So Much For ‘Command Responsibility’ (Army clears Gen. Sanchez)

No one important is responsible. Got that?

Army Clears Top Abu Ghraib Case Officers: The Army has cleared four top officers – including the three-star general who commanded all U.S. forces in Iraq – of all allegations of wrongdoing in connection with prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, officials said Friday. …

After assessing the allegations against Sanchez and taking sworn statements from 37 people involved in Iraq, the Army's inspector general, Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Green, concluded that the allegations were unsubstantiated, said the officials who were familiar with the details of Green's probe.

Green reached the same conclusion in the cases of two generals and a colonel who worked for Sanchez.

Strange, because the circumstantial evidence didn't look at all good for Sanchez. Which seemd to explain why he was the first guy sent out to 'investigate' (read, 'keep a lid on it').

So the official line remains: just a few (dozen, hundred) widely dispersed low-ranking bad apples in several locations who were encouraged by email from Washington to do the same things. None of whom ranked above sergeant, except maybe one female scapegoat reservist general, who says her orders came from … Sanchez.

[Update: Last link added 4/23]

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2 Responses to So Much For ‘Command Responsibility’ (Army clears Gen. Sanchez)

  1. Randy Paul says:

    Note also when the announcement was made. Friday afternoons virtually guarantee these things to be below the radar on the news.

  2. Nell Lancaster says:

    Sanchez being off the hook is completely irreconcilable with the information revealed this past Tuesday in Josh White’s April 19 Washington Post story about soldiers’ “wish lists” for abusive interrrogation techniques (i.e., torture or just-up-to-the-line-of-torture). Sanchez compiled those lists and issued the interrogation guidelines. He lied to Congress. And he was operating under intense pressure from Cambone and Rumsfeld. They’re all responsible for torture.

    I hope the next person awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom declines it on the ground that it has been irretrievably tarnished by the previous recipients.

    All that said, institutionalized racism, the U.S. prison system, and our internal gulag of immigration detention centers have set the stage for torture and abuse to be an inevitable result of any military action abroad that involves U.S. soldiers detaining people. Everyone with an interest in human rights should read Mark Dow’s “The Art of Jailing”, and the book from which it’s excerpted.

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