Paint, Canvas, 2006
16" x 16"
5 of 24
In Secret Unit’s ‘Black Room,’ a Grim Portrait of U.S. Abuse

The Black Room was part of a temporary detention site at Camp Nama, the secret headquarters of a shadowy military unit known as Task Force 6-26. Located at Baghdad International Airport, the camp was the first stop for many insurgents on their way to the Abu Ghraib prison a few miles away. In the windowless, jet-black garage-size room, some soldiers beat prisoners with rifle butts, yelled and spit in their faces and, in a nearby area, used detainees for target practice in a game of jailer paintball. Placards posted by soldiers at the detention area advised, “NO BLOOD, NO FOUL.” The slogan, as one Defense Department official explained, reflected an adage adopted by task force 6-26: “If you don’t make them bleed, they can’t prosecute for it.”

Eric Schmitt and Carolyn Marshall, “In Secret Unit’s ‘Black Room,’ a Grim Portrait of U.S. Abuse,” The New York Times, March 19, 2006, International Section, Metro Final edition.
Detroit, Michigan