General Taguba Provides More for the Rumsfeld Dossier

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Seymour Hersh has just published in The New Yorker a major interview with Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, who led the Pentagon’s investigation into the abuses at Abu Ghraib. The piece is titled “The General’s Report.”
Among the revelations Taguba shares is that he was ordered to focus on lower level soldiers in his investigation even though he felt that command knowledge and participation in the abusive techniques and practice of torture went very high in the Pentagon.
Also captured in the article, via the Washington Post:

Taguba also said that Rumsfeld misled Congress when he testified in May 2004 about the abuse investigation, minimizing how much he knew about the incidents. Taguba said that he met with Rumsfeld and top aides the day before the testimony.
“I know that my peers in the Army will be mad at me for speaking out, but the fact is that we violated the laws of land warfare in Abu Ghraib,” Taguba said, according to the article.
“We violated the tenets of the Geneva Convention. We violated our own principles and we violated the core of our military values. The stress of combat is not an excuse, and I believe, even today, that those civilian and military leaders responsible should be held accountable.”

Those keeping the score card on Rumsfeld need to add this “lying to Congress” case.
Although many no doubt believe that Rumsfeld misled, obfuscated, distorted and lied on a number of occasions — getting a clear case with a witness and participant as important as Taguba is rare.
If I were Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, I’d call Rumsfeld back in for a chat — under oath.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

42 comments on “General Taguba Provides More for the Rumsfeld Dossier

  1. David N says:

    > –…–
    Why limit this to just the military?
    Every government agency is inculcated with the necessity to follow orders. The one and only goal of any administration — the only difference is that Bush/Cheney has taken it to criminal lengths — is the control of the bureaucracy.
    In the State Department, this is a mania. Ambassadors are never questioned, even when doing things that are clearly violations of regulations and statutes. They get away with it simply because no one tells. Assistant Secretaries are paranoid about staff members caught talking with people from other bureaus without prior clearance and vetting of the talking points, even on the most minor subjects. And memos asking to go to the bathroom have to be cleared by seventeen people.
    All Bush has done is take the fear and paranoia that are a normal part of the day for the average bureaucrat, and make it a basic principle of governing and politics. And also destroy the difference between the two.
    Remember the butterfly effect: Small changes on the margins of complex systems have results that are wildly disproportate and inherently unpredictable.
    In this case, the small change is resulting in the destruction of law, rights, the economy, and the country. Maybe the world.
    But what, me worry?

    Reply

  2. IMPEACHCHENEY says:

    Thank you for the direct link to Sen. Levin’s site. I did email with a request to indict Rumsfeld. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of and try to pray for the victims of the nazi atrocities at Guantanmo Bay, Iraq and the black sites set up by the cia/gestapo.
    Biden made some powerful statements when the Congress viewed the photo evidence of these atrocities but the next day cried and apologized for saying the US was like Pol Pot or the nazis. What did the bush mafia threaten biden and his family with – the threats against Congress and the murders by the Octapus need to be talked about again and again and BCCI and whatever name they use now.
    I am awed by the courage of General Taguba.

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  3. NoPrisoners says:

    Seymour Hersh was on Democracy Now toady going into detail about this article. The Hersh interview was about 45 minutes long.
    Democracy Now is on Dish TV channel 9410 and 9415 and on Direct TV Channel 375.
    You can also view it online at http://www.democracynow.org

    Reply

  4. Sandy says:

    June 18, 2007 http://tinyurl.com/2mr3d7
    Is Bush Planning to Nuke Iran? If So, Say Goodbye to Democratic Outcomes
    The Reign of the Tyrants is at Hand
    By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
    “It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral.”
    General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Press Club, February 17, 2006.
    “They will be held accountable for the decisions they make. So they should in fact not obey the illegal and immoral orders to use weapons of mass destruction.”
    General Peter Pace, CNN With Wolf Blitzer, April 6, 2003
    The surprise decision by the Bush regime to replace General Peter Pace as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been explained as a necessary step to avoid contentious confirmation hearings in the US Senate. Gen. Pace’s reappointment would have to be confirmed, and as the general has served as vice chairman and chairman of the Joint Chiefs for the past 6 years, the Republicans feared that hearings would give war critics an opportunity to focus, in Defense Secretary Gates words, “on the past, rather than the future.”
    This is a plausible explanation. Whether one takes it on face value depends on how much trust one still has in a regime that has consistently lied about everything for six years.
    General Pace himself says he was forced out when he refused to “take the issue off the table” by voluntarily retiring. Pace himself was sufficiently disturbed by his removal to strain his relations with the powers that be by not going quietly.
    The Wall Street Journal editorial page interpreted Pace’s removal as indication that “the man running the Pentagon is Democratic Senator Carl Levin of Michigan. For that matter, is George W. Bush still President?”
    The Wall Street Journal editorial writers’ attempt to portray Pace’s departure as evidence of a weak and appeasing administration does not ring true. An administration that escalates the war in Iraq in the face of public opposition and pushes ahead with its plan to attack Iran is not an appeasing administration. Whether it is the war or Attorney General Gonzales or the immigration bill or anything else, President Bush and his Republican stalwarts have told Congress and the American people that they don’t care what Congress and the public think. Bush’s signing statements make it clear that he doesn’t even care about the laws that Congress writes.
    A president audacious enough to continue an unpopular and pointless war in the face of public opinion and a lost election is a president who is not too frightened to reappoint a general. Why does Bush run from General Pace when he fervently supports embattled Attorney General Gonzales? What troops does Bush support? He supports his toadies.
    There are, of course, other explanations for General Pace’s departure. The most disturbing of these explanations can be found in General Pace’s two statements at the beginning of this article.
    In the first statement General Pace says that every member of the US military has the absolute responsibility to disobey illegal and immoral orders. In the second statement, General Pace says that an order to use weapons of mass destruction is an illegal and immoral order.
    The context of General Pace’s second statement above (actually, the first statement in historical time) is his response to Blitzer’s question whether the invading US troops could be attacked with Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. But Pace’s answer does not restrict illegal and immoral only to Iraqi use of WMD. It is a general statement. It applies to their use period.
    Despite the illegality and immorality of first-use of nuclear weapons, the Bush Pentagon rewrote US war doctrine to permit their use regardless of their illegality and immorality. For a regime that not only believes that might is right but also that they have the might, law is what the regime says.
    The revised war doctrine permits US first strike use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries. We need to ask ourselves why the Bush administration would blacken America’s reputation and rekindle the nuclear arms race unless the administration had plans to apply its new war doctrine.
    Senator Joseph Lieberman, a number of neoconservatives, prominent Jewish leaders such as Norman Podhoretz, and members of the Israeli government have called for a US attack on Iran. Most Republican presidential candidates have said that they would not rule out the use of nuclear weapons against Iran.
    Allegedly, the US Department of State is pursuing diplomacy with Iran, not war, but Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns gives the lie to that claim. On June 12 Burns claimed that Iran was not only arming insurgents in Iraq but also the Taliban in Afghanistan. Burns’ claims are, to put it mildly, controversial in the US intelligence community, and they are denied not only by Iran but also by our puppet government in Afghanistan. On June 14, Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak told the Associated Press that Burns’ claim has no credibility.
    But, of course, none of the administration’s propagandistic claims that set the stage for the invasion of Iraq had any credibility either, and the lack of credibility did not prevent the claims from deceiving the Congress and the American people. As the US media now function as the administration’s Ministry of Propaganda, the Bush regime believes that it can stampede Americans with lies into another war.
    The Bush regime has concluded that a conventional attack on Iran would do no more than stir up a hornet’s nest and release retaliatory actions that the US could not manage. The Bush regime is convinced that only nuclear weapons can bring the mullahs to heel.
    The Bush regime’s plan to attack Iran with nuclear weapons puts General Pace’s departure in a different light. How can President Bush succeed with an order to attack with nuclear weapons when America’s highest ranking military officer says that such an order is “illegal and immoral” and that everyone in the military has an “absolute responsibility” to disobey it?
    An alternative explanation for Pace’s departure is that Pace had to go so that malleable toadies can be installed in his place.
    Pace’s departure removes a known obstacle to a nuclear attack on Iran, thus advancing that possible course of action. A plan to attack Iran with nuclear weapons might also explain the otherwise inexplicable “National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive” (NSPD-51 AND HSPD-20) that Bush issued on May 9. Bush’s directive allows him to declare a “national emergency” on his authority alone without ratification by Congress. Once Bush declares a national emergency, he can take over all functions of government at every level, as well as private organizations and businesses, and remain in total control until he declares the emergency to be over.
    Who among us would trust Bush, or any president, with this power?
    What is the necessity of such a sweeping directive subject to no check or ratification?
    What catastrophic emergency short of a massive attack on the US with nuclear ICBMs can possibly justify such a directive?
    There is no obvious answer to the question. The federal government’s inability to respond to Hurricane Katrina is hard evidence that centralizing power in one office is not the way to deal with catastrophes.
    A speculative answer is that, with appropriate propaganda, the directive could be triggered by a US nuclear attack on Iran. The use of nuclear weapons arouses the ultimate fear. A US nuclear attack would send Russian and Chinese ICBMs into high alert. False flag operations could be staged in the US. The US media would hype such developments to the hilt, portraying danger everywhere.
    Fear of the regime’s new detention centers would silence most voices of protest as the regime declares its “national emergency.”
    This might sound like a far-out fiction novel, but it is a scenario that would explain the Bush regime’s lack concern that the shrinking Republican vote that foretells a massive Republican wipeout in the 2008 election.
    In a declared national emergency, there would be no election.
    As implausible as this might sound to people who trust the government, be aware that despite his rhetoric, Bush has no respect for democracy. His neoconservative advisors have all been taught that it is their duty to circumvent democracy, as democracy does not produce the right decisions.
    Neoconservatives believe in rule by elites, and they regard themselves as the elite. The Bush regime decided that Americans would not agree to an invasion of Iraq unless they were deceived and tricked into it, and so we were.
    Indeed, democracy is out of favor throughout the Western world. In the UK and Europe, peoples are being forced, despite their expressed opposition, into an EU identity that they reject. British PM Tony Blair and his European counterparts have decided on their own that the people do not know best and that the people will be ignored. As former French PM Valery Giscard d’Estaing told the French newspaper, Le Monde, “Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly.” Giscard d’Estaing is referring to the resurrection of the rejected EU constitution camouflaged as a treaty. Giscard d’Estaing acknowledges that 450 million Europeans are being hoodwinked. Why should Americans be surprised that they have been and are being hoodwinked?
    Americans might have more awareness of their peril if they realized that their leaders no longer believe in democratic outcomes.
    Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

    Reply

  5. Carroll says:

    Mostly I agree with all the above, but social science research (Stanley Milgram and Phil Zimbardo)does not put those who would never torture or do bad things at 4-6%. It is much closer to 2/3 of a cross section of average Americans who can be persuaded to listen to and obey authority and do things that they would otherwise think to be unethical and cruel. Chnaging administrations in DC is a lot easier than changing that.
    Posted by Linda at June 18, 2007 05:27 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    I was saying that 4 to 6% of the population would have no problem or enjoy killing for whaever reason.
    Not that 4 to 6% “wouldn’t”.
    But there are 4 to 6% that wouldn’t…so you are right there. Althought it is probably higher than that.
    Your statement has merit in that B.F. Skinner’s prison experiment with college students long ago did show that “some” individuals when placed in positions of control over others will exhibt sadistic tendencies.
    On the 2/3’rds of the population that can easily be controlled and induced to do things by fear propaganda. …. we are talking about a form of mass hysterica on that majority in any population who are always of average or below average intelligence.
    The problem is how a population like that makes changes in any adm…..that are actually changes.

    Reply

  6. ... says:

    But, since when has being stupid and senseless been an argument against doing something in this government.<< David N then one has the military which is programed to follow orders, regardless of ‘intelligence’ by only based on following the leader and with bush.cheney/rumsfield et all the recipe for disaster is as plain as the past 5 years history..

    Reply

  7. Linda says:

    Mostly I agree with all the above, but social science research (Stanley Milgram and Phil Zimbardo)does not put those who would never torture or do bad things at 4-6%. It is much closer to 2/3 of a cross section of average Americans who can be persuaded to listen to and obey authority and do things that they would otherwise think to be unethical and cruel. Chnaging administrations in DC is a lot easier than changing that.

    Reply

  8. David N says:

    There is one arguement that even the 6% would have to deal with in regard to torture.
    It’s stupid!!
    It doesn’t work. It does more to destroy the effectiveness of your own troops and cause than the zero gain it achieves. The information obtained is both useless and probably wrong. There simply is no reason to be that stupid.
    But, since when has being stupid and senseless been an arguement against doing something in this government.

    Reply

  9. sdemetri says:

    I got into a long thread on Blackfive.net on the subject of torture with the military types that frequent that blog. There is just about every justification for torture among these folks that you can imagine. Some very sophisticated ethical arguments as to why it is legitimate in the theater of war, based on Total War theory, from Carl Schmidt whose theories it appears informed the Nazis in pre-WWII Germany. It comes as no surprize these guys cover-up, obfuscate, dodge, lie, totally ignore international conventions, domestic laws against it. To many on the Blackfive site, brutal interrogation techniques are due course to the grunt in the field whose buddy is in danger. It is often justified by terminology, waterboarding is an “interrogation technique” rather than torture. Alot of these folks I’d say are in Carroll’s 4%.

    Reply

  10. Sandy says:

    Absolutely correct, Parrot! …and THAT is why all this keeps continuing….right before our eyes. It’s just TOO BIG….TOO unspeakable….to comprehend and accept…let alone come to grips with having actually HAPPENED. Who could believe it?
    But it’s true.
    Despite all the lame efforts of the Right to pretend it is. Despite all the dumb articles Justa Humblereader found….and cites….
    …despite our OWN “lying” EYES!!! This shit is TRUE!
    It HAS happened!
    The depth, breadth, and scope of it…..are truly THE most shameful, horrifying period — the Bush/Cheney years — in American history.
    Bar none.
    We like to speak of the horrible thing done “to us” on 9/11….by those 19 Saudis with boxcutters.
    Just look at what we have done to ourselves ever since.
    SHAMEFUL!

    Reply

  11. parrot says:

    Maybe the “senior leadership” of the Congress was notified…but only the Republicans that had promised they wouldn’t do anything to stop the shameful abuse of human rights, breaking of legal treaties, including applicable Geneva articles. In that case, it really is a War Crimes thing of the highest magnitude and a scandal beyond any the government of the Republic has been involved in before. For, if Congress itself was ignoring its own laws, then what does that leave our government as?
    I’ll tell you. It leaves our government, during the Bush era, and hopefully not beyond, as a criminal conspiracy run by a one-party state. It would be a complete violation of the Constitution and treason against that Constitution if this has occurred. Hence all the “kids-glove” attitude by all involved, eh?

    Reply

  12. Sandy says:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/andrew04262007.html
    April 26, 2007
    The Puppet Who Cleared the Way for Iraq’s Destruction
    Wolfowitz’s War
    By ANDREW COCKBURN
    As defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, was driven from public life thanks to the catastrophe of Iraq, and for the moment at least lurks in obscurity. Wolfowitz, his deputy until 2005, contributed in almost equal measure to the debacle, yet managed to slide from the Pentagon into the presidency of a leading international institution with every chance to redeem himself. BLAME FOR TORTURE AT ABU GHRAIB and Guantanamo, bungling over troop levels, chaos in Iraq’s reconstruction, and the general meltdown in Pentagon management has all too often been laid at Rumsfeld’s door alone. However, Wolfowitz was an energetic enabler of these outrages and many other notorious initiatives.
    To cite just one example: among the most infamous documentary testaments to Rumsfeld’s place in the hierarchy of torture is the First Special Interrogation Plan for use at Guantanamo that received his approval in December 2002. It cleared the way for prolonged sleep deprivation, 20-hour interrogations, and sexual and religious humiliation, along with other favoured techniques. But as the document signed by Rumsfeld notes, the plan had earlier been reviewed and approved by “the deputy”, ie Wolfowitz.
    There are indications that Wolfowitz was even more hands on when it came to Abu Ghraib. At the May 2006 court martial of Sergeant Santos Cardona, who was one of the low-ranking personnel called to atone for the collective sins of the military establishment, testimony from one of the interrogators alleged that Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were in direct contact with the prison and received “nightly briefings” on the intelligence being extracted under torture…..”
    These sick bastards waited….each night….to hear the gory details. You GOT that???
    If — from “the May 2006 court martial of Sergeant Santos Cardona…”, there….since May A YEAR AGO….exists corrorborating EVIDENCE to Taguba’s report…..that knowledge of TORTURE went all the way to the top….
    ….then our putting our hands over our eyes and PRETENDING it couldn’t possibly be true….Oh! It’s Soooo awful….and therefore DOING NOTHING to hold any of the higher-ups accountable…
    THAT then has made us ALL complicit in these CRIMES.
    We know what went on. We have EVIDENCE. We have photographs. We have testimony. We even have videotapes with the screams of young Iraqi/other children being sodomized…in front of their mothers….
    Yet nothing has been done. NOTHING.
    Seymour Hersh can continue to write. Andrew Cockburn. Taquba can bravely stand up and speak.
    But no one is listening. Not really. Or, if so, just passively.
    We just pretend this (New Yorker article) is somehow something “new”.
    Shame on us.
    All of us.
    We continue to do N O T H I N G.
    Talk is cheap.

    Reply

  13. Carroll says:

    I forgot to say that Tabuga is my kind of hero.

    Reply

  14. Carroll says:

    Also related to my above and the torture question…it seems to me 94 or so % of the human race is not built to kill or enjoy killing or even be able to deal psychology with killing other humans.
    Maybe that is why most populations can’t rouse themelves to kill/call for excuting or going after the 4% for whom killing is no problem.

    Reply

  15. Carroll says:

    Interesting question..should contract merks be given disability for their trama?
    “US contractors serving in Iraq and Afghanistan who have sustained psychological injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder are often finding themselves “caught in a morass of red tape and rejected insurance claims” finds a new Los Angeles Times investigation.
    “Some seriously afflicted contract workers have been dumped into indigent medical care programs, according to court records,” reports the Times. “Many have had to wage lengthy legal battles to win payments for psychological treatment. At least four have committed suicide after returning home from Iraq, according to court records and interviews with attorneys and family members.”
    Insurance companies have fought claims for psychological injuries by using doctors of “questionable expertise,” says the paper. In one case, writes T. Christian Miller, an insurance company psychiatrist dismissed psychology as “baloney.”
    “The companies have disputed some cases in which their own doctors determined that workers were suffering psychological damage, court records show.”
    AIG, the insurance company that deals with the most Iraq claims, has paid out on just 50% of psychological claims compared with 90% for all other injuries.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    From what I have read these fighters for hire join up strictly for the money and are paid about $1000 a day for their services. I am not sure I have any sympathy for their claims of being psychology damaged since unlike the military troops they had a choice and pretty much knew what they were getting into. At the same time any insurer that covers this type of activity is just asking for it.

    Reply

  16. Linda says:

    It’s interesting that the highest officer who was demoted and punished most severely was Janis Karpinski. Of course, it’s no surprise that the Army/military is stil far from being an equal oppotunity employer.

    Reply

  17. Linda says:

    Of course, the highest officer who was demoted and most severely punished was Janis Karpinski–not really surprising, as the military is still far from treating women fairly.

    Reply

  18. Rick B says:

    Of course there was command involvement in the Abu Ghraib case! Any aware military field grade officer or senior Captain who looked at the news reports of the low-ranking individuals and their behavior has wondered where the idea came from, and the stories about how broadly the various torture techniques (or softening-up techniques) can tell it was wide-spread. The abu Ghraib techniques we have heard about are not normal military hi-jinks.
    It is and has been obvious that the command structure was and is aware of what was being done, and the fact that it was not stopped made it perfectly obvious that the impetus went to the top. The kindest interpretation would be that there was a total failure of the system of command and control, and while charitable, that quickly became extremely unlikely.
    I was proud that my institution (the Army) gave us the close to honest reporter, MG Toguba, but it was perfectly obvious that his report contained a big gap where the study of command and control should have been. I do regret that MG Toguba did not resign and immediately go public, but that is not the military tradition.
    Usually a military officer has to balance his loyalty to the institution and to his troops. The best guide to how to balance these demands is usually tradition. But Brady Keisling demonstrated that when the institutional situation is under massive attack, as has been true of American government and American society with the growth of the misnamed conservative movement, then good men must begin to step outside the demands of tradition. Keisling got it. Toguba is getting there.
    The military flag officers approved and promoted by Don Rumsfeld have been yes-men and careerists. Every one of them, even the few good ones who have slipped through, should get the same treatment just given to Peter Pace. Replacing every flag officer in the military in the next two years would be a major net improvement for the U.S., with no downside.
    Toguba’s story needs to get out and be widespread.

    Reply

  19. David N says:

    Does anybody else see a pattern here?
    First Powell, then Taguba, then, who?
    When do the books come out?
    What is their advance?
    Follow the money, people, always. With no evidence whatsoever (that’s the great thing about blogging) I’m willing to say that both these guys are following in the path of the other great “dissenter,” Tenet, and heading to the bank. These “revelations” are just the set-up for their book releases.
    I’ve described neocons for years as “former Jackson Democrats who figured out where the money is.” That’s still the case.
    Anyone know where Wolfie is going to land? What will be the advance and the cut on his book?
    Why do we want to read their drivel? Why do we want to give them our money as a reward for destroying our country?
    If no one is going to prosecute these criminals, as would take place in a country run by laws, not men, then can we at least limit the profits they will reap from their crimes?
    Don’t just follow the money. Keep it!

    Reply

  20. liz says:

    The leadership of this country frightens me. Yes I mean the current leadership. I suppose they want me frightened. Well they got it.
    This country is being murdered and the good Americans are standing by watching it burn piece by piece.
    It’s past time to restore America by repealing the Patriot Act and getting on with business legally and under the rule of law…… not the rule of Bush.

    Reply

  21. Kathleen says:

    asdf… thanks for the warning, although my gut told me it would be ghastly. I read the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in 1957 and haven’t gotten over that yet. I still will never eat lamb or buy a German car.
    Naively, I thought we had reached the heights/depths of our national hypocrisy when the Abu Ghraib and Gitmo scandals were first revealed. Silly me.
    I am so profoundly afraid for my country at this critical juncture. Where is the righteous indignation in Congress? Not only are Democrats not holding this administration accountable, they seem to be refusing to uphold the rule of law. If that’s what Dems call “strategy”, all is lost. Good luck getting voters to give a flying fuck again.
    With all of the carefully crafted fine print, slipped into various fear-based legislation, at the stroke of midnight, which gives enormous power to the Unitary Executive, I feel we are at the brink of Martial law and no more elections.
    The Pirates have commandeered our Ship of State and we are now doomed to watch a double feature of Moby Dick and The Flying Dutchman. Is there no way off this headlong rush to fascism?

    Reply

  22. Kathleen says:

    asdf… thanks for the warning, although my gut told me it would be ghastly. I read the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in 1957 and haven’t gotten over that yet. I still will never eat lamb or buy a German car.
    Naively, I thought we had reached the heights/depths of our national hypocrisy when the Abu Ghraib and Gitmo scandals were first revealed. Silly me.
    I am so profoundly afraid for my country at this critical juncture. Where is the righteous indignation in Congress? Not only are Democrats not holding this administration accountable, they seem to be refusing to uphold the rule of law. If that’s what Dems call “strategy”, all is lost. Good luck getting voters to give a flying fuck again.
    With all of the carefully crafted fine print, slipped into various fear-based legislation, at the stroke of midnight, which gives enormous power to the Unitary Executive, I feel we are at the brink of Martial law and no more elections.
    The Pirates have commandeered our Ship of State and we are now doomed to watch a double feature of Moby Dick and The Flying Dutchman. Is there no way off this headlong rush to fascism?

    Reply

  23. Kathleen says:

    asdf… thanks for the warning, although my gut told me it would be ghastly. I read the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in 1957 and haven’t gotten over that yet. I still will never eat lamb or buy a German car.
    Naively, I thought we had reached the heights/depths of our national hypocrisy when the Abu Ghraib and Gitmo scandals were first revealed. Silly me.
    I am so profoundly afraid for my country at this critical juncture. Where is the righteous indignation in Congress? Not only are Democrats not holding this administration accountable, they seem to be refusing to uphold the rule of law. If that’s what Dems call “strategy”, all is lost. Good luck getting voters to give a flying fuck again.
    With all of the carefully crafted fine print, slipped into various fear-based legislation, at the stroke of midnight, which gives enormous power to the Unitary Executive, I feel we are at the brink of Martial law and no more elections.
    The Pirates have commandeered our Ship of State and we are now doomed to watch a double feature of Moby Dick and The Flying Dutchman. Is there no way off this headlong rush to fascism?

    Reply

  24. jonst says:

    Maybe its the lawyer in me, but why not simply start a criminal investigation? As you would do with any other suspected criminals. To hell with Levin et al for now. They have had their chance and they failed. So go find the military version of Fitzgerald and let him or her have at it. Have Levin call THAT person to testify if the latter gets stonewalled.

    Reply

  25. asdf says:

    First of, I seriously recommend against reading the Taguba rapport. I read it when it leaked and still remember ugly ugly details from eyewitness accounts. The same goes for 2004 (police?) eyewitness accounts from a small Swedish airfield as reported by Swedish TV and translated by human rights watch.
    http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2004/05/24/sweden9219.htm
    There is something about the details in eyewitness accounts that blows up all the Orwellian BS.
    Just take my word for it, people, young and old, were horribly tortured and some of the worst abuse by its nature clearly had nothing to do with interrogations.
    Last night I watched “the hills have eyes”. Pulp horror. I am not saying Abu Graihb was worse than closeups of mutants killing people with axes and worse. I am saying you need a stronger stomach than mine to read this stuff to the end.
    Its absurd knowing this sick sick stuff is the official DOD version backed by two witnesses written down by a guy who loves the US military and that people try to heal the rift between the US and the rest of the world with a bit of propaganda.
    Clemons:
    > Among the revelations Taguba shares is that he was
    > ordered to focus on lower level soldiers in his
    > investigation even though he felt that command
    > knowledge and participation in the abusive
    > techniques and practice of torture went very
    > high in the Pentagon.
    This is not a revelation. My impression is that Taguba mentioned what he called “the scoping” of his investigation at every single opportunity he had to talk about the subject. I am not gonna transcribe my google search, but the first 10 hits for a google of “taguba scope” seem to offer a variation of this point.
    http://www.google.com/search?q=taguba+scope
    This apparently includes not just the Washington post version of his senate armed services committee hearing but also DOD background briefings. For some reason unclear to me torture profiteers and apologist such as CACI international have emphasized this “limited scope” as well.
    Taguba quoted a CACI employee admitting to requesting/ordering the abuse of a prisoner. CACI released a lot of announcements on this subject. The CACI “truth and error in the media” page is insane… It emphasizes that the Taguba rapport was illegally leaked and limited in scope, but that the rapports meant for publication are less critical and never mention CACI…. I don`t think I understand what they want to achieve with pointing this out.
    And the first “error” CACI want to address? Its the idea that:
    > “Private government contracting is a recent
    > phenomenon of the war on terrorism that is
    > costly to taxpayers. [this is] FALSE
    The “TRUTH”:
    > The recent private government contracting
    > sector positions grew out of the military
    > downsizing in the early 1990s aimed at reducing
    > military personnel levels. The system of private
    > contracting [*]was set up to save taxpayer
    > money[*] by using contractors on an “as needed” [etc]
    Contracting out military work? you may think its wasting tax dollars but in fact it *used to be* about being cheaper. Thats how it was once set up, *back in the 90`s*. Only after dealing with this apparent priority does CACI address the Taguba rapport.
    CACI did its own internal investigation. It even announced the preliminary version contradicted Taguba`s findings because unlike Taguba it couldn`t find “credible or tangible” evidence.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61480-2004Aug12.html
    After that IIRC it got out of the interrogation business. (Cant find a link ATM)
    I wonder if this internal rapport was ever finished. It shouldn`t have been to hard to have the employee admit the same things again. After all, he still worked there, according to the announcement.
    Maybe an admission from the guy who issued the request/order just wouldn`t be considered “credible” evidence. I hope if I ever get caught for something I get to complain about whether the evidence is “tangible”. “Don`t ever leave fingerprints… admissions and witnesses are okay, just don`t leave prints!”
    Going trough the CACI press releases the firm had a lot of luck getting contracts ever since it got out of the interrogation business.
    Just the other day GSA (helping our [GOP] candidates) gave CACI a $74m “task order” (contract?) for tech support for the dept. of housing and urban development.
    http://sev.prnewswire.com/computer-electronics/20070611/NEM02611062007-1.html
    I know CACI mostly for intelligence and a little defense contracting. The announcement claims they are up to this job.
    > Paul Cofoni, President of U.S. Operations, said,
    > “This award from the Department of Housing and
    > Urban Development is a strong indication of the
    > confidence our clients have in CACI’s ability to
    > successfully manage enterprise-wide solutions
    > for civilian government agencies. It exemplifies
    > the commitment and professionalism our people
    > bring to every task, whether it is for a
    > defense, intelligence, or civilian client.”
    >
    > According to Dr. J.P. (Jack) London, CACI
    > Chairman, President, and CEO, “CACI is proud to
    > support the Department of Housing and Urban
    > Development in bettering the lives of some of
    > our nation’s less fortunate citizens. This homefront
    > endeavor is a strong example of the diversity of
    > CACI’s clients and our success in partnering
    > with a wide range of government agencies.”
    The announcement than continues with the boilerplate language more common in CACI press releases:
    > CACI International Inc provides the IT and
    > network solutions needed to prevail in today’s
    > new era of national security, intelligence, and
    > e- government.
    I guess campaign/trip contributions are one thing but nothing helps getting contracts quite like knowing where to bodies are buried.
    And I meant that literally. To many covered up deaths in US custody have been uncovered for over to long a time to think there are not more bodies buried somewhere in Afghanistan that have gone without any mention by anyone to at least the family.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A2576-2005Mar2.html
    But the sickest CACI contract of them all? After the Taguba rapport the GSA suspension and debarment office requested some information from CACI. GSA was satisfied there was nothing wrong and CACI got contract after contract after that.
    But CACI wasn`t satisfied! Guess what function GSA outsourced to CACI according to a contract the project for government oversight dug up?
    http://www.pogo.org/p/contracts/ca-070201-gsa.html
    ** GSA outsourced the research for which contractors should be suspended or bared from contracts to CACI!!!! **
    (And by the way I read the contract the work was done by computer database designers at $104 per hour)
    Anyway, now they are in to PR as well by gulping up another company that mentiones its it veteran owned small business status but not what it does and not thats under DoD IG investigation
    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/fn/4886084.html
    http://www.dodig.osd.mil/gwot_iraq/ongoing_audit.htm
    NPR has the Taguba rapport for those not willing to take my word that sick stuff happened while the US soldiers that are eyewitnesses stood by and watched time and time again. http://www.npr.org/iraq/2004/prison_abuse_report.pdf
    Lets get back to abstract strategic stuff, or Annie and Oakley, these details just make me wanna puke.

    Reply

  26. Marky says:

    We don’t need to burn DC to the ground. A little justice would go a long way. If Libby actually goes to prison, if Cheney is convicted of corruption and espionage charges, if Bush is sent to the Hague and tried for war crimes, things might look up.
    Actually a great punishment for many of these “patriots” would be to strip them of their citizenship and bar them from the country on pain of life imprisonment. This punishment ought to apply to several cabinet members.
    Just a few mild steps like these and the Republic will right itself.

    Reply

  27. Arun says:

    999,996. Not to burn DC to the ground, but to push its denizens into the sea.

    Reply

  28. semper fubar says:

    But if millions choose to march on Washington, and burn the God damned place to the ground, count me in.
    Posted by PissedOffAmerican at June 17, 2007 12:08 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well that makes two of us, all we need is 999,998 more.
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    I’m in. 999,997.

    Reply

  29. Carroll says:

    But if millions choose to march on Washington, and burn the God damned place to the ground, count me in.
    Posted by PissedOffAmerican at June 17, 2007 12:08 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well that makes two of us, all we need is 999,998 more.

    Reply

  30. profmarcus says:

    i am glad to hear taguba speaking, particularly to sy hersh, one of our media’s best…
    on another note, i am still waiting for gen. ricardo sanchez to be charged with perjury for his testimony to the senate armed services committee back in september 2004 where he lied about writing the memorandum sent under his name authorizing the “enhanced interrogation techniques” subsequently used at abu ghraib…
    http://takeitpersonally.blogspot.com/

    Reply

  31. ckrantz says:

    I found this piece interesting. If the CIA and the US special forces have been running around the globe ‘waking’ or torturing people in black operations isn’t that another Iran Contra?
    ‘ By law, the President must make a formal finding authorizing a C.I.A. covert operation, and inform the senior leadership o the House and the Senate Intelligence Committees. However, the Bush Administration unilaterally determined after 9/11 that intelligence operation conducted by the military—including the Pentagon’s covert task forces—for th purposes of “preparing the battlefield” could be authorized by the President, a Commander-in-Chief, without telling Congress’

    Reply

  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “If congress cannot stand up then who will?”
    Posted by Donna Z
    No one. And that is exactly what is happening. No one is standing up, and no one is being held accountable. Both Rice and Gonzalez are saying “fuck you” to Congressional subpoenas, and Reid and Waxman are just buckling under. The bitch Pelosi is under AIPAC’s thumb, and doesn’t dare fart without permission.
    The whole mess in Washington is about as far from being a Representative Government as one could imagine. These bastards have completely lost touch with the American people, and obviously hold themselves above the law.
    I doubt I will vote again. But if millions choose to march on Washington, and burn the God damned place to the ground, count me in. Unless, of course, its millions of illegals demanding citizenship. Unfortunately, thats the more likely scenario.
    BTW, why didn’t Taguba come forward with the above information during the Congressional hearings? These belated revelations are as despicable as the actual events. Do these sonsabitches really believe that speaking out after the fact somehow releases them from thier own complicity?

    Reply

  33. DonS says:

    RE my previous comment (about setting up Sanchez), I believe it was Heather Wilson (NM) who was posing the questions. I remember thinking, hey, maybe she’s not so bad; asking tough questons, etc. Looking back, it appears all like a kabuki to insulate Rummy and the higher ups.

    Reply

  34. Punchy says:

    Under oath? Ha ha!! You’re kidding, right? You really think they’d let him testify under oath? Have you learned nothing from these criminals?

    Reply

  35. Donna Z says:

    Carl Levin absolutely must call Rumsfeld for a chat under oath. Part of what has darkened America’s reputation in the world is the disgraceful behavior at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo. We must show ourselves and the world that we still believe in the rule of law, and that we reject torture.
    If congress cannot stand up then who will?

    Reply

  36. DonS says:

    I remember catching a bit of some hearing with Rummy and a bunch of brass lined up at the table. What struck me was, in at least one instance, how Rummy deferred to the operational commander (I believe it was Sanchez) in such a way as to set up the premise that, if mistakes were made, they ended at and went no higher than that commander. Talk about pressure to confine the “wrongdoing” to the lowest possible level. Maybe that’s part of why Sanchez doesn’t seem quite so much the team player in retirement. (I just googled this:
    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/060407L.shtml )
    There are so many angles to address the whole culture of lying and coverup — no shortage of excuses for lack of candor and truth telling. Somehow, when the whole premise is based on lies, every facet is corrupted.

    Reply

  37. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Yet another example of undeniable perjury occurred in he Abu Ghraib scandal, when Sanchez lied to Congress. We know he lied. They know he lied. He knows he lied.
    Of course, he was not held accountable for perjury. Prosecution under the law is only applied to us peons. Perjury, ignoring a subpoena, ignoring your oath of office, these are all “priveleges” of office these days.

    Reply

  38. josh says:

    There’s a reason why Rumsfeld always brought along military people to answer questions in those hearings, if need be. McCain really nailed him about it when they had a hearing on Abu Ghraib.

    Reply

  39. susan says:

    While I agree that Levin should call Rumsfeld, we’ll only see more stonewalling-or baldfaced lying or memory loss, enabled by the Republican supplicants on the committee.
    Gonzo has set the standard for the Administration response-and until there are some GOP senators who are willing to call these people on their behavior, this will go absolutely nowhere.

    Reply

  40. Steve Clemons says:

    rapier — I hear the howls outside my door for all sorts of reasons, including the one you point out.
    Do read Sy Hersh’s article in full — it’s interesting to hear how Taguba was screwed — and knew all along that the system was going to screw him for seeking out the truth.
    — Steve Clemons

    Reply

  41. rapier says:

    Lying to congress is a point of pride to these guys. A right even, done with pride and generously rewarded. There is also some precedent that it is not illegal. Not that such matters. as there is no chance of anyone in a Republican administration will ever be put in legal jeopardy for perjuring themselves before a congressional committee.
    Libby made the mistake of lying to the wrong people so he was called to account. You can probably hear the howls outside your front door this morning over that fact.

    Reply

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