Not Just a River In Egypt

Rumsfeld in the NYT

“I have not seen anything thus far that says that the people abused were abused in the process of interrogating them or for interrogation purposes.” A transcript of the interview was posted on the Pentagon's Web site on Friday. Mr. Rumsfeld repeated the assertion a few hours later at a news conference in Phoenix, adding that “all of the press, all of the television thus far that tried to link the abuse that took place to interrogation techniques in Iraq has not yet been demonstrated.” After an aide slipped him a note during the news conference, however, Mr. Rumsfeld corrected himself, noting that an inquiry by three Army generals had, in fact, found “two or three” cases of abuse during interrogations or the interrogations process. In fact, however, the Army inquiry found that 13 of 44 instances of abuse involved interrogations or the interrogation process, an Army spokeswoman said.

OK, how do we explain this repeated lapse on the part of a supposedly hands-on detailed-oriented man?

  • Couldn't care less about torture
  • Deep denial, perhaps fueled by spread of 'war crimes trial' meme [I am not making this last part up]
  • Yes-men (and women) surrounding him never briefed him on the abuses at any time
  • Knows about abuses but ordered cover-up (why else send Sanchez to do intial report?) and no one dared tell him it failed
  • Is past his sell-by date

One slip of the tongue I could believe. But more than one, and so wrong on basic facts, about one of the most serious issues facing the Pentagon today?

Whatever it is, it's quite serious.

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3 Responses to Not Just a River In Egypt

  1. norbizness says:

    Hey, at least he’s up on the Israeli.. er.. Nicaraguan spy scandal that’s affecting Undersecretary Feith’s office.

    He probably also thinks that Dick Cheney’s comment about his being the best Secretary of Defense ever made it into one of those prison abuse reports.. somehow.

  2. Well, perhaps he spoke to the other 10 or 11 out of 44, and confirmed they were just torturing for fun, not for any real information-gathering purpose…?

  3. Mojo says:

    Give him a break! The man’s got an Inquisition to run. Besides, as he said in the case of the original Abu Ghraib story, if a report doesn’t have pictures he can’t be expected to understand it.

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