Torture Roundup: Rumsfeld knew; Bush Sidestepped Geneva; Libelous Backlash

The Abu Ghraib scandal is growing and growing, my guess is that an independent council (not military or Congressional) will be named to investigate the abuses and torture; Hersh or pfc. Darby (the soldier who came forward to expose the abuse) will likely be named Time Magazine’s 2004 Man Person of the Year.

  • First on the list: Memo to Bush may have led to torture. In the memo, White House legal counsel Alberto Gonzales said: “In my judgement this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva’s strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions.”
  • Seymour Hersh’s latest installment in the ongoing series to the New Yorker is the Gray Zone. Choice quote from the article: “‘They said there was an atmosphere of legal ambiguity being created as a result of a policy decision at the highest levels in the Pentagon. The jag officers were being cut out of the policy formulation process.’ They told him that, with the war on terror, a fifty-year history of exemplary application of the Geneva Conventions had come to an end.”
  • The Pentagon tried to downplay the allegations by denying that the abuse was authorized in any way from the military brass. In the CNN article Pentagon denies prison scandal stems from secret program gone awry. To try and bring the point home that they were clueless, the Pentagon ordered that “the U.S. military will not use certain prisoner interrogation procedures in Iraq and Afghanistan, including sleep and sensory deprivation, as a result of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.” Oh wow, if only it was about keeping them up late… way to be on the ball guys.
  • Realizing just how stupid that suggestion was, the Pentagon flipped on the story and decided to attack the messenger; as witness in this CNN article Pentagon: Hersh report ‘journalist malpractice’. “The closest Rumsfeld came to addressing Hersh’s article was when he said the world has ‘watched a free media publish stories of all types — from the accurate to the grossly distorted.’”
  • But both Hersh and his editor stand by his articles, boasting that it will only continue to get larger, with another installment expected next week. It has led the New Yorker to catapult into the national magazine forefront: With a focus on news, New Yorker redefines itself. “Remnick said yesterday: ‘I’m standing by it as firmly as any editor can stand by any story. . . . I have absolute confidence in Sy Hersh and these stories.’”
posted by vforvandyke

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