Wednesday, May 12, 2004
We've all seen the photos of the inexcusable actions of the American guards at Abu Ghraib. These actions are disgusting and beneath the honor and dignity of the American soldier and the American people. All those involved should be promptly prosecuted to the full extent of the military code.
I am confident that this will happen because everyone involved is trying to blame someone else. Officers are saying they never gave any orders. Enlisted men are saying they were just following orders. Neither of these excuses wash. Soldiers are obligated to refuse to follow an illegal order. Abuse of prisoners in any fashion is outlawed in the US military code. And it has been well established in American law, as far back as the early 19th century, that the excuse of "following orders" does not absolve a soldier of responsibility if those orders are illegal.
And I find it hard to believe that a bunch of guards systematically abused prisoners without a single officer ever knowing about it. That's crap. And not only the Army officers, but military intelligence as well. Abu Ghraib is a festering boil that needs to be lanced now. It insults the daily routine of our other soldiers over there who are trying to make Iraq a better place.
But what really stuns me is that Rumsfeld is getting off. I am no fan of his. I think he tried to prosecute this war on the cheap and as a result we are spinning our wheels in Iraq. But I can't believe that in the course of a year he never knew about this. And if he did, he decided, on his own, not to tell the President. Excuse me? Since when does the Sec. of Defense call the shots? He was obligated to tell Bush about this. The American people seem to be disenchanted with Don as well. For the first time since 9/11, a majority of American disapprove of Bush's performance. This coming after he TWICE defended Rumsfeld in public. Just my two cents George, but he doesn't deserve your loyalty. He's put you in a tight spot. Kick him out, prosecute the offenders of Abu Ghraib, and you'll come out of this in a strong spot.