It is possible to make the argument that a Bush victory in the election might in the long run be less disastrous than a Kerry one, simply because it will leave Bush unequivocally responsible for the coming catastrophes for America. I’ve made the argument myself, though I know it is merely a filigree on despair.
But I can’t entertain it seriously. I don’t see how anyone with a scrap of moral feeling and patriotism could vote for the government responsible for Abu Ghraib.
Here are two extracts from Mark Danner’s “indictment”:http://www.nybooks.com/articles/17430 in the NRYB. The first is from Major General George R. Fay’s report into Aby Ghraib. The second is from a press conference. Read ’em and puke.
bq.. In October 2003, DETAINEE-07, reported alleged multiple incidents of physical abuse while in Abu Ghraib. DETAINEE-07 was a [military intelligence] hold and considered of potentially high value. He was interrogated on 8, 21 and 29 October; 4 and 23 November and 5 December. DETAINEE-07’s claims of physical abuse (hitting) started on his first day of arrival. He was left naked in his cell for extended periods, cuffed in his cell in stressful positions (“High cuffed”), left with a bag over his head for extended periods, and denied bedding or blankets. DETAINEE-07 described being made to “bark like a dog, being forced to crawl on his stomach while MPs spit and urinated on him, and being struck causing unconsciousness.”
On another occasion DETAINEE-07 was forced to lie down while MPs jumped onto his back and legs. He was beaten with a broom and a chemical light was broken and poured over his body. DETAINEE-04 witnessed the abuse with the chem.-light. During this abuse a police stick was used to sodomize DETAINEE-07 and two female MPs were hitting him, throwing a ball at his penis, and taking photographs. This investigation surfaced no photographic evidence of the chemical light abuse or sodomy. DETAINEE-07 also alleged that CIVILIAN-17, MP Interpreter, Titan Corp., hit DETAINEE-07 once, cutting his ear to an extent that required stitches. He told SOLDIER-25, analyst, B/321 [Military Intelligence Brigade], about this hitting incident during an interrogation. SOLDIER-25 asked the MPs what had happened to the detainee’s ear and was told he had fallen in his cell. SOLDIER-25 did not report the detainee’s abuse. SOLDIER-25 claimed the detainee’s allegation was made in the presence of CIVILIAN-21, Analyst/Interrogator, CACI [Corporation], which CIVILIAN-21 denied hearing this report. Two photos taken at 2200 hours, 1 November 2003, depict a detainee with stitches in his ear; however, we could not confirm the photo was DETAINEE-07.
Based on the details provided by the detainee and the close correlation to other known MP abuses, it is highly probable DETAINEE-07’s allegations are true…
bq.. James Harding (Financial Times): Mr. President, I want to return to the question of torture. What we’ve learned from these memos this week is that the Department of Justice lawyers and the Pentagon lawyers have essentially worked out a way that US officials can torture detainees without running afoul of the law. So when you say you want the US to adhere to international and US laws, that’s not very comforting. This is a moral question: Is torture ever justified?
President Bush: Look, I’m going to say it one more time. …Maybe I can be more clear. The instructions went out to our people to adhere to law. That ought to comfort you. We’re a nation of law. We adhere to laws. We have laws on the books. You might look at these laws, and that might provide comfort for you. And those were the instructions…from me to the government.
—News conference, Sea Island, Georgia, June 10, 2004