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No Indictments for Civilian Contractors Who Abused Iraq Detainees

The New York Times published an article Monday on the broken military policing system in Iraq. Despite more than 20 reported cases of abuse, not one contractor has been indicted.

Today the Times has a damning editorial on the the broken system, Only the Jailers Are Safe.

Donald Vance, a 29-year-old Navy veteran from Chicago, was a whistle-blower who prompted the raid by tipping off the F.B.I. to suspicious activity at the company where he worked, including possible weapons trafficking. He was arrested and held for 97 days — shackled and blindfolded, prevented from sleeping by blaring music and round-the-clock lights. In other words, he was subjected to the same mistreatment that thousands of non-Americans have been subjected to since the 2003 invasion.

Even after the military learned who Mr. Vance was, they continued to hold him in these abusive conditions for weeks more. He was not allowed to defend himself at the Potemkin hearing held to justify his detention. And that was special treatment. As an American citizen, he was at least allowed to attend his hearing. An Iraqi, or an Afghani, or any other foreigner, would have been barred from the room.

Who's at fault? Not just a few bad apples. The Times says:

Administration officials said that prosecutors were hobbled by a lack of evidence and witnesses, or that the military’s cases were simply shoddy. This sounds like another excuse from an administration that has papered over prisoner abuse and denied there is any connection between Mr. Bush’s decision to flout the Geneva Conventions and the repeated cases of abuse and torture. We hope the new Congress will be more aggressive on this issue than the last one, which was more bent on preserving the Republican majority than preserving American values and rights. The lawless nature of Mr. Bush’s war on terror has already cost the nation dearly in terms of global prestige, while increasing the risks facing every American serving in the military.

< Boehlert Nails the Warbloggers | Bush Finally Admits We're Not Winning in Iraq >
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    Are we in America???? (none / 0) (#1)
    by plumberboy on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 04:37:30 AM EST
    This government has me asking myself are we in America or not.This is third world type crap going on in the United States goernmernt.I hope your right and the incoming congress is a little more aggressive on these issues.

    Yankee liberals (none / 0) (#2)
    by zaitzefftheunconvicted2 on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 09:33:23 AM EST
    This is the Southern version of America.

    As Indiana Jones once almost said,

    "I like the Yankee way better."

    American citizenship no longer bestows... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Bill Arnett on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 12:16:28 PM EST
    ...the rights and privileges of Constitutional protections upon its people.

    bush and the neocon cabal are steadfastly leading America down the path to its own destruction and it MAY already be too late to do anything about it.

    If we remain in iraq two years from now look out for a declaration of martial law or a national crisis requiring the suspension of free elections.

    The narrow dem majority would be powerless to override such actions - in the absence of a super-majority in either body - and with the current promotion and retention of evangelical general-grade officers the religious right will be in a commanding position to retain power.

    This maladministration is always fear-mongering and I believe it would be wise to be very afraid - of our own government.

    BTW, mornin', everybody.

    I still go (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Jen M on Thu Dec 21, 2006 at 08:26:41 AM EST
    when soldiers reenlist at work.

    "I, ___, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

    I took the same oath when I enlisted 21 years ago. I meant it when I took it. I wonder how many don't. I wonder how many follow orders and worry about what is happening. I wonder how many feel what they are being told to do violates that oath.

    How many soldiers are being slowly led into doing what they believe is wrong by being bombarded by the message that what they are being told to do is from the only right thing to do?

    And how many of these military mps and prison guards involved in treating people this way are going to get out of the military and join local police departments?

    PTSD from 'normal' warfare is bad enough. I wonder what THIS will do to those guys.

    Parent