Thursday, June 09, 2005

Still Believe The Torture Narrative? You Shouldn't...

Looking at the torture question from a different perspective than we have in our debates so far today, a pertinent question is, to what extent are abuses widespread? Are they condoned? Approved? A part of policy? Equally important, what happens to American soldiers who DO abuse prisoners?

The Wall Street Journal, from the print copy of April 27, 2005, had an editorial entitled Abu Ghraib Accountability that I would like to quote from (wish I had a link):
The abuse reports went up the chain of command on January 13th last year; within a day an Army criminal probe had started. Two days after that, Central Command issued a press release notifying the world of that investigation; on March 20th it was announced in Baghdad that criminal charges had been brought against six of the soldiers involved. A month earlier...Major General Antonio Taguba had completed an internal investigation of what had happened. This is all before the infamous photos were leaked to the press one year ago this week [emphasis theirs].
Contrast that with the Butcher of Baghdad, who has yet to even be formally charged for his numerous crimes against humanity.

Well, it was a whitewash, you may say; they got the little guys and let the big guys go. The Journal quotes Specialist Jeremy Sivits, the first Abu Ghraib soldier to face a court martial, as follows: "Our command would have slammed us. They believe in doing the right thing. If they saw what was going on, there would be hell to pay." An independent investigation by former Carter Administration cabinet member James Schleshinger concluded last summer that the Abu Ghraib offenses weren't even related to interrogations. Mr. Schleshinger noted that by any statistical measure, the rate of incidents of abuse in the War on Terror has been quite small indeed (though we all agree one incident is one too many).

So we see a U.S. that punishes its own, that investigated Abu Ghraib and brought charges before the press ever got the photos, and that investigates thoroughly claims that the orders came from on high. Contrast that to our enemies, who behead innocents on videotape, and then tell me about abuse, Amnesty International...

On a related note, CoC SoS AJ Strata thinks Amnesty is basically playing to the moonbat crowd for fame and fortune, and Coalition member Minh Duc wonders if our definition of torture has become politically correct.

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