While the national and local media's eyes were focused on the final hours of a single inert Florida woman last week, a much more brutal story about widespread government-complicit death slipped under the radar with almost no local coverage. The story, broken by the New York Times, concerned the deaths of 26 prisoners of war who have died in American custody in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002, all of which have been classified as either homicide or suspected homicide by Army officials.
The number is much higher than any previous military estimate, and reflects deaths attributed to Army, Navy and CIA. The victims range from high-ranking Iraqi military officers to critically wounded, unarmed teenagers. Only one of the investigated deaths happened at the still-controversial Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
On March 25, the Army released a report stating that it would not prosecute 17 soldiers involved with the deaths. Eleven others are currently facing murder or other charges.