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Colonel Janis Karpinski, the highest ranking officer to be punished for the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, has written a book: One Woman's Army : The Commanding General of Abu Ghraib Tells Her Story
You can't judge a book by it's cover, but this one has an interesting feature - a photo of the Colonel still wearing her General's stars, and the rank "General" preceding her name. Karpinski was demoted to Colonel as a result of the investigation into the abuse of inmates by soldiers under her command. Based on the numerous media interviews during the lengthy campaign she embarked on following the televised airing of the photos, a better title for the book might be "It was Everyone's Fault but Mine".
Let me save you the cost of the book. You can read Colonel Karpinski's claims to know nothing for free in her PBS Frontline interview:
But I can tell you that these soldiers, these MPs -- Lynndie England was not even an MP, nor was one of the other soldiers. He was a mechanic. OK, they were brought over there specifically to work with these, setting up these photographs and everything. Lynndie England might have been over there for a variety of reasons, but they were brought over there specifically that night. And I know, with no doubt, that these soldiers didn't wake up that morning and say: "Hey, let's go screw with some prisoners tonight. Let's take some pictures. Let's violate everything we know to be decent and correct and fair." Lynndie England surely did not show up in Iraq with a dog collar and a dog leash.The only explanation I've seen for the leash comes from Charles Graner, testifying at Lynndie England's trial after he had already been convicted for his role in the abuse:
So those items either came from previous experience at other locations with interrogations, or other people with bizarre ideas brought those pieces of equipment independent of any instructions. But somebody who understood what humiliation is to an Arab person designed these techniques. And military police personnel do not study the Arab mind. But my guess is that interrogators should or do; at least they know more, maybe from previous experience or otherwise. But somebody instructed this group of people on the night shift to do these things, and if they made them believe that it would take them out of Abu Ghraib or out of Iraq a day, even one day sooner than what the plan was, that would be incentive enough to get them to do it. I can't tell you specifically, because even though I've been held accountable for all of those soldiers' behavior, I never had the chance to speak to any one of them from when those pictures first surfaced. ...
Graner, who is serving a 10-year sentence for his role in the scandal, said from the stand that one of the central acts of the case - in which England appeared in a photo holding a naked prisoner on a leash - was a legitimate prison procedure.I suppose that's possible - but it seems unlikely.
Graner said he looped the leash around the prisoner's shoulders as a way to coax him out of a cell, and that it slipped up around his neck.
As for using unwilling subjects in home-spun porn photography , that was a taste Graner and England acquired before they ever set foot in Iraq:
Spc. Steve Strother, a fellow soldier, described a weekend trip in 2003 to Virginia Beach with England and Graner. The three partied on the beach until 1 a.m. before their unit, the 372nd Military Police Company, was deployed to Iraq.In fact the answers to many of Colonel Karpinski's questions about what exactly went on at her prison can be found with a bit of searching through the news coverage that followed the appearance of the photos on TV. If you accept her claims to not know what was happening in her command, you'll likely believe it's reasonable to assume she wasn't aware of that either.
Strother described how he passed out in the room the three shared after a night of drinking, and then was photographed in sexually explicit poses with both England and Graner.
The following information may be useful to those who actually would like to know the answers to those questions. A re-"print" from January, 2005.
Abu Ghraib is but a stone's throw from where I now type these words, and it's ugliness is more than skin deep. It's a very real place, and an undesirable home to criminals and those whose duty it is to guard them. But to many it's an abstract image, a debate point to be used against opponents like garlic to frighten vampires, a boogy man to frighten children. They inject that ward into any writing they do on certain topics in an attempt to frame the discussion around what is unquestionably now the immediate mind's eye association most people in the world make with the word "torture" - the horrendous photos from the notorious prison.
Here's an illustration from the Washington Post: Does the Right Remember Abu Ghraib? See, it's about Abu Ghraib people! Defend that! The title alone is an attempt to frame the debate on two points. 1) The issue is a right/left issue, and 2) The notorious digital images from Abu Ghraib are a result of government policy.
Both claims lack merit.
Let's dispense with the right/left aspect of this outright. Not everything can be pigeonholed into those political categories, and certainly no one on either end of the political spectrum feels torture is one of the defining points of their position. As much as some may take delight in setting up a "torture aficionado straw man" who supported that other guy in the last election" it's certainly not a legitimate starting point for any reasonable discussion on the matter. Unfortunately there are those who would have it that way in the US Senate, and whatever the outcome the nation will be the worse for it.
If you're looking for further discussion on that political topic move on. The remainder of this post is not for you. But you will miss a chance to look a little deeper into the ugly mirror that is Abu Ghraib, perhaps to clear a bit of fog from it's surface, and discover if you know all you think you do on that topic.
Take this simple 10 question quiz. The answers follow (no fair peeking). There are no trick questions, and no opinion questions. Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts. But perhaps not those you'll find on the editorial pages of your local paper.
Pencils ready? Here's the quiz:
1. The famous "60 Minutes" photos from Abu Ghraib were
a. Taken over a period of several months
b. All from one night
c. All from one week
2. Who were the victims in those photos, and why were they singled out for abuse?
a. Iraqi cab drivers / mistakenly identified as terrorists
b. Suspected Al-Qaeda Terrorists / Intel officers acting under orders from the Pentagon had carefully instructed the guards at Abu Ghraib in the effectiveness of humiliation in getting terrorists to "sing", and actively encouraged it's use.
c. "Insurgents" / High Command needed info quickly to stem the rising tide of violence during Ramadan
d. Ordinary criminals in prison for their crimes, of no intelligence value/they were brought to the high security area for fighting among themselves at another area of the prison.
3. Throughout Fall 2003 SSg Ivan Frederick, a guard at Abu Ghraib, was continuously emailing his concerns about conditions home to his family, but higher ups ignored them.
True or False
4. The highest ranking of the accused torturers at Abu Ghraib were Reservists, not Active Duty. What were their civilian occupations?
a. Republican precinct Chairmen
b. WalMart Stockboys
c. Postal workers
d. Prison guards
5. Lyndie England was an administrative worker at the prison. Why was she present for the torture session?
a. Not enough "real guards" due to poor planning
b. She was celebrating her Birthday with her boyfriend, and had violated orders to be there
c. The naked pyramid was scientifically proven more effective if a female was present
d. Direct orders of Donald Rumsfeld
6. The Army suppressed the story of Abu Ghraib until the 60 Minutes broadcast.
True or False
7. The Army investigation began
a. After 60 Minutes aired the photos when General Taguba was sent to find out what happened
b. Shortly after the event when a fellow guard learned of the photos and reported the abuse to higher ups at Abu Ghraib
c. When Frederick alerted his family to what he was being forced to do
d. When photos began showing up on weblogs operated by the guards
8. How were the pictures made public?
a. Discovered after months-long investigations by reporter Seymour Hersh and 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes
b. Handed to Hersh by Gary Myers, his old pal from the My-Lai court martial who was coincidentally representing SSG Ivan Frederick, the highest ranking individual charged with torturing prisoners at Abu Ghraib, immediately after the preliminary hearing in which they were released to the defense
c. Handed to a representative of 60 Minutes by relatives of SSG Frederick
d. Discovered posted on weblogs operated by the guards
9. General Taguba in Senate testimony blamed events on
a. Poorly supervised individuals acting on their own
b. Unnamed Pentagon bureaucrats
c. The military culture
d. Individuals carrying out what they believed to be legal orders
10. SSG Frederick:
a. Was given a slap on the hand
b. Was found guilty by court martial despite the valiant efforts of his top-notch defense team to identify the "real criminals"
c. Pleaded guilty at start of court martial
Those who thought otherwise are experiencing the "success" of Seymour Hersh's early efforts. In a theme later adopted and repeated worldwide, Seymour Hersh (and others) insisted frequently that there were thousands of photos available: "This is a generation that sends stuff on CDs, sends it around. some kid right now is negotiating with some European magazine. -- You know, I can't say that for sure, but it's there. -- It's out there. And the Army knows it." As of this writing no additional pictures have surfaced.
2. D. Criminals brought to the cell block for fighting. They were not being interrogated for information, in fact they were being tortured as punishment and for "fun". At England's hearing, a government lawyer read numerous statements from England's previous sworn statements into the record. The statements are of England admitting to stepping on prisoners' toes, taking photos, posing for photos and posing prisoners for photos, and saying she participated for fun, not due to orders. Additional testimony corroborated this admission.
Another Hershism: He tried desperately to depict the Abu Ghraib torture victims as innocents swept off the streets as a result of confessions gained in earlier torture sessions: "I'll tell you how they get there. You bust the guy that doesn't have anything to do. You humiliate him. You break him down. You interrogate him. He gives up the name of you want to know who is an insurgent, who is Al Qaeda? He gives up any name he knows."
3. False. Frederick began emailing his family about the situation at Abu Ghraib after he was arrested for his part in the torture. Those who thought otherwise may have been mislead by Seymour Hersh's original New Yorker piece on the event, in which Seymour told the story without using chronological order.
4. D. Although several early stories tried to paint them as untrained individuals thrust into a job they weren't prepared to do, Ivan Frederick (38 at the time) and Charles Graner (36 at the time) were prison guards.
Frederick (original 60 Minutes story linked above): Frederick told us he will plead not guilty, claiming the way the Army was running the prison led to the abuse of prisoners.
"We had no support, no training whatsoever. And I kept asking my chain of command for certain things...like rules and regulations," says Frederick. "And it just wasn't happening."
...He's a corrections officer at a Virginia prison, whose warden described Frederick to us as "one of the best."
Graner (link above): But public records indicate that Graner had troubles at work as a correctional officer in the state prison system in Greene County -- a history of disciplinary actions that culminated in his firing in 2000. He was later reinstated by an arbitrator.
A reporter who served with Graner previously: He said he was shocked to hear that Graner has been accused of mistreating prisoners, in part because of the training they and other guards received years ago. "It was drilled into our minds well before we left the continental U.S. what we were allowed to do, and not allowed to do, relative to the treatment of prisoners."
More Hersh: "Let me just say this. I believe the services have a -- look, the kids did bad things. But the notion that it's all just these kids [doing these things]... The officers are "in loco parentis" with these children. We send our children to war. And we have officers like that general, whose job is to be mother and father to these kids, to keep them out of trouble. The idea of watching these pictures, it's not only a failure of the kids, it's a failure of everybody in the command structure."
5. B. England was celebrating her 21st birthday with her boyfriend, Graner. Numerous early media versions of the story would quote her family members questioning why she was being used as a guard when that wasn't her job. (At the time it was a "not enough soldiers to do the job" story) England was in fact violating orders by being in the cell block. Later she would claim that her superiors had instructed her to pose and told her exactly what to do. If that's true, it was Frederick or Graner giving the "orders", but she never named names, or, if she did, it didn't "make the papers".
But England refused to give him up. In March 2003, she went with Graner and another soldier to Virginia Beach. During the trip, Graner took pictures of himself having anal sex with England. He also photographed her placing her nipple in the ear of the other soldier, who was passed out in a hotel room. Soon, it became their new game: Whenever Graner asked her to, England would strike a pose.6. False. The story first appeared in CNN in January, with a follow up in March, to include mentions of the photographic evidence. Without the sensational photos the story didn't get much attention.
"Everything they did, he took a picture of," says Hardy, her lawyer. "I asked Lynndie why she let him. She said, 'Guys like that. I just wanted to make him happy.' She was like a little plaything for him. The sexual stuff, the way he put her in those positions, that was his way of saying, 'Let's see what I can make you do.'"
During that time, Graner instigated another kind of amusement: sexually charged weekly theme parties in the barracks. "Naked Chem-Light Tuesday," he called it. A Chem-Light is a light stick used by soldiers that's akin to a flashlight, containing hydrogen peroxide and a fluorescent dye packaged in a small plastic tube. Break it open, and the stuff glows for hours. One night, Graner pulled his shorts down, poured the contents of a Chem-Light onto his penis, and walked around naked.
And pose for more pictures. In a supply room, Graner takes a shot of England performing oral sex. England adds a flourish for the photos: a thumbs-up sign. In another photo, England is standing near a detainee, Hayder Sabbar Abd, a 34-year-old taxi driver, as he is being made to simulate masturbation. Again, she gives a thumbs-up.
They'd found a dead goat and a dead cat somewhere and started slicing them up. Someone took a photo of a soldier pretending to have sex with the goat's head. "Then they cut off the cat's head and shoved it on the top of a soda bottle," England says.
For several weeks, the decaying animal heads provided entertainment for the soldiers. "Someone put sunglasses on them, and put the rifle next to the heads and took a picture. Some soldiers put a cigarette in the cat's mouth," she says. The soldiers stashed the severed heads in their rooms.
"It was funny," England says. "So funny."
7. B. The Army began investigating as soon as a fellow guard reported the photos he had seen.
8. C. The known correct answer is "C" - Members of Frederick's family handed the photos to a 60 Minutes representative. The NY Times offers this quote from his uncle: "The Army had the opportunity for this not to come out, not to be on 60 Minutes," he said. "But the Army decided to prosecute those six G.I.'s because they thought me and my family were a bunch of poor, dirt people who could not do anything about it. But unfortunately, that was not the case." Ironically that may better describe the motive of the 60 Minutes crew.
The relationship between Hersh and Frederick's lawyer was certainly just an amazing coincidence.
If you'd heard this quote from during the time of the 60 Minutes / "Rathergate" story you might have been misled on this question: Ms. Mapes is also responsible for CBS's reporting on the Abu Ghraib pictures, a story she helped break. According to TV reporter Gail Shister, "The scoop was the result of more than two months' legwork by 60 II producer Mary Mapes." In an interview with Charlie Rose, Mapes described how hard she worked to find the incriminating pictures:
"We ended up chasing it, chasing it halfway around the world and back again. Trying not just to chase the rumors of it, but---but to find out what the reality of it. And in the beginning, a lot of it was whispered accounts of pictures that existed somewhere, an investigation that was going somewhere against someone, and we were able luckily to narrow that down and get our hands on the pictures which really gave us our first real hard proof that this was real."
9. A. The key quote from Taguba's Senate testimony: "We did not find any evidence of a policy or a direct order given to these soldiers to conduct what they did. I believe that they did it on their own volition and I believe that they collaborated with several MI (military intelligence) interrogators at the lower level." Follow the link to see the media spin on this one. The headlines screamed "Taguba blames Leadership for Prison Abuse".
10. C. Frederick entered a guilty plea at the start of his court martial. No evidence was presented, the story was not recorded. His lawyer was at his side as he called for all those other guilty parties to follow his example. He didn't clarify who he meant. After he was sentenced to eight years his lawyer called the sentence "excessive" and said he intended to appeal.
What was your score?
A discussion of torture is an ugly necessity in the world today, but those who would enter that discourse with the battle cry of "Abu Ghraib" should at least understand their position. It's a house of cards, ugly cards to be sure, and not a foundation for discussion with any intent of serious resolution.
One thing overlooked in most coverage of Abu Ghraib - the answers are as important as the questions.
And then there is exhibit "B"
While I don't think Abu Ghraib was a grand conspiracy, I do think that after 9-11 Bush, Rumsfield, etc. loosed the rules on detainee treatment by the CIA and the Military. The JAG memos at the link above are illuminating about this, simply because of the vehemence of their objections to this change. I've never been more proud of the US military than after reading them, nor more ashamed of it's civilian leadership.
And then there is exhibit "C".
President Bush threatens the first veto of his Presidency over whether or not the military should follow it's own guidelines on the humane treatment of prisoners. The McCain amendment. The Senate, which has access to more materials than the general public on the issue, and has conducted several investigations of its own, passes the amendment overwhelmingly in support. This from the same U.S. Senate that hasn't been able to agree on a damn thing in at least the last six years, and is fully consumed by partisanship warfare. It manages to agree on this. Over White House "objections!". Who are now trying to get it amendment to exclude the CIA. This isn't about "pressure" tactics, nor heat-of-battle roughness. It's about systematic, deliberate torture. That is what the White House is defending.
I don't know anymore whether President Bush is a good President or a bad one. I've supported most of his decisions prior to this. But it has become very clear to me that he certainly is an immoral President. And he has done far more to injure the military than any loopy anti-war protester ever could.Posted by Patrick (Gryph) at October 28, 2005 09:14 PM
Now comes Greyhawk, the leader of those who seek to use the Iraq War to advance a far-right-wing partisan agenda, to make the case for torture. Well, buddy, fact is that even a majority of the military members from North Carolina thinks Bush is doing a rotten job.
As for the rest, only a knee-jerk Republican fool would argue that the leadership in the White House and the military didn't order the torture of enemy combatants and civilians. Your lies are wearing thin, Greyhawk, and your leaders are heading for jail one by one.Posted by Wilson Kolb at October 29, 2005 05:52 AM
p.s.: The right way to solve this -- not that the rightwingers know right from wrong -- is to put Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and every senior general who transmitted the torture orders on trial for war crimes. All that needs to be done is to use the precedents set in Nuremberg in 1946.Posted by Wilson Kolb at October 29, 2005 05:57 AM
I am a retarted idiot.Posted by Wilson Kolb at October 29, 2005 10:49 AM
"...a better title for the book might be "It was Everyone's Fault but Mine"."
How did someone like that ever become a general? Every time I saw her she was obviously far more interested in covering her backside than anything else.
And just who did sign the Unit Readiness Report that declared the unit was properly manned, trained, and equiped to carry out its mission prior to departure for Iraq?Posted by Don at October 29, 2005 02:27 PM
Gotta laugh at whoever forged my name and then called himself a "retarted" idiot.
BTW, I confused Greyhawk with Blackfive in my first flame, but it's not a big error given that they're both Republicans masquerading as patriots.Posted by Wilson Kolb at October 29, 2005 04:11 PM
"BTW, I confused Greyhawk with Blackfive in my first flame, but it's not a big error given that they're both Republicans masquerading as patriots."
Nonsense. Greyhawk's version of the events is also confirmed by the same documents I reference earlier. I simply don't think he has looked at the whole issue in context. Besides which, even if he did have anything bad to say about the CIF, (doubtful I know),if he is till on active duty, saying anything negative in a public about his chain of command is probably a career killing move, perhaps with jail time included.
Now back to City of Villians, I've got some infamy to earn. ;-)Posted by Patrick (Gryph) at October 29, 2005 06:32 PM
Greyhawk's posting is an exercise in sophistry via meaningless nitpicking. There is a mountain of evidence that the United States implemented a policy of torturing enemy combatants and civilians as part of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He, Blackfive and the Bush administration can lie all they want about it, but it won't change the facts.Posted by Wilson Kolb at October 29, 2005 09:20 PM
Nice job trying to dismiss Wilson and Partrick's assertions. You really should retire and get a job with the RNC.
More to the point, you ARE engaging and sophistry and it is apparant that you truly are "a Republican masquerading as a patriot."
The point is that Karpinski (and she has MANY faults) took command of this unit and had absolutely no time to certify/vett her staff or key leaders. You really should read the documents that came aout: about the undermanned S-3 shop, insubordinate AGR S-1s and S-4s that actually had to be ordered into Iraq from Kuwait, an incompetent DCO, fraternizing CSM and a motley crew of middling battalion commanders. The e-mail traffic saved by MAJ Dinenna, the S-3, tells a particularly grim tale of a dysfunctional staff and leadership, at all levels, way, way over their head.
While the "Lynndie England" photos were from one event, why has the DoD so strenuously tried to prevent the release of other photos from other instances? Answer: there's a lot more behind this story than was let on.
We're not making crazy conspiracy theories here - but we are acknowleding that MG Fast, COL Pappas and LTC Jordan are more involved here than was let on. Read the FOUO annexes to the Taguba reort - USMA, ROTC and OCS and the SMA could use this as a case-study in how screwed up a staff of people can be. There is simply more here than Ivan Frederick.Posted by IRR Soldier... at October 30, 2005 01:08 AM
To apologists for torture like Blackfive and Greyhawk, the worst they can think of is that the White House has been "tone deaf" on the issue. In other words, it's just a p.r. problem that can be solved with, what, some commercials on the FoxNews network?
Sorry, but the Republican rightwing spin ain't working anymore. A recent survey in Iraq found that a little more than half of the Iraqis are in favor of insurgent attacks and that more than 80% want the United States military to get the hell out of their country.
Now just what do Greyhawk and Blackfive think might be responsible for this shift in Iraqi public opinion? A few isolated cases of prisoner abuse? Yeah, right. Read the story at the link below. There are 40,000 members of an Iraqi organization founded by someone who was tortured. These are civilians, goddammit.
So much for hearts & minds. So much for "tone deaf." The fact is that the Republican rightwingers never once cared about Iraqis. It was never about them or their freedom. Not for one single moment. I'm not sure what's worse -- the torture itself or the utter betrayal of every single thing this country stands for. You and your "leaders" -- Rumsfeld, Bush and the senior military commanders -- might as well have fought for the other side.
Congratulations, Republican rightwing torturers. Due to your ceaseless efforts, there are now tens of thousands of Iraqis, and millions more around the Middle East, who when they hear the word "America" think "evil perverts." Yeah, that'll get us real far. Thank you so f------ much. It's exactly what I always wanted the rest of the world to think about my country.Posted by Wilson Kolb at October 30, 2005 01:45 AM
"Bush's approval rating fell to 39 percent -- the lowest recorded by this poll in his presidency -- and a majority of Americans said the charges signal broader ethical problems in the administration. By a ratio of 3 to 1, those surveyed said the level of honesty in government has declined during Bush's tenure. ...
"A Republican strategist, speaking on the condition of anonymity to offer a bark-off analysis of Bush's problems, was far gloomier, noting that the situation facing Bush is about as bad as it can get. 'What's in front of him are very big structural problems,' he said.
Ticking off a list that includes a looming winter energy crisis because of high heating oil and natural gas prices, an immigration fight that could further divide his party, negative perceptions of the economy despite strong growth numbers, and overall pessimism about the direction of the country, he added: 'It's not like it's a one-shot deal where they hit bottom and then bounce back. I'm not sure they've reached bottom yet.' "
Your president is a sick, incompetent, lying, stupid joke. He has done his level best to ruin this country, and you're working side by side with the jerk to try to make it happen.
Those of us who knew Colonel Karpinski before she made BG and was sent to Iraq are not surprise at her demotion and failure at Abu Ghraib. Her earlier commands were remarkable by the number of IG complaints by her subordinates and surprise, surprise she did not know anything that was happening in her command. She is right about one thing. If she had not been a female, the 81st RSC would not have permitted her poor performance and promoted her. Too bad they sent her (their problem) to Iraq.Posted by Charles Craig at October 30, 2005 01:53 PM
The point of the post above is that we need to look at Abu Ghraib through a non-partisan lens. Wilson's response is that he hates George Bush - he's admitting he can't do that. He's dismissed.
I agreed with Gryph - "Gryph, I think you and I are pretty close in thinking on this issue." I'm not sure why you characterize my response to each of them as dismissal. My call for the White House to explain itself a bit better shouldn't be read as a defense of the administration - it is a call for them to defend themselves.
At obvious risk of being accused of dismissing you, I agree in general with the remainder of your comments regarding command failure at Abu Ghraib - though not having read the documents you cite I'll refrain from concurring on your judgement of specific individuals.
The post above is a starting point - determining what really happened at Abu Ghraib. Your comment is a look at why - and that matters, obviously.Posted by Greyhawk at October 30, 2005 02:09 PM
Greyhawk and Blackfive run web sites that, like their Republican Party, are designed to promote their partisan agenda under the guise of patriotism. The word from the Republican politburo is to admit torture but claim that it was confined to Abu Ghraib and that it was the responsibility of a handful of people.
This is a blatant lie, i.e., they know it's false yet they say it anyway. It's how the bulk of the right wing Republians operate these days.
The U.S. military incorporated torture of enemy combatants and civilians into its standard operating procedure. It was done by Rumsfeld with the connivance of Bush and Cheney and with the acquiescence of the incompetent cowards at the top of the U.S. military leadership.
The result? We're losing in Iraq. Our principles have been betrayed, and the Republican Party has decided that torture is perfectly okay in the name of freedom; that death is okay in the name of life; and that lying is okay as long as they do it. Shame on all of them.Posted by Wilson Kolb at October 30, 2005 02:53 PM
Oh, and I do love the Greyhawk's implied criticism that I'm too angry. This from a partisan Republican who has spent the last several years defending a war in which tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed and wounded; in which 2,000+ American service members' lives have been tossed away; in which 15,000+ Americans have been wounded.
Why of course no one's supposed to be angry about that, or that the whole thing was predicated on a series of premediated Republican lies. Nope, we're supposed to be really angry that Bill Clinton lied about sex and that a couple dozen U.S. soldiers were killed in a botched mission in Somalia.
The Republican rightwing is all in favor of getting angry, but only if people get mad at anyone other than themselves over trivialities invented to distract from the main issues.
Greyhawk, Blackfive and the rest of them claim to be patriots but in fact they couldn't possibly care less about this country or those who fight for it. Tell me, Greyhawk, how many times have you questioned the cutbacks of veterans' medical care? How much space have you given to the lack of armor on U.S. vehicles?
What have you written about the criminal lack of staffing and planning in the early phase of the war, which is responsible to a significant degree for the growth and arming of the insurgency?
The answer is this: Little or nothing. You don't care whether or troops live or die, you're pushing a partisan agenda wrapped in the flag. Patriotism truly is the last refuge of scoundrels. You, and they, have no shame.Posted by Wilson Kolb at October 30, 2005 04:54 PM
I'm in the military. I write about whatever matters to me - mostly the war on terror, and mostly the Iraq theater of said war. I've been there. Nothing here about Supreme Court nominations, Scooter Libby, or any of the many political issues on today's front pages. Given a few topics and limited time I choose what I want to write. Given that no one anywhere else has compiled the amount of information I have on the Abu Ghraib case, and given the amount of bad information out there about it, and the results (and potential results) of the spread of that bad information I think it's important to present the facts. (I've done the same with the armor issue.)
The odd thing is that back when you were signing your name "Willy Snout" you used to raise the issue of torture on every post here - regardless of topic. Now the topic is torture and you have nothing to say other than you hate George Bush and that I should write about other topics.
(I responded to another witless comment along those lines last Christmas when I was in Baghdad. You can read that one here: http://www.mudvillegazette.com/archives/001920.html - or click the name link below.)Posted by Greyhawk at October 30, 2005 05:38 PM
By the way, can you provide me a link to a torture post on Blackfive's blog?Posted by Greyhawk at October 30, 2005 05:42 PM
That smart Wilson man will not stop! He hates people a lot. That is good. I like to hate people too but I can't use the complicated words like him. So I listen. And it makes me giggle. Sometimes I hate people a lot and stuff comes out of my nose. I think those are the bad germs coming out.Posted by David Parsons at October 30, 2005 06:09 PM
Wilson Kolb is just an angry man who doesn't have a clue. He might be angry cause they didn't get their big fish Rove, they only got the minnow Libby. Yes we have made our mistakes in Iraq but we are not the failures that Wilson wishes us to be because of the deep hatred he has for the President. If that were the case, the military support for this President wouldn't have been at 75%. And by the way Wilson, if you check back on your man Clinton, his numbers were in the toilet a lot deeper than Mr. Bush during his second term. He was a do nothing president. He looked the other way. To busy playing hide the salami. All you Bush haters do is complain but come up with no ideas. But you are patiots, that you are.Posted by Dave G at October 30, 2005 09:23 PM
I know why Wilson Kolb is angry. He flunked Greyhawk's quiz on Abu Ghraib.
Nice job, Greyhawk. You have presented the facts clearly and calmly, juxtaposed with the lamestream media myths. That is what is needed more in the information stream. A lot of people want to kling to their pathetic biases and get upset when confronted with plain facts. That's not important. What's important is to keep your part of the information stream clear and factual. You are doing a good job.Posted by Jon at October 31, 2005 12:04 AM
A couple things. First off, Libby isn't a "minnow." He's the chief of staff for the VP, and is described as having routine access to the Idiot-in-Chief as well. Secondly, Firtzgerald hasn't finished his investigation.
As for my being angry, yeah, I'm a little p.o.'d that 2,000 American troops have been killed for nothing; that 15,000 have been wounded; that tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed; that American honor and reputation have been sacrificed; that the White House committed treason by revealing the name of an American undercover agent; that Bush and his people have committed acts that were defined as war crimes in the Nuremberg trials of 1946.
All of this is okay with you folks, because for you patriotism is a smoke screen for your partisan ambitions. Greyhawk couldn't possibly care less about deaths in Iraq, American or otherwise. His postings have made this as clear as could be. His protestations to the contrary are a joke.
It's all about political advantage for you people. You have absolutely no regard for this country, what it stands for or the people who serve it. You should sign up on the other side, because you've been fighting for the enemy all the way along. My only question is this: When did you decide that you hated America?Posted by Wilson Kolb at October 31, 2005 03:16 AM
From the Wall Street Journal:
"A new Harris Interactive poll shows American sentiment about the situation in Iraq remains generally gloomy, with fewer than a quarter of Americans saying they are confident U.S. policies in Iraq will be successful.
"For the first time, a majority of Americans (53%) feels that military action in Iraq was the wrong thing to do, according to the survey of 1,833 U.S. adults, compared with 34% who feel it was right.
A"t the same time, 66% of U.S. adults now say President Bush is doing a 'poor' or 'only fair' job of handling Iraq, while 32% say he is doing an 'excellent' or 'pretty good' job. That's little changed from a September Harris poll that found 65% rated Mr. Bush negatively and 34% rated him positively."
The Wall Street Journal also reported that of the American presidents with two terms since 1970 -- Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and The Idiot -- that The Idiot has the lowest Harris poll numbers of all at this point in the second terms. Even lower than Nixon.
In October of the first year of their second terms:
The Idiot: 32%
What's particularly aggrivating about the Abu Ghraib case is how common the practice of humiliation/discomfort is in American prison. Why is it ok for American criminals, but not Iraqi criminals?
I unfortunately spent 6 months in Texas State Jail, which is almost as bad as regular prison, or so I was told. Here's an example of some of the punishments I saw or received:
-For trying to get a second breakfast: Stand naked at the entrance to the chow hall in 40 degree weather. (humiliating and very uncomfortable)
-For fighting: Guards beat the crap out of you and/or throw you into a (3'x10' maybe?)cold cell naked with no matt. (torturous and/or uncomfortable)
-For talking at an inappropriate time: Stand in the center area of the jail with you hands on your head for a couple of hours. I received this one a couple of times, and it is friggin torture.
-Just for showing up, they shave you bald, make you stand naked in the cold at attention (half the year at least) and call you names for like an hour or so.
It is galling to me that I could have received such treatment for using drugs, and yet the world reacts with such disgust that a terrorist/murderer was receiving similar treatment. I understand that these guys were also ordinary criminals, but at the time, most people thought they were terrorists.Posted by Convict at October 31, 2005 03:44 AM
Greyhawk, Blackfive and their knee-jerk Republican slaves can lie to their hearts content, but it won't alter the truth: Torture was American policy.
I meant 'aggravating', not 'aggrivating'. Man I hate typos :) Would you mind fixing my post and deleting this one?
ty in advancePosted by Convict at October 31, 2005 04:29 AM
Greyhawk, great post. From all the squawking from the left it sounds like you hit a home run to me.
Wilson Kolb, the irony here is that you havn't a clue what 'Torture' is. It is sophistry to believe that anything that happened at Abu Ghraib affected any Muslim attitudes to the US. Most of 'em hate us for various reasons and have done so for a long time. Do you remember the celebrations in the Muslim countries after 9/11 (and 9/11 happened before the liberation of Iraq or Abu Ghraib).
You stand with the insipid Prince Charles who is touring here to lecture us on how we havn't "reached out" to muslims enough (he apparently has forgotten the record relief effort we conducted after the tsunami and countless other humanitarian assistence provided to Muslim countries). And after all this bloodshed in the name of Islam, from the bombing of the marine barracks in Beruit in '83 until yesterday with the hacking off of the heads of 3 school girls in Indonesia for the crime of being Christian, I find that I cannot suffer fools like you any longer.
Ah Wilson. Poll numbers are done by demographics and can be made to look anyway you want. Call us knee-jerk liars all you want. You need to go back whan all your buddies on the left were all saying the same thing about Iraq and WMD's. Go back to 1998, 99 and 2000 when the MSM, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Kennedy they were all on the same page saying the same thing about WMD's and Iraq. It was the truth back then and now because its a different administration its only now become a big lie. My you people really do forget what you did or said just yesterday.Posted by Dave G at October 31, 2005 08:59 AM
First off, torture is NOT okay in U.S. prisons. Human rights groups have been criticizing the plague of prison rape here for years, but nothing gets done. This is because conservatives hate consensual homosexuality but are in favor of homosexual rape. Texas runs the most rape-filled prison system in America, while the San Francisco jail has the most active and successful rape prevention program of any American custodial institution.
The comments by JB are typical of the phony "patriots" of the Republican Party. Like Blackfive and Greyhawk, he hates his country and everything it stands for -- even to the point of cheering on a war that wastes thousands of lives, and waving the flag for torture.
Well, folks, in future wars when American servicemen and servicewomen are raped and tortured, YOU will be responsible for it because YOU are the ones who approved of American use of those tactics in Iraq and Afghanistan. When did you start hating your country, anyway? When did you start believing it was okay to waste the lives of American servicemembers? Is that what your right-wing Republicanism is all about?Posted by Wilson Kolb at October 31, 2005 09:34 AM
By the way, JB, your Idiot in Chief's first response to the tsunami was to offer less than a million dollars of aid. It was only after the scumbag was rightly condemn for being such a cheapskate that the U.S. upped the ante on that one.
After Hurricane Katrina I can understand why the Republicans didn't want to help anyone in the tsunamis. They don't care about anyone else. Hell, you people don't even care about Americans.Posted by Wilson Kolb at October 31, 2005 09:36 AM
Greyhawk, it was a good post. I'm interested to know if you've compiled a timeline of events, and if you know who the alleged "military intelligence" collaborators are.
I was shocked when I found out about this stuff, but the fact that the Pentagon started an investigation on a tip by a soldier at the prison itself gives me the feeling that this was not (as some seem to believe) a grand conspiracy to torture people.
And is it possible to block Wilson from commenting? I'm all for freedom of speech, but I'm also for consequences of stupid speech. I say, block him from posting forever.Posted by Mike Jenista at October 31, 2005 11:28 AM
Let Wilson comment. It only serves to verify how extreme his group has become. The more he comments the more extreme he becomes. The only people who lie in his mind are us knee-jerk neocons.Posted by Dave G at October 31, 2005 12:38 PM
Mike Jenista is typical of the right-wing breed. His War Criminal in Chief is the least popular president in living memory; thousands of Americans lie ddead and wounded in a war that was started on a lie and which has shredded our national honor and what does he want to do? Ban those who say things he doesn't want to read.
Mike, if there were time machines surely you'd want to go back to Rome, cica the third century A.D.Posted by Wilson Kolb at October 31, 2005 03:49 PM
Wilson, if you want to be inflammatory, you need to either make wild unprovable statements, or use real facts to back up insane theories. For example, saying Bush is the "least popular president in living memory" is easily disprovable, as Clinton(35%), Bush Sr., Carter(29%), and Nixon(23%) all enjoyed lower poll numbers at one time or another than the lowest Bush(39%) has so far received.
Re-read the liberal handbook. It clearly states not to make statements that can be disproved. Facts, while interesting, are not necessary to prove a liberal point, as you should well know. Stick to things like "No blood for oil", and "Bush lied, people died". Those statements, though meaningless, still have a lot of mileage in them. You might even get you a hippie girlfriend if you say them often enough. I understand Ms. Sheehan is lookin...
good luck!Posted by Convict at October 31, 2005 07:23 PM
Wilson Kolb lumped me in with Blackfive and Greyhawk. This is an honor I do not deserve, but am thrilled about it all the same.