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