Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

What they knew and when they knew it

Rafe Colburn is keeping track of who knew what about Abu Ghraib and when they knew it. The Stakeholder has a similar list. None of the items on those lists support the conclusion that the pictures we’ve seen are from an “isolated incident” involving a few “bad apples”.

Max makes a good point about “politicizing” something like this, which seems to be the line of attack now.

Somebody has to walk the plank on this, no matter what your politics are. Somebody important — not some waif from Cumberland, Md. (Why does her name keep coming up? There were guys in the pictures too.) Rummy evidently knew but didn’t want to know and found other things with which to concern himself. This was a miserable failure.

Politics is the way we are supposed to make decisions in this democracy of ours. Public opinion, acting through the instrumentality of elections, among other devices, chooses leadership based on performance. Aspiring leaders compete in the political arena by attacking each other. Politicization is precisely what is required for problems to be addressed.

Politicization can be founded on false, stupid, or trivial premises. For instance, the nation’s business was significantly absorbed in the practice of oral sex, not too long ago. Making something out of nothing would merit scorn. The prison practices are not nothing. I seem to recall that Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson was attacked for stuff going on several layers below him at nuclear labs in the desert.

We cannot begin to undo the damage that we have wrought here until we make people accountable for causing it. Donald Rumsfeld is one of those people (he is by far not the only one, make no mistake about that), and as long as he’s still in a position of power, we’re saying to the world that we’d rather scapegoat than stand up. President Bush, acting more and more like a bad CEO, does not understand that. Maybe if enough of us tell him this, by signing the petition or other means, he’ll come to understand it.

UPDATE: Greg Morrow provides more evidence that Rumsfeld should be held accountable.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

9 Comments

  1. The blame for this one traces right back to the Republican Party propaganda machine, a.k.a. “hate radio”.

  2. julia says:

    Is this rather damaged young woman taking the hit because she’s a female, and the sight of a young woman behaving like a cretinous moral cripple around naked men is likely to distract people from asking what on earth the military thought they were doing letting a bunch of unsupervised high school graduates decide whether or not we were going to take note of the Geneva Convention, which we’re told they’ve never heard of and didn’t know applied to them?

    Well, yeah.

    Would I get between her and my kid if they were near the edge of the platform in the subway?

    Damn straight.

    Waif? I don’t really think so.

  3. Chris says:

    Don’t blame women and gays for these crimes.

    Its not right to blame Lynndie England for this crime. She’s four months pregnant with her superior officer’s child – the man her family claims ordered her to pose for these pictures.

    And what if those who took the pictures and videos were gay? They’ve overcome a lot to be there in the military.

    The press keeps publicizing all these pictures and videos. Have they stopped to consider that they might create a national backlash against women and homosexuals in the military?

  4. Tim says:

    >> Its not right to blame Lynndie England for this crime. She’s four months pregnant with her superior officer’s child – the man her family claims ordered her to pose for these pictures. stupid as to POSE FOR PICTURES of activities which even someone with a room temperature IQ knows are a gross violation of international law, the Geneva Convention and the UCMJ?

    I agree with one thing you’ve implied: Don’t single her out. But don’t make gender-based or pregnancy-based excuses for her, either.

  5. Tim says:

    Its not right to blame Lynndie England for this crime. She’s four months pregnant with her superior officer’s child – the man her family claims ordered her to pose for these pictures.

    Agreed that she shouldn’t be a scapegoat for all the mess. Her pregnancy has zero to do with it one way or another, and I’m not even sure why you bring it up as it seems totally irrelevant with respect to any judgment — one way or another — that may come of this.

    And “her family,” keep in mind, can hardly be considered an objective source. I’m not saying they are lying, but I am saying that only a fool would take their words at face value, given their obvious conflict of interest.

    And even if in the end, her involvement was negligible overall, how can anyone wearing the uniform of a U.S. soldier be so unbelievably stupid as to POSE FOR PICTURES of activities which even someone with a room temperature IQ knows are a gross violation of international law, the Geneva Convention and the UCMJ?

    I agree with one thing you’ve implied: Don’t single her out. But don’t make gender-based or pregnancy-based excuses for her, either.

    [Sorry for the double post, Chuck. The dog ate most of my first posting attempt.]

  6. Chris says:

    Yes, I don’t think she should be singled out. But its so completely obvious that all of this whole mess is Rumsfeld’s fault, and more directly, President Bush – that oil-greedy warmonger Nazi. Lynndie England is a fine model female soldier who has the integrity and professionalism to pose for these pictures and get pregnant by a superior officer.

    Women have fought too hard for the right to fight in the front lines with men who value them ONLY for their abilities and intellect. To just let a few rotten apples come along and spoil it for the rest would be a travesty, so I’m VERY concerned that the media would be making it public knowledge that there was a woman involved with this.

    Her pregnancy has everything to do with this! Such a liberated female who has sex with her fellow soldiers – what a sterling example of the right to privacy and a bold declaration of “my body, my choice”! England is a pioneer, a strong, independent woman who can make her own choices and live her own life in this man’s military.

    And what about all these pictures of naked men and homosexual sex? I can’t believe that the press would have the brazenness to portray this homosexual behavior in the media! This could set the gay agenda back decades! The American public could react very negatively against homosexuals in the military if it turns out that those behind the camera were benefactors of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. This is all an invasion of privacy, and they should just leave the women and gays alone!

    Blame those who are 10,00 miles away and truly responsible for committing the abuse – Rumsfeld and Bush. And throw in Cheney while we’re at it. Oooh… don’t forget Rush Limbaugh.

  7. Tim says:

    Oh, I get it. I’ve been trolled.

    Mea culpa.

  8. julia says:

    Well, you know, the whole thing only happened because of the killings in Fallujah six months later, so it makes sense that Ms. England was grinning with pure delight while she helped torture prisoners because she was going to get pregnant around the same time.