Sunday Open Thread and Abu Ghraib
Happy Fathers Day, everyone. How about a Sunday open thread?
The must-read of the day in my view is Seymour Hersh's New Yorker article on Abu Ghraib, The General's Report.
Taguba also knew that senior officials in Rumsfeld’s office and elsewhere in the Pentagon had been given a graphic account of the pictures from Abu Ghraib, and told of their potential strategic significance, within days of the first complaint.
A sample of what we didn't see:
I learned from Taguba that the first wave of materials included descriptions of the sexual humiliation of a father with his son, who were both detainees....Taguba said that he saw “a video of a male American soldier in uniform sodomizing a female detainee.” The video was not made public in any of the subsequent court proceedings, nor has there been any public government mention of it.
Why didn't we see them?
Such images would have added an even more inflammatory element to the outcry over Abu Ghraib. “It’s bad enough that there were photographs of Arab men wearing women’s panties,” Taguba said.
More on Rumsfeld:
.... Rumsfeld, in his appearances before the Senate and the House Armed Services Committees on May 7th, claimed to have had no idea of the extensive abuse. “It breaks our hearts that in fact someone didn’t say, ‘Wait, look, this is terrible. We need to do something,’ ” Rumsfeld told the congressmen. “I wish we had known more, sooner, and been able to tell you more sooner, but we didn’t.”
Taguba is portrayed a fall guy. Rumsfeld knew.
“The whole idea that Rumsfeld projects—‘We’re here to protect the nation from terrorism’—is an oxymoron,” Taguba said. “He and his aides have abused their offices and have no idea of the values and high standards that are expected of them. And they’ve dragged a lot of officers with them.
If you didn't follow the Taguba report when it was released:
Taguba was given the job of investigating Abu Ghraib because of circumstance: the senior officer of the 800th Military Police Brigade, to which the soldiers in the photographs belonged, was a one-star general; Army regulations required that the head of the inquiry be senior to the commander of the unit being investigated, and Taguba, a two-star general, was available. “It was as simple as that,” he said. He vividly remembers his first thought upon seeing the photographs in late January of 2004: “Unbelievable! What were these people doing?” There was an immediate second thought: “This is big.
Update: More from Raw Story.
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