The new New Yorker article from Sy Hersh describing the genesis of the torture program at Abu Ghraib and other American detention facilities is a must read. In it he discusses how the program was specially designed to exploit Arab and Muslim mores. As soon as I heard about the pictures that were released initially, I knew that the torture program wasn’t a bright idea arrived at by a bunch of reservist MPs because the nature of the torture was so perfectly targetted. And it wasn’t just the sexual humiliation that clued me in, it was the heavy use of dogs. My next door neighbors are, as I’ve mentioned before, Muslim Arabs. They consider dogs to be impure animals, and because of their lack of experience with dogs, they’re also afraid of them (even goofy, harmless looking dogs). I would guarantee that whoever suggested bringing the dogs into the prison knew just what sort of effect that would have.