...this blog kills fascists...

Saturday, July 24, 2004


The NY Times on the Army's report on abuse at Abu Ghraib and other prisons:

A week ago, John Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he was satisfied that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was keeping his promise to leave no stone unturned to investigate the atrocities of Abu Ghraib prison. A newly released report by the Army's inspector general shows that Mr. Rumsfeld's team may be turning over stones, but it's not looking under them.

The authors of this 300-page whitewash say they found no "systemic" problem - even though there were 94 documented cases of prisoner abuse, including some 40 deaths, 20 of them homicides; even though only four prisons of the 16 they visited had copies of the Geneva Conventions; even though Abu Ghraib was a cesspool with one shower for every 50 inmates; even though the military police were improperly involved in interrogations; even though young people plucked from civilian life were sent to guard prisoners - 50,000 of them in all - with no training....

...Even the report's release on Thursday was an exercise in misdirection, timed to be overshadowed by the 9/11 commission's report. Senators on the armed services panel were outraged at the report's shoddiness and timing, but should not have been surprised. The Defense Department has consistently tried to stymie Mr. Warner's investigation. It "misplaced" thousands of pages from Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba's report on Abu Ghraib, the only credible military account so far. It stalled the completion of a pivotal look at Army intelligence by two other Army generals until lawmakers went off to the political conventions and summer vacations. And it ignored Senate demands for the Red Cross reports on American military prisons for months....

...We've always been skeptical that the Defense Department can investigate itself credibly, and now it's obvious that it plans to stick to the "few bad apples" excuse. The only way to learn why innocent Iraqis were tortured by American soldiers is a formal Congressional inquiry, with subpoena power.

More like this please.

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