The Ranting Profs find this nugget in a NY Times story about Abu Gharib:
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld disclosed Friday that there were “many more photos” and videos of abuse that have not yet become public. And he acknowledged in Senate testimony that the military might have mishandled the affair by not alerting members of Congress and the public to the growing seriousness of the military’s investigation into the abuses before the images became public on “60 Minutes II.”
“I wish I had been able to convey to them the gravity of this before we saw it in the media,” Mr. Rumsfeld said.
The irony, Mr. Lawson said, is that the public spectacle might have been avoided if the military and the federal government had been responsive to his claims that his nephew was simply following orders. Mr. Lawson said he sent letters to 17 members of Congress about the case earlier this year, with virtually no response, and that he ultimately contacted Mr. Hackworth’s Web site out of frustration, leading him to cooperate with a consultant for “60 Minutes II.”
I agree with the Ranting Profs, who state:
Given all the self-righteousness, don’t we deserve to know which ones?
Oh no…..we sure can’t find that out. Because for all the talk of “accountability”, the Congress is one place that never EVER is held accountable for anything…
From listening to Sy Hersh and our honorable members of Congress, and the Hon. Mr. Kerry, it’s pretty clear what the U.S. needs to do.
First off, shoot Don Rumsfeld summarily. Give him over to a crowd in Falluja for ritual mutilation. In an organization of 2 million men and women, he didn’t know what a unit of 120 of them were up to. And then when he was tipped off, he convened a couple general officer 15-6 investigations, rather than summary disembowelment, hanging, and burning at the stake. Clearly, he didn’t take it seriously.
Second, have Dubya run out of town on a rail. In a government of X million, he didn’t know what .000001% of his people were doing. He needs to be removed from office. And as John Kerry said, these warcrimes are inevitable due to the corrupt foreign policy that led to the U.S. involvement in Iraq. (Which he voted for, before he voted against it). If we really want to clean up this war crimes problem, we need somebody who knows about warcrimes to take the reins. Who better than John Kerry, who claimed in his testimony before congress that he participated in war crimes? If we can’t get him, the other Kerry, Bob Kerrey, could possibly stand in. He’s only an accused war criminal, rather than a self-admitted one, but he’d do in a pinch.
Third, crucify our troops. ALl of em. On Hardball the other night, Sy Hersh said Iraqi abuse is widespread, commonplace, and all our babykillers, er, um, troops, are engaged in it. Hersh also asked in a very on-point manner, what did Nixon know, and when did he know it? And additionally he asked, “are you going… to San… Fran… cisco?” All you need is love… etc.
Fourth, hamstring the intelligence agencies. Even the sleep deprivation and making people stand for hours on end tactics are too much like torture for our tastes. Sure, you could chalk up the Abu Ghraib scandal to an out-of-control MP company, and maybe 1-3 lower level f***-ups in military intelligence — but why do that when you can go for the trifecta and eliminate our tactical humint capability? For one thing, Human Rights Watch will bust a nut if you eliminate MI. That should help the Dems carry San Francisco, Berkeley, and Manahattan. Moreover, we never did like intel people, or cops, or our parents. This is a great chance to get even. And besides, it’s been nearly two weeks since the 9/11 Commission insisted that our human intelligence people are stepping too softly and playing paddy-cake with the nasties.
Finally, we need to obsess about this, and really freak out about it for a couple months, and we should conclude that it has undermined the moral legitimacy of the United States so severely, that we need to withdraw from Iraq and NATO immediately, and spend the remainder of our time as a coherent nation state in pennance. Maybe the UN can run things for a while until we get our shit together? It’s a permanent stain, forever on our souls, just like Me Lai, Hiroshima, Buchenwald, the Defenestration of Prague, Colditz, the 100 Years War, and everything else bad the Americans ever did or should be held responsible for. Sure, some people would say this is being extreme, but it really isn’t. Just as the actions of a relative handful of corrupt, bloodthirsty thugs in uniform permit the conclusion that the U.S. military is corrupt and our mission to Iraq hopelessly immoral; then it follows that the actions of the U.S. military mean that every swingin’ Richard in the United States is a corrupt, bloodthirsty bastard. So we should give everything we own to the Arab world, beg forgiveness, and crawl on our knees to Osama, the Saudi Royal family and Saddam, and tell them how wrong we were. I hereby volunteer Michael Moore to go first…
If we follow this path, it will fix all our problems, cure baldness and dropsy, and make our enemies love the humbled, new and improved United States.
Of course the alternative is to sit by, let military law and due process take its course, and attempt to mend our course.
But that is what serious people would do, and we are no longer a serious people, as far as I can tell.
Wasn’t there some Uncle that said he tried to make the photos known to the proper authorities, but since no one was interested gave them instead to some guy who said he’d internet em? Or is that just popular urbin legend?
This was in the Wash Post yesterday. He sent them to abut 20 members of Congress. They didn’t do much.
Meanwhile, the Army’s two 15-6 investigations were ongoing. The Army took the allegations seriously; evidently Congress didn’t, until the TV cameras were present.
Congress has made it fairly clear that they were nearly completely ignorant of what took place.
M. Scott Eiland
“Congress has made it fairly clear that they were nearly completely ignorant of what took place.”
Since they didn’t leak it all over the place, I have no doubt that they’re telling the truth about that.
Most excellent rant, Al Maviva.
Great Job Al.
When hit with facts you just set back and say it is wrong because in your world the only truth is yours.
I’m pretty much baffled by this one.
Maybe the news today will assist in “un-baffling” yo.
One Mr. Lawson, an Uncle of one of the soldiers that will be on trial, asserted on MSNBC-TV yesterday that he had sent letters and emails to seventeen separate members of both the Senate and the House, mostly to sitting Democrats, three of which sat on this morning’s hearing. Their response was deplorable, BUT certainly seventeen were alerted early on and they ignored the warning.
Now, with the televised public beheading of an innocent American civilian today in Iraq, allegedly by a leader of al-Qaeda, I think that public opinion being what it is, the furor over what happened to those pitiful Iraqi prisoners will diminish quickly.
Obviously, the difference in each side’s “insensitve” behavior will be apparent as hell.
Actually, I saw Mr. Lawson on Hardball last night and he said he had contacted 15 politicians, not congressmen, and the only one he mentioned by name was Gov. Allen of Virginia. Now, I could have missed other names, because at the time I was at a bar, engaged in a lass and some Bass, alas.
I don’t know why he would have referred to Allen as “Governor,” since he is one of the two current sitting Senators from Virginia. However, since Allen was, prior to becoming Senator, Governor of Virginia, I would guess that this may have been an honorific.
Since he didn’t say “Warner,” (the sitting governor–Mark, as well as a current Senator–John), my guess is he actually sent it to George Allen, former governor and current Senator.
(However, Allen is a Republican, not a Democrat, which may go against what Cadillacjag saw.)
Ah, Dean, now you got me all discombobulated, less so than last night, though. But thanks for the kind correction. For the life of me I can’t recall whether the emphasis was on governor or Allen, or both. What struck me was that Lawson appeared to have lowered the number of people he had attempted to contact and that they weren’t all Congressmen, the latter which makes sense since he was probably desperately trying to shake the parochial trees. It appears he does have a little local clout and was attempting to flex it for his nephew. I imagine if we put our heads together we could figure at least some of them out. The two Warners and Allen, and almost certainly Bobby Byrd, and who else? Just goes to show that rushing in, taking the booth pew facing the TV, and trying to do two–and working on three–things at one time is a recipe for commenting disaster. Otherwise, things worked at quite well.
“Bobby” Byrd was one that he emailed: Byrd’s office replied that they “don’t respond to email less than 500 words in length.”
It’s my thinking that of the 17 he was said to have sent communiques to, one WAS a Republican. (I originally posted “mostly to sitting Democrats.”
Regardless, Lawson made the attempt early on contrary to what many elected officials self-righteously stated when saying they had no previous knowledge.
The Dems accused Rumsfeld of not reading his reports: the same might be said for some of them, not reading their mail. But what the hell, we’re merely constituients. We don’t count.