How Salon produced "The Abu Ghraib Files."
The Criminal Investigation Command (CID) materials obtained by Salon include a seven-page Forensic Report of Abu Ghraib Photos. This report indicates that CID’s Computer Crime Investigative Unit examined “approximately 14,972 files and directories” as part of its investigation. The report concludes that “An examination of these files revealed approximately 280 individual digital photos and 19 digital movies depicting possible detainee abuse…”
The report describes its organization of those 280 photos as follows: “A visual examination of the photos revealed several incidents where more than one camera was used to take photographs of the incidents. This allowed for establishing a probable timeline of the incidents based on time and date stamps found inside the digital image. A photo log and slide presentation was generated to graphically depict the timeline.”
This photo log and slide presentation are also among the CID materials obtained by Salon. The photo log is a 140-page Microsoft Word document and the slide presentation is a 14-slide Microsoft PowerPoint document. There are no official dates on the photo log or timeline themselves, but to the best of our knowledge the files were last updated on July 8, 2004.
Salon’s photo gallery is organized according to the chronology and descriptive information presented in the photo log and timeline documents.
Photos and videos
The photo gallery includes 279 photos that the CID review determined to depict detainee abuse. The images are organized into chapters according to the date they were taken or the type of events they depict; within each chapter the photos appear in chronological order. The organization of the chapters closely follows the structure of CID’s timeline document.
The video gallery includes the 19 videos that the CID review determined to depict detainee abuse. Still-frame shots from 15 of the 19 videos appear on the timeline document, which indicates the approximate time and date at which those videos were taken. The remaining four videos do not appear on the timeline, but seem to depict an event that is also documented by photos in Chapter 7. This information enabled us to construct an approximate chronological order for the videos, and the videos appear in this approximate chronological order.
The photos and videos appear exactly as Salon received them, except where detainees’ faces have been obscured to protect their privacy. Additionally, in a few cases we have rotated an image by 90 or 180 degrees to make it easier to view. A few of the photos are grainy or hard to make out, or are so similar to one another that they appear to be duplicates; these images have been included in the gallery because they were included in the set of images that CID determined to depict detainee abuse.
The photo gallery captions were assembled using information taken from CID’s photo log document. The photo log provides information for each of the 280 photos that CID identified as depicting detainee abuse, including a synopsis of the events taking place in each photo; the names and ID numbers of detainees pictured; the names of soldiers pictured; the make and model of the camera with which the photo was taken; the time and date at which the camera recorded the picture being taken (“Camera date/time”); and, because camera clocks are often incorrect, CID’s adjusted estimate of the actual time in Baghdad, Iraq, when the photo was taken (“Baghdad date/time”).
The captions were taken verbatim (with a few exceptions; see below) from the photo log, using each photo’s Baghdad date/time, synopsis, and soldier information. No corrections were made for spelling or style.
Minor alterations were made to the captions in the following manner:
Summary of photos and camera and soldier information
The italicized section at the beginning of each chapter essay is written by Salon staff and describes the photos appearing in that chapter. In addition to providing a general summary of the events depicted in the chapter, each italicized section identifies the camera or cameras used to take the photos, based on camera information provided by the photo log and Forensic Report of Abu Ghraib Photos. The forensic report describes how CID determined which images came from which camera:
“Examination of the 280 digital photos revealed that each of the digital photographs had EXIF embedded metadata. Examination of the metadata revealed the photos were created by five separate digital cameras. The embedded metadata showed the make and model of the camera as well as the camera date and time when the picture was taken. The following is a breakout of the number of images taken by each camera and the probably [sic] owner based on image analysis:
“Camera # of Images Probable Owner
FDMavica — 173 Images — GRANER
Deluxe Classic Cam — 55 Images — FREDERICK
Cybershot — 44 Images — HARMAN
Zoran COACH — 6 Images — Unknown
HP PhotoSmart — 5 Images — Unknown”
The italicized sections also list the names of soldiers and civilians who appear in that chapter’s photos. For cases in which we feel certain of a soldier’s identity, we have presented his or her full name and the rank he or she held at the time the photo was taken. For cases in which we feel uncertain about soldiers’ or civilians’ identities, we have identified them exactly as CID identifies them in the photo log and timeline documents.
The italicized text in Chapter 10 describes the content of the 19 videos in that chapter. Any additional information on the videos’ date, time or camera information appears in the video captions.
Sourcing for chapter essays
The essays that accompany each chapter are written by Salon staff and draw from numerous sources.
– Jeanne Carstensen and Page Rockwell
More Related Stories
- 2 more arrested in London attacks
- Glenn Beck: CNN interview with atheist tornado survivor was a setup!
- Incoming BBC news director on journalism gender gap: "We can do better"
- Illegal construction, shoddy materials at fault in Bangladesh factory disaster
- Ahead of Obama's speech, U.S. acknowledges four American drone killings
- Must-see morning clip: Bill O'Reilly visits "The Daily Show"
- Lawsuit alleges anti-gay hiring practices at ExxonMobil
- Boy Scouts poised to vote, still greatly divided on gay youth
- House supporters of KXL received $56m from fossil fuel industry
- 80-year-old becomes oldest to climb Mount Everest
- Before FBI shooting man implicated self, Tsarnaev in triple murder
- Paul McCartney backs Pussy Riot
- UK emergency committee convenes after attack
- Brave scout leader tried to reason with London attackers
- If Alex Pareene were a cable news executive...
- El Salvador court delays ruling on abortion case while woman's life hangs in the balance
- UK officials: Radical Islam behind London attack
- Pa. governor "can't find" any Latinos to work in his administration
- London machete attack could be linked to terrorism
- Conservative group blames military sexual assault on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal
- Lois Lerner, IRS disaster
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11