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Lynndie England NOT U.S. Policy

Lyndie England Abu Ghraib

Ezra Klein applies the headline “Doing Her Job” to this infamous photo of Lyndie England. It was not a few bad apples. It was not the chaos of war. It was official U.S. government policy. The release of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Report on Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody makes that perfectly clear. […]

General Taguba: Bush Administration ‘Guilty of War Crimes’

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Physicians for Human Rights has just published a report detailing the medical evidence of detainee torture at the hands of U.S. Personnel in Iraq, Afghanist, and Guantanamo Bay. Maj. General Antonio Taguba (Ret.) authored the preface to the report, in which he accuses the Administration of having committed war crimes: The profiles of these eleven […]

Iraq Kurds Invade Turkey, Kill 17 (Updated)

The likelihood of Turkey sending troops into Iraqi Kurdistan has ratcheted up several notches, with a major assault by PKK rebels into Turkey from Iraqi territory. An audacious cross-border ambush by Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq killed at least 17 Turkish soldiers Sunday, ratcheting up pressure on the Turkish government to launch a military […]

Sanchez Lambasts Handling of War (Updated)

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The general who presided over the Abu Ghraib scandal gave a speech yesterday railing against the incompetent administration of the Iraq War. David Cloud summarizes for the NYT: In one of his first major public speeches since leaving the Army in late 2006, retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez blamed the administration for a “catastrophically […]

Bush Supports Human Rights, Press Sees Hypocrisy

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McClatchy Newspapers is running a story with the headline “Bush astounds activists, supports human rights.” Here’s the lede: President Bush implored the United Nations on Tuesday to recommit itself to restoring human decency by liberating oppressed people and ending famine and disease. Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly, the president called for renewed efforts […]

War Zone Contractors Now Subject to UCMJ

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Peter Singer, who write his Kennedy School dissertation on mercenaries and has since cornered the market on that niche, has an interesting piece at Defense Tech noting that Congress has closed the loophole that made war zone contractors all but unaccountable for criminal acts. Over the last few years, tales of private military contractors run […]

Bush Considers Weakening War Crimes Act

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The Bush administration is considering li The Bush administration has drafted amendments to a war crimes law that would eliminate the risk of prosecution for political appointees, CIA officers and former military personnel for humiliating or degrading war prisoners, according to U.S. officials and a copy of the amendments. Officials say the amendments would alter […]

Three 101st Airborne Soldiers Charged in Detainee Deaths

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CNN BREAKING: Three members of the 101st Airborne Division are charged in connection with deaths of three detainees in Iraq, U.S. military says. Reuters: The U.S. military said on Monday three U.S. soldiers had been charged in the deaths of three male prisoners on May 9. It said the soldiers faced charges including “murder, attempted […]

Dog Handler Found Guilty of Abu Ghraib Abuse

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A Fort Meade, Maryland jury found dog handler Santos A. Cardona guilt of misconduct for his role in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. A military jury convicted an Army dog handler Thursday of abusing a prisoner at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Sgt. Santos A. Cardona was portrayed by prosecutors as part of a sadistic […]

Rogers Staffer Reprimanded in Abu Ghraib Scandal

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Mark Benjamin and Michael Scherer report in Salon.com that a staffer for Representative Mike Rogers has been reprimanded for his role in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in his capacity as an Army Reserve captain. Army Reserve Capt. Christopher Brinson, who supervised some of the military police prosecuted for abuse at Abu Ghraib. A senior […]

U.S. to Close Abu Ghraib

BREAKING NEWS: U.S. military to close Abu Ghraib prison and transfer prisoners to other jails in Iraq, CNN confirms. No details yet but this is long overdue. While there were some practical reasons not to shut down a working prison at a time when housing prisoners was necessary, the symbolic value of Abu Ghraib to […]

Prisoner Abuse Photos from Iraq the Media Refuse to Show

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Rusty Shackleford posts a large number of photos of prisoners being abused and even murdered in Iraq that, unlike the Abu Ghraib photos, have not seen the light of day in the mainstream press.

U.N. Calls for End to Guantánamo Detentions

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The United Nations has issued a call for the United States to either try or release the prisoners at Guantánamo. A United Nations report today called on the United States to immediately close the detention center for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and to either release its inmates or bring them to trial. The […]

Yet More Abu Ghraib photos

Salon has published a new gallery of photos of prisoners being abused at Abu Ghraib. These go along with the batch published by the British and Australian media yesterday. The AP offers this description: New images of naked prisoners, some bloodied and lying on the floor, threatened to revive public anger over abuse by U.S. […]

Senate Compromise on Detainee Rights, Torture

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Senators Lindsey Graham and Carl Leven have reached across the aisle to forge a compromise bill that would give limited judicial rights to those accused of terrorism, including a reiteration of existing policy against torture. Senators Agree on Detainee Rights (WaPo, A1) A bipartisan group of senators reached a compromise yesterday that would dramatically alter […]

Return of Secret Police in Iraq?

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A raid last night on a Shiite militia-run detention center highlights what appears to be a major problem in Iraq: abusive practices by local warlords acting with quasi-governmental sanction. U.S.-Iraq Troops Raid Government Jail Where Abuses Are Alleged (LAT) About 100 U.S. and Iraqi troops raided an Interior Ministry administrative and detention facility Sunday night, […]

Lynndie England Convicted Again

Lynndie England has been found guilty a second time by a military court, after her guilty plea in the initial trial was thrown out. England convicted on six of seven counts (AP) Army Pfc. Lynndie England, whose smiling poses in photos of detainee abuse at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison made her the face of the […]

Another Prison Torture Scandal

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Inmates Complain After 5 Turkey Dinners (AP) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Five straight turkey dinners prompted El Paso County jail inmates to go on a brief hunger strike. The inmates refused to eat Saturday, arguing that meals such as turkey chili mac, turkey a la king, turkey stew and turkey sausage were unnecessarily cruel. Dick […]

American Journalist Steven Vincent Murdered in Iraq

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Steven Vincent, a freelance journalist who had been critical of the Shiite clerics in Iraq, was kidnapped and shot dead near Basra. American journalist found shot dead in Basra (Reuters) An American journalist and author has been found shot dead in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, a Western diplomat said on Wednesday. The diplomat […]

Military JAGs Opposed Harsh Interrogation Techniques

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Many senior JAG officers documented their oppositin to harsh interrogation techniques at Guantánamo Bay, according to the findings of a task force led by Senator Lindsey Graham. Military’s Opposition to Harsh Interrogation Is Outlined (NYT) Senior military lawyers lodged vigorous and detailed dissents in early 2003 as an administration legal task force concluded that President […]

Guantanamo: Torture or No Torture?

The Washington Post‘s Josh White and Neil Lewis of the New York Times covered yesterday’s hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the prison abuse scandals at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. They had rather different takes on what transpired–although not as different as their headline writers. Abu Ghraib Tactics Were First Used at Guantanamo […]

Dick Durbin Gitmo Nazi Apology Roundup

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Michelle Malkin collects the whole story of Dick Durbin’s travails beginning with the lame comparison between U.S. treatment of terrorists at Gitmo, progressing to his vow not to back down due to criticism, and ending with an apology/non-apology remniscent of Jimmy Swaggart. She also rounds up the reaction around the Right side of the Blogosphere, […]

Gitmo Analogies

Kevin Drum asks a fair question apropos the criticism Dick Durbin, Amnesty International, and others have come under for comparing the conditions at the American detention facility in Guantanamo with past outrages: Conservative apologists clearly believe it’s out of bounds to fill in this blank with Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, or Pol Pot. Fine. I’m […]

Ceci Connolly: 100 Prisoners Murdered By U.S. Military

On last night’s edition of Fox Special Report with Brit Hume, the Washington Post’s Ceci Connolly, a FSR roundtable regular, made a rather serious charge in the midst of a recitation of various abuse scandals in military prisons: Connolly: I do think though that one of the problems for the United States is that there […]

President Bush Demotes Abu Ghraib’s Karpinski

Janis Karpinski , the former commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade during the time of the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal, has finally been demoted to colonol from brigadier general. Bush approves demotion of Gen. Karpinski in prison scandal (USA Today) The Army will demote and issue a formal letter of reprimand to the only […]

Truth Extraction: Honey Beats Vinegar

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Stephen Budiansky has a superb article in the current Atlantic Monthly discussing the legendary interrogators of World War II, U.S. Marine Major Sherwood Moran and the German Lufwaffe’s Hans Joachim Scharff. Both men were incredibly effective at extracting useful information from their prisoners, using very similar techniques. The basic premise: “Know their language, know their […]

Judge Rejects Guilty Plea in Iraq Abuse Case

Judge Rejects Guilty Plea in Iraq Abuse Case (WaPo, A1) An Army judge on Wednesday abruptly ended the court-martial of Pfc. Lynndie R. England — the soldier who appeared in iconic photographs of inmate abuse at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison — saying that her guilty plea was not believable. The surprise mistrial in the high-profile […]

Army Clears Top Abu Ghraib Case Officers

The Army has formally exhonerated LTG Ricardo Sanchez and other senior officers on his staff of criminal wrongdoing in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Army Clears Top Abu Ghraib Case Officers (AP) The Army has cleared four top officers — including the three-star general who commanded all U.S. forces in Iraq — of all allegations […]

Military Prison Abuse Review Offers Mixed Conclusions

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Abuse Review Exonerates Policy (WaPo A16) The Pentagon’s widest-ranging examination of prisoner abuse at U.S. detention facilities has concluded that there was no deliberate high-level policy that led to numerous cases of mistreatment, and instead blames inept leadership at low levels and confusion over changing interrogation rules, according to government and defense officials who have […]

Female GIs Flash Breasts, Thong in Mud-Wrestling Contests

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Female GIs flash breasts, thong in mud-wrestling contests (AP) The mud-wrestling babes weren’t coeds but MPs. And the scene was an Army-run detention center in Iraq. The New York Daily News reports female MPs mud-wrestled in October, with a crowd of male soldiers cheering them on. According to snapshots obtained by the News, one young […]

Rumsfeld Says He Offered to Resign Twice

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Rumsfeld Says He Offered to Resign Twice (AP) Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld disclosed Thursday that he had offered President Bush his resignation twice during the height of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal last year. He said he wanted the decision on his future to be placed in Bush’s hands. “He made that decision […]

Fugitive Rumsfeld Cancels German Trip

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Rumsfeld scraps Munich visit over war probe (Expatica, 21 Jan.) United States Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has cancelled a planned visit to Munich. Rumsfeld has informed the German government via the US embassy he will not take part at the Munich Security Conference in February, conference head Horst Teltschik said. The New York-based Center for […]

Charles Graner Guilty of Abu Ghraib Abuse

U.S. reservist guilty of Abu Ghraib abuse (CNN) An Army reservist was convicted Friday by a military jury of abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in a case that damaged America’s reputation after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The 10-person jury found Spc. Charles Graner Jr. guilty of nine of 10 specifications, or counts, […]

Torture Update

Gregory Djerejian has an extensive roundup of the torture debate, which has been renewed with the confirmation hearings for Alberto Gonzalez to succeed John Ashcroft as Attorney General. From Guantanimo to Abu Ghraib to Pakistan, this is an interesting story. I covered it extensively months ago when Abu Ghraib broke but eventually lost interest in […]

Media, Marines, and Rules of War

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Bill at INDC is outraged at mainstream media portrayals of the shooting over the weekend of an apparently unarmed terrorist by a U.S. Marine in Fallujah. No. We are not going to let the MSM do this. We are not going to let them blow up an incident that took place in the heat of […]

Lynndie England Gives Birth

Lynndie England Is a New Mother (AP) Lynndie England, the soldier seen in some of the most notorious photos with naked Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, is a new mother. The 21-year-old reservist had the baby on Sunday at the post hospital at Fort Bragg, Col. Billy Buckner, public affairs officer for the 18th […]

Muddle in Iraq

Ralph Peters has a sober assessment of the situation in Iraq. Despite the impression created by intermittent attacks, the terrorists have shifted their priority away from attacking our troops. Every time they go after our soldiers or Marines, our enemies suffer disproportionate casualties. So they’re concentrating on killing Iraqis — government officials, the police, educators, […]

Report: CIA Agent Beheaded on Video

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Reuters – Video Purportedly Shows Killing of Iraq ‘CIA Agent’ A Web site used by Islamic militants carried a video on Wednesday purporting to show militants beheading a “CIA agent” in Iraq. The four-minute long footage showed a Western-looking man sitting on a chair surrounded by armed masked men. One of the men struck the […]

Red Cross Suspects U.S. Prisoner Stash

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Washington Times – Red Cross suspects U.S. prisoner stash The international Red Cross said yesterday it suspects the United States is hiding detainees in lockups across the globe, though the agency has been granted access to thousands of prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere. Terror suspects reported by the FBI as captured have never turned up […]

PFC Lynndie England’s Article 32 Hearing Postponed Again

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Army Times – PFC Lynndie England’s Article 32 hearing postponed again It was another false start for Pfc. Lynndie England’s Article 32 hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C., days after new charges involving sexually explicit photographs were filed against her. Instead of testimony from witnesses, the only action taken at England’s preliminary hearing Monday was to […]

MRE as Punishment for Detainees

WaPo — MRE as Punishment for Detainees In the controversy over Pentagon interrogation techniques, little notice has been given to one approved in Category II, the harsher techniques for use in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Some of the methods approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in December 2002 — using dogs, making prisoners stand for […]

Terrorists Denied Dessert, Sent to Rooms

John Hinderaker, assessing the thousanth media report on whether President Bush set the stage for abuses at Abu Ghraib by authorizing tough interrogation tactics in special cases, is struck by the following: [Rumsfeld] approved 24 interrogation techniques, to be used in a manner consistent with the Geneva Conventions, but said that any use of four […]

Dershowitz on Torture

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Many of us have been wondering when Alan Dershowitz would weigh in on the Abu Ghraib scandal, given his surprising advocacy of the limited use of torture in the war on terrorism a couple years ago. (See, for example, this LA Times op-ed written shortly after 9/11, Chronicle of Higher Education interview, and his book […]

Anti-Joppolos

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I’m rereading a superb article by Robert Kaplan called “Supremacy by Stealth” that appeared in the July/August 2003 Atlantic Monthly. His thesis is that the future of warfare is embodied by U.S. Special Operations Command soldiers that were, at the time, conducting nearly 170 missions a year with an average of “nine quiet professionals.” The […]

Instant Generals

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WaPo — Prison Investigator’s Army Experience Questioned Maj. Gen. George R. Fay, who is leading the Army’s investigation into the role of military intelligence at Abu Ghraib prison and other detention facilities in Iraq, is an insurance company executive who has been on active duty for five years. Fay, the Army’s deputy chief of staff […]

Our Soldiers and Us

Eliot Cohen has a superb op-ed in today’s WaPo looking at the Abu Ghraib scandal and what it says about soldiers and society’s relation to them. Military service, or a life spent with soldiers, brings one to the realization that soldiers, like the rest of us, fall on a continuum, a normal distribution of most […]

Perspective?

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Thomas Sowell believes the press is giving us a distorted version of reality by overplaying the Abu Ghraib scandal and other setbacks in Iraq, possibly undermining the war effort. THE AMERICAN Civil War was not about conditions at the notorious Andersonville prison in Georgia, and the war in Iraq is not about conditions at the […]

Abu Ghraib Roundup

A whole bevy of stories on the widening scandal appears in today’s papers. Most of the stories focus on the command climate surrounding the abuses. Not only is it becoming increasingly clear that the abuses were much more widespread than it initially appeared, but the nexus between Guantanimo, Iraq, and even Afghanistan is crystalizing. The […]

Worst Abuses on a Single Day

AP — Many Iraq Prison Abuses Occurred in Nov any of the worst abuses that have come to light from the Abu Ghraib prison happened on a single November day amid a flare of insurgent violence in Iraq (news – web sites), the deaths of many U.S. soldiers and a breakdown of the American guards’ […]

Abu Ghraib Video

The long-anticipated video of abuses of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib is now available at the Washington Post. Videos Amplify Picture of Violence The video begins with three soldiers huddled around a naked detainee, his thin frame backed against a wall. With a snap of his wrist, one of the soldiers slaps the man across […]

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