Phil Carter reports that:
The Center for Public Integrity has obtained a series of previously classified documents from Rolling Stone writer Osha Gray Davidson surrounding the abuse investigations at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Most of the documents are appendices to the various investigative reports that have been done, such as sworn statements from BG Janis Karpinski's aide-de-camp and a high-ranking JAG officer at the prison, as well as an Army CID report documenting some of the worst abuses there. Together, these reports paint a picture of abuse far worse than what was originally reported.
I'm not sure I can bear to look.
No, it was just a half-dozen bad apples. I know that’s true because Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz said so and they’d never lie. Sure, sometimes people will misquote them out of context by printing all of their words exactly as they spoke them, but that just shows how clever those people who hate America are.
Mojo, are you saying that prisoner abuse is widespread in the U.S. military? Most soldiers would not have committed those crimes at Abu Ghraib and I think you know that. These soldiers are getting what they deserve and for you to paint the whole chain of command as part of a plot is just plain disingenuous.
I think you’re right and you’re wrong, Nigel. I think left to themselves, without orders from above making it a matter of patriotism to commit acts of torture, virtually no soldier would’ve taken part in this trash. But you won’t get me to believe that this many names, despite the charges of violating orders, engaged in this kind of egregious interrogation without some sanction from the powers that be, or at least an obvious and gross failure of those powers to observe and control the troops under them.
Way to support the troops, Nigel. Hang some of your buddies out to dry, while the ringleaders get out of jail free.
But seriously, let’s consider some of the reasons why we might suspect that the prisoner abuse goes beyond a couple of E-2’s and E-5’s. First, the Oval Office’s torture memos. You’ve read them; if you haven’t, then you should be able to find them on this site. Second, the pattern of investigation reaching further and further up the chain of command (each iteration requiring a more senior general to lead). Again, a bad sign. Third, the langauge coming out of the White House consistently demonizing and dehumanizing the Iraqi insurgents–calling for their heads to roll, for us to take the gloves off, etc. Fourth, the fact of similar stories as at Abu Ghraib are being reported from all manner of our detention sites. Fifth, that the White House isn’t allowing independent access to these sites in order to inspect them. Sixth, the Republicans wanted to avoid future scandals by legally permitting us to outsource torture. Seventh, our troops attempting to rescue Iraqis being beaten by their Iraqi captors were ordered to back off. Much of this you can easily verify from news sites, or if you are lazy–here at Discourse.net, Juan Cole, or TomDispatch.com.
So, we only have Bush’s word (and yours) that it’s only a few GIs. If you think it is disingenous to suggest otherwise at this late date, then you’re going to have to go beyond proof by assertion (i.e., it’s true because I say it is).
I can never understand you tin-foil hat people. What is it about Republicans that makes you think we are so evil? You don’t believe we are just ideologically wrong but that we are evil. Do you believe that the Bush would micromanage a prison in Iraq? That Rumsfeld sent out orders to take pictures of soldiers abusing enemy prisoners? Do you read what you write before you post it? You are accusing people of WAR CRIMES. Your “reasons why we might suspect that the prisoner abuse goes beyond a couple of E-2’s and E-5’s” are conspiracies theories man! I’ve told you before you have been blinded by partisanship and you continue to prove me right.
No, Nigel, you’re absolutely right. People, as it were, are generally pretty much ok. That’s why when you get this many of them committing terrible abuses, it becomes suspect to suggest they didn’t have a uniform source of the authority if not encouragement to do so, and impossible to suggest that there wasn’t at least a negligent failure to observe.
War crimes is definitely the issue.
We have documented evidence that War Crimes were committed at Abu Graib.
We have a 3 star general (Sanchez) that was side-lined (but not charged) because of those war crimes.
We have documents from the Bush administration’s legal staff justifying the use of torture.
And the Bush administration pulled out of the ICC, largely to prevent americans for being tried for war crimes by an international body which we would be participants but not in control.
I don’t have to think that ALL republicans are evil (my mom too, right) to believe that the excuses proffered by the Bush Administration principals with respect to Abu Graib don’t add up.
If you can’t see that, then maybe it’s you that’s blinded by partisanship.
nigel; What I commented on was that many senior military and civilian officials falsely claimed that the abuse was limited to a handful of MPs at one prison during one small period while official reports now show well over one hundred cases of abuse (including several deaths) at numerous locations in the theater by many different units. Only a small minority of soldiers participate in things like this (and they need to be punished), but it’s not just limited to “a few bad apples”. Even if they had received a direct order to do some of those things, they were obligated by the UCMJ to disregard those illegal orders. No, the President and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and friends didn’t “micromanage” the effort. What they did was completely fail to lead. They made a number of public statements that gave the impression that the existing rules for treatment of prisoners no longer applied (including direct orders to CENTCOM in the case of Afghanistan) while giving absolutely no real guidance to the theater. The President did state at one point that all prisoners in Iraq would be treated IAW Geneva. But the administration also claimed elsewhere that the treatment of prisoners in Afghanistan had also been IAW Geneva, heightening the confusion. When Rumsfeld did things like ordering that one or more prisoners in Iraq be kept “off the books” and hidden from the Red Cross, the claim that the whole problem was just a few troops acting on their own went out the window. I’m not accusing Bush, Rumsfeld, Sanchez, etc. of war crimes. I’m accusing them of dereliction of duty.