Sunday, November 26, 2006

Rumsfeld and Abu Ghraib

By Michael J.W. Stickings

According to former U.S. Army Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, "Rumsfeld authorized the mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib". The U.S. commander at the prison until 2004, when she was relieved of her duties, she says she "saw a memorandum signed by Rumsfeld detailing the use of harsh interrogation methods". Reuters has the story here.

As Jack Balkin notes, "[t]hese are not new allegations by Karpinski," and, indeed, it has long been suspected that Rumsfeld signed off on the "methods" used at Abu Ghraib. (As I put it myself in May of last year in response to the trial of scapegoat Lynndie England, there was at the prison "a climate of abuse that was sanctioned by the highest reaches of the military and civilian establishment, including the highest reaches of the Bush Administration.) However: "Karpinski's statement is important because it suggests that there was more than mere confusion at stake, that this was not the accidental migration of CIA/Special Forces techniques to ordinary military detentions in Iraq. She is asserting that Rumsfeld deliberately approved techniques for Iraq that violated Geneva (and hence the War Crimes Act)."

Andrew Sullivan points to the incriminating evidence against Rumsfeld and adds: "[T]hat he actually signed off on key measures to inflict prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, and to violate the Geneva Conventions by ensuring certain prisoners were never registered (so they could be tortured without a paper trail) is news. All of this needs thorough Congressional investigation, and criminal charges if necessary."

There's no way Rumsfeld didn't approve of what happened at Abu Ghraib (and elswhere under his watch). If there's one thing we know about him -- and it's one of the things most evident in Woodward's State of Denial -- is that he's an obsessive micro-manager. He wanted to know what was going on, and he wanted to control what was going on, everywhere in the Pentagon and throughout the military establishment. There are other enablers of torture in the Bush Administration, including Bush and Cheney, and all of them ought to be held criminally responsible, but Rumsfeld was the link that made it happen.

And yet Rumsfeld remains a hero of the right. Which tells you what you need to know about the state of the right today.

Bookmark and Share


  • They're mad that the Plame assassinations of operations officercs in Iraq after her 'Vanity Fair' admission were traced to the 'basks' in Madrid that arranged the bombing on the behalf of the Iraqi police that did the killing and ordered the bombing in Spain(the courts just finished the investigation and went to trial and the arrests and murders of the Iraqi police started in Iraq) to change the government and a dem wants to give a Congressional medal to the new leader in Spain when it was really Wilson's dad, where he grew up, who was the original CIA agent(why Plame married him to use the other CIA operations officer his dad behind the Plame using his history stuff

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:02 PM  

  • Dear Comrades,
    Please visit to learn about our creative protest of the Military Commissions Act.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:33 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home