‘Mere’ rendition and sheer audacity

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, June 20th, 2007
3:00 pm and is filed
under Humanity.

Via goatchurch and Peter Gasston:

The New Yorker – The General’s Report (by Seymour M. Hersh): Taguba, watching the hearings, was appalled. He believed that Rumsfeld’s testimony was simply not true. “The photographs were available to him – if he wanted to see them,” Taguba said. Rumsfeld’s lack of knowledge was hard to credit. Taguba later wondered if perhaps Cambone had the photographs and kept them from Rumsfeld because he was reluctant to give his notoriously difficult boss bad news. But Taguba also recalled thinking, “Rumsfeld is very perceptive and has a mind like a steel trap. There’s no way he’s suffering from C.R.S. – Can’t Remember Shit. He’s trying to acquit himself, and a lot of people are lying to protect themselves.” It distressed Taguba that Rumsfeld was accompanied in his Senate and House appearances by senior military officers who concurred with his denials.

Another article involving Hersh that’s worth revisiting is this one:

Salon.com – Hersh: Children sodomized at Abu Ghraib, on tape: “Debating about it, ummm … Some of the worst things that happened you don’t know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib … The women were passing messages out saying ‘Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened’ and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It’s going to come out.”

And this:

Juan Cole – Abuse of Women Detainees: A scandal that has not yet broken in the press is the story of how many women ended up in US prisons. The fact is, few were suspected of having themselves committed a crime or an act of insurgency. Rather, they were taken as hostages or potential informants because their husbands or sons were wanted by the US military. This kind of arrest, however, is a form of collective punishment and not permitted under the Fourth Geneva Convention governing military occupations of civilian populations. The sexual abuse of these women is therefore a double crime.

The Abu Ghraib affair is far bigger and far uglier than a lot of people recognise or realise. Rather than worrying about the plans the US didn’t have, perhaps we could focus on the plans they did have. (Oh, and the subsequent plan to keep any renditional revelations as low-key as possible).

Let me be absolutely clear about this for anyone wishing to throw the ‘old news’ label, the ‘ticking time-bomb’ scenario and/or the gentle wording of ‘rendition’ in my face:

We didn’t tickle a few terrorists with a feather-duster… we kidnapped the families of alleged insurgents and tortured them in the most horrifying and degrading manner imaginable. We also filmed some of this, so we could use the material to intimidate other alleged insurgents (and/or members of their family).

And we wonder why we’re having difficulty in Iraq.

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