My wife heard a lot of terrible and heart-wrenching stories while interviewing Iraqi victims of the Abu Ghraib torture. She was always completely spent whenever she got back from one of her trips to the Middle East, and I swear that experience took ten years off of her life.
One of the stories I liked best was one that would have been funny were it not also so painful. A doctor and his wife had left Iraq for London after the doctor had been tortured at Abu Ghraib during the Saddam years. After the American invasion, confident that Iraq was about to enter a new era, the doctor convinced his wife to return. He was in Iraq for only a short while before he was picked by our troops and returned to Abu Ghraib where he was again tortured, this time by American contractors.
My wife heard this story and asked him during the interview how it had affected him. Oh, it was terrible, he told her. My wife, expecting him to recount the emotional and physical pain that continued to afflict so many other victims, prompted him to elaborate. To which the Iraqi doctor responded: I can’t count the number of times my wife has reminded me she told me so. And that, I tell you, has been absolutely terrible.
As I sit here tonight, waiting for my wife to get home so that I can tell her I have just been sued for something I wrote on this blog, I now have a deeper appreciation for just how badly the Iraqi doctor felt. How many times has my wife told me I was going to get myself in trouble for something I wrote on this blog?