In his NYTimes.com blog, filmmaker Errol Morris reconstructs the series of events that led to the death of Manadel al-Jamadi, the dead man shown in the well-publicized Abu Ghraib photo with Sabrina Harman flashing a thumbs up.
In the process of making his new film, Standard Operating Procedure, Morris conducted hours of interviews with the soldiers who served at Abu Ghraib, including Harman and others convicted of abuse. He also carefully analyzed the photographs taken by Harman and others stationed at the prison. Morris’s own investigation into the crimes committed at Abu Ghraib and the death of al-Jamadi might very well be the best examination on public record today.
Morris also talks a lot about Sabrina Harman, and how the photograph of her smile over the corpse of a dead man, in his view, “aided and abetted a terrible miscarriage of justice.” In true Morris fashion, he takes the investigation deeper, contacting psychology professor Paul Ekman at the University of California, San Francisco, an expert on facial expressions and emotions. Morris actually has Ekman analyze several photos of Harman to determine whether her smile in the Abu Ghraib photograph expresses true happiness or is just posturing for the camera.
> Read the Errol Morris blog: “The Most Curious Thing”