| Main |
human rights violations in haiti...,
widespread systematic abuse at the direction of unaccountable superiors:
every time I hear "a few bad-apples" and "isolated incidents" from some mock-masculine faux-liberal senator or whitewashing conservative pundit I have a hard time doing anything other than shaking my head: it's too easy to get lost in the jigsaw of 'isolated incidents' without putting all the pieces on the table. Such leaders in congress and in the media know well enough the dictum that if their cohorts in command of the Pentagon and the military start being held accountable a rapicious disease - the idea that these people are responsible for their actions - might infect the heads of the public: hence the command gets immunity, the enlisted get buried in shit, and the family is left digging up the grave.
The latest in a long, tangled string of leaks - most if not all being collected and made available to the concerned public by the National Security Archives - has finally reached Rolling Stone:
A slide presentation in the classified files spells out the new "Interrogation Rules of Engagement," specifying that soldiers, with proper approval, may subject prisoners to dietary manipulation, sleep deprivation, stress positions and the "presence of mil working dogs."
In May, after photos of the torture were published, Rumsfeld declared that he would take "all measures necessary" to ensure that such abuse "does not happen again." But the defense secretary had already sent a clear signal to commanders in Iraq about his position on the proper way to interrogate prisoners. In April, Rumsfeld transferred Gen. Miller from Guantanamo to Baghdad, putting him in charge of all military prisons in Iraq. Instead of court-martialing the man who authored the plan to subject prisoners at Abu Ghraib to harsh abuses, Rumsfeld has left him in charge of the facility.
Guantanamo is Abu Ghraib. Afghanistan is Abu Ghraib.
The numerous reports coming out of the military (like the Army inspector general's report last week) that are re-inforcing the 'isolated incidents' line are policy proposals, not investigations into who is responsible. They involve little or no testimony from the victims, and for that matter aren't going to be released in full to the public, unless the portions which utterly contradict the public release are finally leaked by some beaurecrat that still has a few drops of human blood left in their body.
Such "investigations" are just meaningless grist for a public whitewash. Like the Rolling Stone article above the classified documents that are being leaked to the press keep retelling a different story: internal documents implicating Sanchez, confidential reports from the Red Cross implicating Pentagon officials, others implicating Rumsfeld, reports by military lawyers telling our leaders that they're not bound by laws against torture, 37 documented homicides in Iraq and Afghanistan left unprosecuted.
It's a massive document dump, and it's all following what was public knowledge over a year ago: that Washington condones and encourages the use of torture, be it by proxy or at the hands of the USG, and in so doing has created a global system of injustice and torture.