The Iraqi Heart of Darkness: A Visit to Abu Ghraib

  • Elspeth Cameron RitchieEmail author


The four of us—two other forensic psychiatrists and a senior enlisted mental health technician—gathered for the convoy on the outskirts of BIAP, the Baghdad International Airport. A line of Humvees, armored vehicles, and gunships gathered. The soldiers were smoking and joking, leaning on their vehicles. We were en route to Abu Ghraib, eight long miles through one of the most dangerous routes in Iraq. The main supply route we were to travel was “green,” but we still got the warning about explosive devices, roadside bombs, and instructions to point our weapons out the windows of the vehicle. I had my photo taken with the young female captain who would be driving, and joked to Todd that this might be the last photo with both my legs (Our Humvee was not armored.).


Iraqi war experiences Clinical psychiatry in Iraq Psychiatry in wartime Abu Ghraib prison Operation Iraqi Freedom 

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University School of Medicine, Professor of Psychiatry George Washington University School of Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry Howard University School of MedicineBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Mental Health, Community Based Outpatient ClinicsWashington, DCUSA

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