Abu Ghraib abuse: the exception, not the rule

... according to Kathryn Jean Lopez in The Corner.

Here's an e-mail she received, and it's worth reading and thinking about:

"Today you reprinted in the Corner some reactions to the Abu Gharib story from readers actually deployed in Iraq. I've just returned home from my Iraq rotation: when I was there, I worked for a unit that (among other things) interrogated high-value detainees -- the "deck of cards" and others. Not only did we have no abuse problem, we had just the opposite: our MP's were too nice to the detainees. It was sort of a reverse Stockholm Syndrome. We had to screen some raw documentary footage for the MPs, showing them explicitly the sort of atrocities committed by the former regime. After that they understood that no matter how friendly and harmless they might seem now, these guys are seriously bad dudes who did some seriously evil things. Of course we still had to treat them humanely and wouldn't have dreamt of doing otherwise, but we also didn't want the detainees forgetting that they were in prison, not a slightly down-market summer camp or retirement home.

Why was Abu Gharib different? Lots of reasons, probably -- but from my own experience, which included working with detainees and MPs and interrogators, I can say that the abusive behavior by the guards there was not only atypical but exactly the opposite of what I saw."