Thursday, August 19, 2004

Don't Pass the Buck (Sergeant)

I suppose we shouldn't be surprised. Really, what do you expect when an organization investigates itself? From today's Wall Street Journal (subscription):

An Army investigation into the role that military-intelligence specialists played at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison will recommend that about two dozen soldiers be disciplined for alleged mistreatment of Iraqi detainees there last fall, but won't pass blame for the scandal to senior commanders, a Pentagon official said.
From outside the Army, these results, if left to stand on their own, will prove to be an embarrassment. There is nobody, with even the smallest amount of knowledge about military affairs, not to mention those of us who have served, who will believe that low-level soldiers and intelligence officers could have initiated and maintained such a pervasive culture of torture and abuse. Not to mention the "command climate" coming from the very highest echelons:

The scandal has proved an embarrassment for the Bush administration, especially after a number of memos leaked out showing that its lawyers spent more than a year seeking a legal definition of torture and debating the limits soldiers could go to when questioning prisoners of war.
Like every other misadventure BushCo. has dragged our country and our military into, they have absolutely failed to learn any lessons from this.

Meanwhile, conditions at the prison continue to fester. U.S. military police shot and killed two detainees and wounded five others during a brawl yesterday, Pentagon officials said. Several detainees attacked an inmate with rocks and tent poles in a fight that soon encompassed 200 people, and military guards responded with force.

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