As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, May 19, 2004


We knew this, but the Denver Post has the most comprehensive review yet of the killing of Iraqi detainees:

Brutal interrogation techniques by U.S. military personnel are being investigated in connection with the deaths of at least five Iraqi prisoners in war-zone detention camps, Pentagon documents obtained by The Denver Post show.

The deaths include the killing in November of a high-level Iraqi general who was shoved into a sleeping bag and suffocated, according to the Pentagon report. The documents contradict an earlier Defense Department statement that said the general died "of natural causes" during an interrogation. Pentagon officials declined to comment on the new disclosure.

It's never about the action, it's always about the cover-up. This is a death by a thousand cuts for the administration, a never-ending trickle of revelations that might continue right through November. For example, here's some more proof that this is not isolated, but policy:

Internal records obtained by The Post point to wider problems beyond the Abu Ghraib prison and demonstrate that some coercive tactics used at Abu Ghraib have shown up in interrogations elsewhere in the war effort. The documents also show more than twice as many allegations of detainee abuse - 75 - are being investigated by the military than previously known. Twenty-seven of the abuse cases involve deaths; at least eight are believed to be homicides.

And here's another shining example from our boys in uniform:

Also under investigation are reports that soldiers in Iraq abused women and children. One April 2003 case, which is awaiting trial, involves a reservist who pointed a loaded pistol at an Iraqi child in front of witnesses, saying he should kill the youngster to "send a message" to other Iraqis.

You know, at some point, I think we're allowed to at least lay a little blame at the feet of soldiers. Obviously, the breadth of these allegations assumes some coordinated effort higher up the chain of command. But a private is, I think, still a human being. He can say "You know what, I'm not going to point a loaded gun at a child, how about that?" Obviously there's an enormous amount of pressure on these kids. But we've gotten so jingoistic and pro-troops in this country that we immediately bypass their abuses by saying "Oh, they were just following orders." Considering the orders in question are, let's see, AGAINST THE LAW, I have a harder time than most defending their actions.