James Schlesinger, chairman of the independent panel that issued a report on the Abu Ghraib yesterday, compared the prison to the fraternity in the 1978 movie “Animal House.”
“There was sadism on the night shift at Abu Ghraib, sadism that was certainly not authorized,” Schlesinger said. “It was kind of ‘Animal House’ on the night shift.
The American film “National Lampoon’s Animal House” is a 1978 comedy about an unruly fraternity whose wild antics run afoul of the campus establishment. (from CNN).
Animal House? The comedy about frat boys’ hijinks? This seems like a bit of an understatement, considering that the report, among other things, confirms that five prisoners died as a direct result of abuse by US personnel during interrogations (page 15 of Schlesinger report).
To a former Secretary of Defense like Schlesinger, “Animal House” is probably an extremely negative comparison. But what happened at Abu Ghraib cannot be written off as merely being “Animal House”-like behavior. I haven’t seen it in a while, but I don’t remember any of the “Animal House” frat members violating the Geneva Conventions.