I saw a clip of the Boy King answering questions a couple of days ago, and I couldn't believe what I heard. This guy is *still* blaming the prison-abuse scandal in Iraq on "a few bad apples". I don't have any sympathy for people who believe that. Yes, they are being misled, and Bush should tell the truth, but it's time for Moron Americans who buy this crap to take some responsbility and get informed. People claim to be patriotic, but they don't seem to give a shit when people are tortured by Americans.
Why do the Iraqis hate us? Is it because of our freedoms, like "Mission Accomplished" condescendingly tells us over and over with a self-satisfied smirk? Or is it because we treat them like shit? I don't care what Bush says. This doesn't make America safer, and the fault is squarely at the feet of the Bush Administration:
President Bush has claimed that the prison abuse scandal in Iraq was just "conduct by a few American troops." But with Congress investigating the scandal, a series of explosive new reports provides evidence that the tactics may have been approved at the highest levels of government. Even worse, one leading investigative journalist says the Administration is holding videotapes of soldiers sodomizing Iraqi children.
According to a newly released Pentagon memo from 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld personally authorized the use of controversial interrogation tactics, including using dogs to intimidate, stripping prisoners of their clothes and placing hoods on prisoners so they cannot see. Rumsfeld also ordered military officials to hold prisoners without listing them on prisoner rolls requested by the International Red Cross. And according to Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, who was the head of detention operations at Abu Ghraib, Rumsfeld "approved tactics at the prison" directly. As reported by Newsweek, these memos and orders were signed off by Rumsfeld, President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft and were part of a "secret system of detention and interrogation that opened the door to such methods" of abuse seen in Iraq.
Seymour Hersh (the guy who has done the lion's share of the original investigative reporting on the problems in Iraqi prisons) has a long speech here (streaming, the transcript below starts at 1:30:46) in which he talks further about what he knows about the torture and abuse in Iraqi prisons. His quote pretty much speaks for itself. Thanks to the Bush Administration, these horrors are being done in our name. Remember that.
Some of the worst things that happened that you don't know about, ok? Videos. There are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out or communications out to their men. This is in Al Ghraib which is about 30 miles from Baghdad, 30 kilometers maybe, just 20 miles, not sure what. Anyway, the women were passing messages out saying, "Please come and kill me," because of what's happened. And basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys -- children -- in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized and, uh, with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking. That your government has. They were in total terror. It's gonna come out. It's impossible to say to yourself, how did we get there? Who are we? Who are these people that sent us there?
When I did My Lai, I was very troubled like anybody in his right mind would be about what happened, and I ended up in something I wrote saying in the end I said that the people who did the killing were as much victims as the people they killed because of the scars they had. I can tell you some of the personal stories that some of the people are just -- who were in these units who witnessed this. I can also tell you written complaints were made to the highest officers. And so we're dealing with an enormous, massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there and higher. And we have to get to it, and we will.
Damn right we will.
We have to. If we're ever going to regain the standing America has traditionally had in the last 100+ years, we have to make this right. We're supposed to be different. We're supposed to be better. People around the world count on that. The people in this country count on that. They expect it. And they are right to do so.Posted by Observer at July 16, 2004 08:22 AM
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