U.S. military police investigated for prisoner abuse in Iraq

Reports are surfacing of photos showing Iraqi prisoner abuse by US troops.
If this is true, then the guys who did it need to be punished severely, and the officers who should have prevented this should be tossed in jail, not just forced into retirement with a letter of reprimand. If General Karpinski’s culpable, nail her too. Don’t tell me that the guards never heard of the Geneva Conventions, or my BS-o-meter will peg out at 100%.
An investigation’s been brewing since January, but there had better not be a late and hasty whitewash on this one now that somebody finally lifted up the flat slimy rock it’s been hidden under. This is one retired officer who isn’t afraid to raise an unholy stink if the Army scapegoats the enlisted troops and gives the officers a slap on the wrist.
This little blurb from the UK Daily Mail (transcribed by Drudge) really frosted my giblets:

CBS executives received an appeal from the chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, two weeks ago to hold the story because of the dangers of a backlash against soldiers in Iraq from outraged insurgents.

If CBS is being up-front here, then shame on you, General Myers. If you failed to drop the hammer on the wrongdoers by mid-April in an explosive and obviously critical investigation that started in January, then it’s your fault if the enemy’s spine stiffens with the news of our inexcusable behavior.
How in God’s name is the Arab world going to believe our claims to occupy the moral high ground when our troops do inexcusable things like this, and the brass sits idly by?

UPDATE: The reports say the abuses happened in Abu Ghraib Prison, which Saddam used as one of his main torture facilities. Why is Abu Graib still standing, much less being used by American troops to hold Iraqis? Our using it now is about on a par with using Buchenwald as a prison for Germans after WWII (thank God we didn’t). I can almost hear the REMF brass talking it over after Baghdad fell: “Hmm, Abu Ghraib’s nice and convenient and ready to go … shame to let it go to waste.” This mess doesn’t pass the sniff test, folks.
UPDATE 2: The Taguba Report on the criminal investigation at Abu Ghraib is now available.
UPDATE 3: Islamists have beheaded American hostage Nick Berg, and claim it’s retaliation for Iraqi prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib. I’m not buying it.

3 comments

  1. hypocrisyalert

    Abu Graib Hypocrisy
    First let me say that these crimes must be punished. Everyone is shocked and disgusted by this psychological torture and humiliation, which will effect the victims for the rest of their lives.
    But the International Community’s reaction is riddled with hypocrisy:
    1. Bad treatment for US troops?
    It is conventional wisdom among pundits that ill-treatment by a few US troops will result in worse treatment against American POWs. Really?
    In the past, US POWS and even civilians have hardly been treated according to the Geneva Conventions. Daniel Pearl beheaded, the Fallujah four mutilated and burned, Jessica Lynch raped come to mind. Tiger cages and torture in Vietnam, forced death marches and executions during WWII. Perhaps the pundits could tell me of a conflict where American POWs were protected?
    The threat of bad treatment for POWs might have more effect if it hadn’t already happened.
    2. Torture=bad, Torture-Killing=Good?
    How did the world respond when 4 civilians were tortured, mutilated, burned, shot, executed, their bodies parts burned, stepped on, dragged and hung from bridges? In much of the press, it was hardly denounced, and actually used as more evidence of either American failure or blame was cast on the non-combatant civilian workers as being “spies” or “mercenaries”.
    Clearly a few humiliating sexual poses would be preferable to mutilation-death-desecration. Apparently rape, torture, mutilation and execution of Americans POWs and even civilians is okay….
    3. Demand for apologies
    Here’s the game:
    -If you only apologize, Iraqis will forgive you
    -Bush and others apologize
    -Declare these apologies invalid for some reason — they were too indirect, they were personal statements, etc.
    -The apology provokes no forgiveness, only shrill denunciations about trying to sneak out of responsibility. A Saudi paper screamed “Killers should apologize!”
    4. War=Bad, Terror=Good?
    This is a part of a larger pattern of hypocrisy: War is “evil”, terror is good. War by nations against nations is wrong. Civil war and insurgency are “heroic”. Thus, nations which fight wars must be harangued for real and imagined war-crimes, while their insurgent, terrorist counterparts can extermination civilians, rape, torture and mutilate with impunity—after all, they are not governments, so how can they be held responsible.
    Thus, the rape of Jessica Lynch and female soldiers in the first Gulf War are laughed off. Thus, executions of American civilians like Daniel Pearl and an elderly wheel-chair bound Achille Lauro passenger is never called a war crime–the terrorists act with impunity. Only wars are protested; Terrorist atrocities and war crimes are laughed off, ignored, or worse, secretly sympathized and justified.
    5. Get ready for more hypocrisy
    Some Iraqis despite official apologies and even compensation ,and despite experts from the Arab media who claimed that �if only Bush would apologize� the Iraqis will forgive you, radicals in Iraq and elsewhere will no doubt seek to get �Revenge�. When American POWS are tortured and executed what can we expect? Loud, shrill denunciations by the world�s press?? I doubt it. More likely are apologetics, excuse-making, justifications, and even glee. Such is the craven nature of the �World Community�.