Publish Date: May 17, 2004
Cover Story: The Scandal’s Growing Stain
How TIME Covered the News: Against the voice of global public opinion, the U.S. invaded Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 2003. A year later, in the midst of a messy occupation, photos emerged from Abu Ghraib prison—a notorious institution under Saddam—showing American soldiers grotesquely abusing Iraqi detainees.
“The photos touched off a global outcry, especially in the Arab world, where they provoked fresh fury among millions of Muslims opposed to George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq and provided grist for every conspiracy theorist who claims the U.S. is bent on debasing Islam and humiliating Arabs. “We’re going to live with the consequences of this for the next 40 years,” says a senior White House official, and few would accuse him of exaggeration. “