Packed for the Wrong Trip: A New Look inside Abu Ghraib and the Citizen-Soldiers Who Redeemed America’s Honor

Skyhorse
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“Ably describes the delicate relationship between the Iraqi prisoners and their overworked captors . . . A tough and vivid account of war and redemption” (Kirkus Reviews).
 
The prison at Abu Ghraib was still a relatively unknown part of America’s War on Terror when—with no special training and their gear lost somewhere between the United States and Baghdad—the 152nd Field Artillery Battalion of the Maine National Guard was sent there to serve as guards in February 2004. Just before their arrival, the now infamous photos of the abuses suffered by the prisoners hit the world stage. Abu Ghraib became the focal point not only for global condemnation but for the insurgents’ outrage.
 
Over the next year, the 152nd would come under attack by snipers, suicide bombers, vehicle-borne IEDs, and constant rocket and mortar fire. Yet at the same time, the Mainers would form close bonds with some of the prisoners, among them an Iraqi boy struck by a mortar in one of two mass casualty events, and Kamal, a community leader who acted as an envoy between the detainees and the soldiers and yet was assassinated after his release for helping the Americans.
 
The men of the 152nd were an eclectic group of citizen-soldiers caught in one of the darkest corners of the war in Iraq. Packed for the Wrong Trip reveals how they relied on each other and their own ingenuity to survive and to transform one of the most inhumane detainee centers into a functioning, humane prison—or as close to one as you could get when tucked between Baghdad and the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.
 
“Puts you right in the middle of a very personal war inside the barbed wire at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison camp. Combat correspondent W. Zach Griffith’s darkly brilliant book will make you laugh, make you cry, and most of all, make you ask why. If you wonder what we did to our enemies—and to ourselves—in Iraq, read this book.” —Daniel P. Bolger, lieutenant general, US Army, ret., author of Why We Lost: A General’s Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars
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About the author

W. Zach Griffith served as a combat correspondent in the United States Marine Corps for eight years. He has published hundreds of articles and thousands of photographs for the US military and was the recipient of the 2011 Thomas Jefferson Award for his work as a broadcast journalist. His latest project, Packed for the Wrong Trip is the true story of Maine National Guard soldiers serving at Abu Ghraib prison following the torture scandal of 2004 and is his first book. He lives in Portland, Maine.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Skyhorse
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Published on
Apr 27, 2016
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Pages
252
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ISBN
9781628726466
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Middle East / Iraq
History / Military / United States
History / United States / 21st Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Revelations of abuse at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison and the U.S. detention camp at Guantánamo Bay had repercussions extending beyond the worldwide media scandal that ensued. The controversy surrounding photos and descriptions of inhumane treatment of enemy prisoners of war, or EPWs, from the war on terror marked a watershed momentin the study of modern warfare and the treatment of prisoners of war. Amid allegations of human rights violations and war crimes, one question stands out among the rest: Was the treatment of America's most recent prisoners of war an isolated event or part of a troubling and complex issue that is deeply rooted in our nation's military history?Military expert Robert C. Doyle's The Enemy in Our Hands: America's Treatment of Prisoners of War from the Revolution to the War on Terror draws from diverse sources to answer this question. Historical as well as timely in its content, this work examines America's major wars and past conflicts -- among them, the American Revolution, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and Vietnam -- to provide understanding of the UnitedStates' treatment of military and civilian prisoners. The Enemy in Our Hands offers a new perspective of U.S. military history on the subject of EPWs and suggests that the tactics employed to manage prisoners of war are unique and disparate from one conflict tothe next. In addition to other vital information, Doyle provides a cultural analysis and exploration of U.S. adherence to international standards of conduct, including the 1929 Geneva Convention in each war. Although wars are not won or lost on the basis of how EPWs are treated, the treatment of prisoners is one of the measures by which history's conquerors are judged.
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In this thought-provoking narrative, Saddam, known as the “man without a conscience,” gets many of those around him to examine theirs. “A singular study exhibiting both military duty and human compassion” (Kirkus Reviews), The Prisoner in His Palace grants us “a behind-the-scenes look at history that’s nearly impossible to put down…a mesmerizing glimpse into the final moments of a brutal tyrant’s life” (BookPage).
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