Thursday, July 22, 2004

Red Cross Whitewash 

This is descending into "how dumb do they think we are?" territory.

(via AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Thirty-nine prisoners have died in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan since the fall of 2001 and there have been 94 cases of proven or suspected abuse, the Army said Thursday in a broad new report giving a more precise and higher estimate of the scale of the abuse.

Still, the Army report concludes there were no systemic problems that caused or contributed to the abuses. All of the wrongdoing was committed by soldiers who violated Army rules and regulations, at times aided by commanders who either encouraged abuses or looked the other way, said Inspector General Lt. Gen. Paul Mikolashek.

The acting Army secretary and its top general said they took responsibility for the abuses while insisting that they were not sanctioned by Army leadership.
Frankly I'm going to skip all the parts about what Army personnel did, aside from noting the desperation with which they are still clinging to the "few bad apples" theory, and the fact that this still doesn't jibe with the Red Cross reports on abuse and "ghost prisoners". Procedures exist to track down military misbehavior. The "civilian contractors" though...let's see what this report has to say about them:
- Civilian interrogators working on an Army contract were accused of mistreating prisoners in two separate incidents, including pouring water on the head of a prisoner forced into an uncomfortable "stress position." The interrogators' employer, CACI International Inc., plans to investigate further, spokeswoman Jodi Brown said Thursday. She said that in one incident military interrogators reportedly used the same techniques as the contract workers.

But interrogator training was often incomplete and inconsistent, the report said.

The Army's contract with CACI did not require the civilian contractors to have military interrogation training. Eleven of the 31 CACI interrogators who worked in Iraq did not have military interrogation training, the report said.
I would have a comment at this point except that my brain has momentarily lost the capacity to form rational thoughts. Now that this layer of whitewash has been applied, it's really time for Sy Hersh to blow this open about the torture of children.

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