The humiliation and torture of prisoners had been planned and implemented by five officials at the highest levels of the Bush administration


Captains Outrageous

Posted May 30, 2004

By: Ted Lang

Recall the very first documented public reaction Secretary of Defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld, expressed when the Abu Ghriab prison scandal broke. Do you remember what it was? It was the correct reaction, the reaction any decent, responsible human being should express; namely, extreme outrage!

Remember his statement: "Heads will roll!" It could be assumed that Rumsfeld's agitated displeasure had to do with the fact that American soldiers, the good guys usually riding white horses and wearing white cowboy hats, are now the guys caught up in this prison scandal displaying Nazi or communist torture methods. Of course, the Bush apologists and sycophants will immediately point out that our methods of torture and humiliation aren' t anywhere as bad as that. Really? How would they know?

Take Rush Limbaugh, please! Limbaugh continues to insist that the Abu Ghriab prison photos are nothing more than some isolated incidents of a small handful of our troops just blowing off steam and having a good time. But the liberal sexual mores Limbaugh seems to approve of represent the ultimate humiliation for Muslims, and most, if not all of the prisoners involved, were just civilians who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

All the indications are, and evidence has been presented by such respected journalistic sources as Seymour Hersh, that the humiliation and torture of prisoners had been planned and implemented by five officials at the highest levels of the Bush administration: President George W. Bush himself, as evidenced by the White House memo sent him by his legal counsel Alberto Gonzales; Secretary Rumsfeld; and Rumsfeld's Undersecretary, Stephen Cambone. Additionally, Attorney General John Ashcroft has been implicated.

Most Americans know that the Taliban had controlled the government in Afghanistan, the supposed source of the alleged perpetrators, al-Qaeda. None of these things have been proven and considering our government that is steeped in lies, fraud, propaganda and secrecy, they should not be believed for a moment. That being said, and the governing party of Afghanistan representing a sovereign nation, how can prisoners of that war, the war in Afghanistan, be considered anything but fighting troops? And as such, how can they be classified as "enemy combatants" not subject to the Geneva Convention? Yet Bush, Rumsfeld, Cambone and Ashcroft designed selective legalistics to justify suspending the international rule of law that is the Geneva Convention.

Then, through their military subordinates, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez and Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, they not only implemented war crimes against military detainees and prisoners of war in Guantanamo, they transferred these criminal activities and policies to Abu Ghriab, applying them to unarmed civilians merely caught in random military sweeps. These unarmed civilians are now also classified as "enemy combatants," and even though they are civilians, are treated brutally in the same fashion as armed enemy combatants [armed troops], and again human rights are violated with Nazi and communist torture methods blatantly violating ANY moral convention or decency.

Rumsfeld was fully responsible for all these war crimes and Geneva Convention violations. So what precisely was Rumsfeld so outraged about? Evidence points not only to the fact that he knew precisely what was going on from the get-go, but that he, President Bush, Stephen Cambone and John Ashcroft drew up the plans and designed and implemented the policy.

The dumbed-down American people have therefore jumped to the conclusion, as the corporate media had wanted them to, that Rumsfeld was surprised. But it should now be obvious that the only thing that really surprised him was that the photos somehow got out, and on national television to boot! His excuse that he only found out about the photos in January implies what?

Rumsfeld's phony reaction of "Heads will roll!" was indeed the right reaction, but that should have been Bush's. In fact, long ago, Bush should have fired Robert Mueller for all the FBI screw-ups, George Tenet for all the CIA screw-ups, and now Rumsfeld. But he can't do that, because he would have to fire himself as well since he worked with Rumsfeld and Ashcroft to perpetrate these war crimes. And they are indeed war crimes! Defenseless, captive, unarmed prisoners, many civilians, have been tortured and beaten to death. These are not examples of youngsters blowing off steam as Limbaugh suggests - these are actual, prosecutable war crimes that bring disgrace upon our country, our nation's traditions of freedom and justice, our history and reputation, upon our military, and upon all of US as a people.


Copyright THEODORE E. LANG 5/27/04 All rights reserved. Ted Lang is a political analyst and a freelance writer.