Old new questions

Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by fleinn, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. fleinn

    fleinn 101010

    "New Questions About Abu Ghraib

    By Dan Froomkin
    Special to washingtonpost.com
    Monday, June 18, 2007; 2:12 PM"
    So. A necessary lie from the administration? Or unforgivable neglect? Or did they simply implement exactly what they promised from the beginning? Or did they go further than advertised?

    How can we explain the harsh criticism of those who claimed the abuses were systematic, and sanctioned in large parts by the administration? Is it possible to suggest that, for instance, the assumed basis for the statements the administration made was not entirely accurate?

  2. Stay Away

    Stay Away Guest

    Of course Bush new about it first, he just had his people decide when to let it out to produce the least negative effect, and how long to draw out facts so the majority of the populace forgets them

    kinda like the Duke rape case, almost no one, up until last week even remembered the students never even went to trial, because the case was thrown out.
  3. fleinn

    fleinn 101010

    I suppose so. I mean, it's actually not news that these descriptions existed, and should've been available to the president. It's just news that someone says the president knew about them (re. the Armed Services Committee's report early on. They would know where these reports came from and when, after all).

    ..You know, I really wonder just how random the Whitehouse is about establishing narratives like these. It's just so blatant, you'd think they're testing the noise- machine or something, for how much they can get away with..
  4. drs10

    drs10 Guest

    Contrary to popular belief, we are not a dictatorship. In other words, Bush doesn't know every single thing that goes wrong with the military and does not need to be informed or consulted when dealing with violations of the Army's code of conduct. The idea that a single man can know about everything that goes wrong in the military is laughable. I'm not a huge fan of Bush, but for Christ's sake we don't need to be talking about the subject matter of Abu-Gharib anymore. Its old news, and however bad it was we need to move on. The last thing we need to do is to bring up some more biased fluff about how Abu-Gharib was a semi-cover-up.
  5. CMK_Eagle

    CMK_Eagle Registered Member

    It's not news at all. Of course Bush was aware of the abuse (or at least what were then allegations of abuse) before the pictures were made public. The Pentagon's own criminal investigation predated the first public reports by a year! This has been known almost since the beginning of the scandal. I'm not sure what's supposed to be new news here...
  6. fleinn

    fleinn 101010

    Well.. if Bush (and closesest advisers) knew about the abuses, and the extent of the abuses as well, in the context of the larger military operation - then this is a bit unsettling, perhaps. Since obviously that would mean the administration would be perfectly willing to state the "a few rotten apples" narrative, with complete conviction, even though he knew it was utterly bogus at the time he said it. It would also mean that the entire administration had decided on a set of talking- points they knew was not merely spin, but simply not true in any way, simply because that made political sense (and bugger all else).

    Furthermore, it would mean they all knew that the documented abuses could be traced back to the rather reckless abandon of the laws of war (the "quaint" laws of war), since this left the soliders in the regular army without clear directions. As well as having implicit endorsement from the top of "enhanced" interrogation techniques, or even unstated and unspecific techniques that I can promise you is very easily discovered in the field. Which was concerns raised from the very beginning. But which was rebuffed with the argument that the army functioned flawlessly, because Bush knew it. That was then replaced with the idea that Bush "did not know", and therefore was without any guilt, etc.

    So it would suggest that the Bush- administration made a decision that led to unforseen, to them, consequences. And then refused to accept the reality of that situation: their guilt, as well as responsibility, and the results of that policy. And instead decided to avoid the entire controversy by stating flat untruths - about their knowledge, about the situation, and about other aspects of the case, like their own role in relaxing standards for untrained interrogators, and the process (if any) that resulted in these decisions being made. With no apparent concern for the fact that their policies had been instrumental in these abuses, and also would be implemented, without any grounding in law (except for the administration's own theories on executive power), elsewhere.

    (btw, a series on the Vice President has been running for a couple of days in the Washington Post, which traces this particular decision about the interrogation standards, and how it came into being).
    In other words, the acceptance of the "a few rotten apples" narrative allowed the administration to avoid quite a lot of fundamental questions about the detainee- policies, and the process involved in making these decisions (which obviously went over the head of the Armed Services Committee, which is presumably where these decisions should be at least heard.. And if the WP is to be believed, above the Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor as well.), as well as the reasoning behind the obviously conscious choice to relax these interrogation standards.

    So, I suppose it sort of is worth mentioning, yes..?
    Yeah, well.. See, the minutes they're talking about documents a few known abuses at Abu Ghraib, and some other detention facilities, and they did suggest either systematic breakdown of command, or some form of sanctioned interrogation that slipped out of control. And other concerns were raised, as they have been periodically in various hearings, about exactly where these apparently legal orders to torture and detain people without charges comes from. (It was also, for quite some time, a question of whether these orders even existed. It was, as some might recall, considered a conspiracy of utter and total lunacy, even on your left, for quite some time, is that not so?) This along with, obviously, the concern that service- members might be punished for following what they believe would be legal orders, whenever this "order" might be challenged by Congress and then the Courts.

    So - two problems: 1. is torture supposed to be legal? And how, if that's the case, did this happen? And 2. what exactly is the link between what the army does and what the president's office (or accessories) will order. This obviously raises some very difficult questions, considering the Armed Services Committee did not sanction this particular implementation of these policies, or even an abstract of it in any shape or form.

    Therefore, considering the president actually knew about this - as several people have been suggesting before, of course - then the idea that they did not know about the abuses in the first place, falls. And so my question at the outset, on whether this would be a noble lie (would it be necessary for Bush to lie in order to get the proper legislation in place as quickly as possible? Was it a politically wise choice at the time to "fix this" in the dark? And if so, what does that suggest for the actual implementation of these policies at this moment? Evidently the administration is perfectly capable of conducting their business in this fashion even when they have no legal grounds, or statuatory instructions to, in this case, torture. In other words, what is in place at the moment?).

    Or was it neglect? I.e, can we call it neglect, or serious incompetence in office, to let the standards slip this badly? Or is this, too, a result of the well documented extra- procedural and extra- legal processes at this White House? Meaning that this cannot simply be attributed to a "mistake", but was deliberate from the very beginning.

    Or did they, in fact, implement policies they promised from the get- go? In other words, should those of us who believe this could never happen in a democracy - i.e, legalized torture - simply accept defeat, because this is exactly what the President and his administration have been arguing for all along (meaning that the US has a majority in support for the described and broken process, and the current policies on enhanced "interrogation").

    I don't mean to exclude the possibility that how people are taking for granted that everything is running exactly as usual in the bestest democracy in the world, regardless of evidence to the contrary, might be a very big part of the problem, though.. but hey..

    (Anyway, that's all from the Twilight- zone today.)
  7. drs10

    drs10 Guest

    I really don't understand why there is speculation that the White House did a semi-cover up of Abu-Ghraib. Seriously, do really need to add more junk to the pile of the 9/11 conspiracy theorists? It's an issue long dead, and we should really be concerned with issues that face us today.

    I highly doubt these claims, it's just another attempt by the Washington Post to shoot down W's legacy. Kinda of like that false National Guard story on Bush that CBS and Dan Rather ran before the election.
  8. fleinn

    fleinn 101010

    More of an attempt by half of the Bush- administration to blame everything on Cheney's creatures around the Capitol, probably. You can be sure that there's some serious heavy- weighters behind the WP when something like this turns up. But sure.. This is kabuki of the highest order, I won't dispute that.

    The questions here on the process are valid enough, though.
  9. CMK_Eagle

    CMK_Eagle Registered Member

    How can it be considered neglect when the Pentagon was pursuing a criminal investigation of the guards at Abu Ghraib for a full year before the abuse became public?
  10. fleinn

    fleinn 101010

    Mm. Good point. I don't think it was coincidence that these policies have remained in place either (even though there's some serious changes in the law that has to be done if this is supposed to be legal - re. the AUMF- rationale and the unitary executive power, etc.).

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