Monday, May 24, 2004

Abu Ghraib: Molly Ivins uses the F-word 

Finally! She writes about Abu Ghraib:

What seems to me more important than the "Oh ugh" factor is just how easy it is for standards of law and behavior of slip into bestiality.

The problems go all the way back to the administration's refusal to abide by the Geneva Conventions. President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Attorney General John Ashcroft "signed off on a secret system of detention and interrogation that opened the door to such methods.

Normally something like Abu Ghraib can be blamed in part on the Downward Communication Exaggeration Spiral, which afflicts most organizations. Someone at the top makes a mild suggestion, and by the time it reaches the troops, it's iron-clad law. This appears to be a rare case of a reverse spiral, with the orders coming from the very top and questions being raised about them all the way down, until finally Army Spc. Joseph Darby spoke out and set off the Taguba investigation.

In this case, there is more than sufficient evidence pointing to the culpability of those at the top. But at the same time, the Pentagon is putting out the word that it was "only a few bad apples," six low-level soldiers who have already been charged, with no one else involved. This just stinks of cover-up. Damned if I think these six low-level soldiers should be hung out there to take the blame for a set of explicitly written and signed policies made by people wearing expensive suits, getting paid big bucks and bearing some of the highest titles in the land.

You can read all the memos and documents for yourself. It's important to know how fascism starts.
(via Naples Daily News)

Fortunately, Bush has found many fewer "willing executioners" than Hitler did. The democratic traditions and values that Bush is trying to hard to undermine are still powerful. Thank Heavens.

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