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Abu Ghraib whistleblower's ordeal
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of BBC

BBC, August 5, 2007
Posted: August 14th, 2007

When Joe Darby saw the horrific photos of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison he was stunned. So stunned that he walked out into the hot Baghdad night and smoked half a dozen cigarettes and agonised over what he should do. Darby was a ... soldier with US forces at Abu Ghraib prison when he stumbled across those images which would eventually shock the world in 2004. They were photographs of his colleagues, some of them men and women he had known since high school -- torturing and abusing Iraqi prisoners. His decision to hand them over rather than keep quiet changed his life forever. He fears for the safety of his family. Joe Darby knew what he saw was wrong, but it took him three weeks to decide to hand those photographs in. When he finally did, he was promised anonymity and hoped he would hear no more about it. But he was scared of the repercussions. And then he was sitting in a crowded Iraqi canteen with hundreds of soldiers and Donald Rumsfeld came on the television to thank Joe Darby by name for handing in the photographs. "I don't think it was an accident because those things are pretty much scripted," Mr Darby says. "I really find it hard to believe that the secretary of defence of the United States has no idea about the star witness for a criminal case being anonymous." Rather than turn on him for betraying colleagues, most of the soldiers in his unit shook his hand. It was at home where the real trouble started. His wife ...had to flee to her sister's house which was then vandalised with graffiti. Many in his home town called him a traitor. But he does not see himself as a hero, or a traitor. Just "a soldier who did his job - no more, no less. I've never regretted for one second what I did when I was in Iraq, to turn those pictures in," he says.

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