have been acting on commands from above. ” This was said in a report from the BBC on the Baghdad prison, this shows that the soldiers that worked there were very closely bonded. 2 2 http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/world/americas/4490795. stm There is another example of how uniforms influence power is the Stanley Milgrim Experiment which.
This is an example of diffusion of power, this is an example of this because the supposed ‘teacher’ keeps referring to the professor as the boss saying, ‘shall I carry on? ’ ‘I don’t want to do this’ and most of the time they do what the teacher says but some of the time they don’t, for example when the ‘student’ says that he wants to get out then they normally go. Of course the student isn’t actually receiving any shocks the responses are just pre-recorded responses so the teacher thinks that he is. http://www. youtube. com/watch? =BcvSNg0HZwk My opinions on the matter of Abu Ghraib are that it was a major flaw in judgement from Lynndie England and it was almost blinded love for her boyfriend Charlie Graner. I also think that it had to do with something from higher up in the army, for example maybe a captain that had told them to do whatever it takes and they would have taken that more literally then it was intended to be. However, I still think that this is an immoral and unethical way to treat a human being, even if they are different in skin colour and religion.
With the Stanley Milgram experiment it shows that if someone sees someone else with a kind of uniform they would naturally gravitate towards them as a helping figure as they have to almost ‘earn’ their uniform and this shows that they are a good person. Also it shows that no-matter the uniform once the person getting the shock gets into a serious pain threshold then most of them stop as they cannot go all the way to seriously hurting people.
Overall I think that the Abu Ghraib incident was a seriously inhumane and unethical thing to do and I think the people that committed that crime were let off to easily and that the people that had it done to them should have some sort of compensation. With the Stanley Milgrim Experiment I think it shows that most people are willing to give people pain but not lots of pain and certainly not enough to inflict serious injury on someone. With the Stamford Prison Experiment I think it was right to be pulled off early as it could of progressed to something much worse.