Tuesday, June 15, 2004
You can support the goal of a free Iraq and still be disgusted by the thug tactics at Abu Ghraib. You can support the job our men and women are doing and still thirst to see every person linked to this festering boil of non-American activity get jailed. You can be happy that Hussein has been captured and still want Rumsfeld to get the boot.
In short, you can be like William F. Buckley:
The best evidence of the incongruity of Abu Ghraib with American standards is the universal revulsion felt by the American people when those photographs were published. But right now there are only seven soldiers being prosecuted, and the sense of it is that that does not go deeply enough. If what happened was odious, but what happened did so under the auspices of a well-organized military, then you scratch up against the lessons of Nuremberg, which held superiors responsible for misconduct by subordinates. And people are wanting to know what are the relevant jurisdictions, and what tribunals do we have in mind to convoke in order to satisfy ourselves - and the world - that America wants more than merely to punish the people who did it. We need to punish also the people who let it happen.
We have to know who really sanctioned this. And we have to stop it. Just because some anti-war opportunists are getting on this bandwagon does not absolve pro-war advocates from holding this administration responsible.
When one of the founders of modern conservative thought makes that statement, it shows the neo-cons' dismissals of the activity at Abu Ghraib for the foolishness it is.
And on a separate note, things are going to get worse as the pictures and videos that only Congress has seen of Abu Ghraib come out. They apparently put the capital "T" in Torture, as they show not only rape, but murder.
IF (a big if) this is so, the perpetrators should hang. As in "neck-breaking from the end of a rope off a scaffold" hang. They should be killed. Put to death. Executed.
Those are high crimes, and no person could have ever conceivably thought they were legal orders. Whoever gave and/or followed out these orders knew they were not only violating the law, but the standards of human decency. And they deserve to die for it.