Saturday, May 21, 2005

Bush Torture Policies: The curious incident of the weasel in the night-time 

OK, OK, a dog, not a weasel. I just didn't want to get Senator Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum (R-Dobson) all hot and bothered. You remember the famous exchange between Holmes and hapless Inspector Gregory:

Inspector Gregory: "Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"

Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."

Inspector: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."

Holmes: "That was the curious incident."

The essential Seymour Hersh draws our attention to another "curious incident"—in fact, a whole series of them:

The night shift's activities at Abu Ghraib came to an end on January 13 2004, when specialist Joseph M Darby, one of the 372nd reservists, provided army police authorities with a disk full of explicit images. By then, these horrors had been taking place for nearly four months.

Three days later the army began an investigation. But it is what was not done that is significant. There is no evidence that President Bush, upon learning of the devastating conduct at Abu Ghraib, asked any hard questions of Rumsfeld and his own aides in the White House; no evidence that they took any significant steps, upon learning in mid-January of the abuses, to review and modify the military's policy toward prisoners. I was told by a high-level former intelligence official that within days of the first reports the judicial system was programmed to begin prosecuting the enlisted men and women in the photos and to go no further up the chain of command.

In late April, after the CBS and New Yorker reports, a series of news conferences and press briefings emphasised the White House's dismay ["Shocked, shocked!"] over the conduct of a few misguided soldiers at Abu Ghraib and the president's repeated opposition to torture.

Despite Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo - not to mention Iraq and the failure of intelligence - and the various roles they played in what went wrong, Rumsfeld kept his job; Rice was promoted to secretary of state; Alberto Gonzales, who commissioned the memos justifying torture, became attorney general; deputy secretary of defence Paul Wolfowitz was nominated to the presidency of the World Bank; and Stephen Cambone, under-secretary of defence for intelligence and one of those most directly involved in the policies on prisoners, was still one of Rumsfeld's closest confidants.
(via Guardian)

What Bush says: He's "shocked, shocked!" [Not on the balls, of course; he's the Preznit, not some hajji.]

What Bush does: Promote all the tortureres. Those actions don't just speak; they scream.

And one more curious incident: You'd think a Preznit who really wanted to prevent torture would make one very, very simple gesture:

He could raise Sergeant Darby for blowing the whistle. But Darby was following the rules, and since when do Republicans follow the rules? Following the rules is for little people!

He should give Sergeant Darby the Medal of Honor. But what do Republicans know about honor? Honor isn't for thieves and liars—or chickenhawks.

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