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InvisibleSwami
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Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible?
    #2650467 - 05/07/04 05:04 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Rummy admits having had the files on prisoner abuse since January, but never "got around" to looking at it.

He could not deny having the file so in order to rationalize why no previous investigation nor public apology until AFTER the press releases the pictures, he claims that he had more imporant things to do than read some silly file.

Yeah, Rum, like this whole investigation, and shame on the US military was averted merely because you refused to peek at the file. There will be no shit-storm now and untold repercussions because you have shirked your duty and obligations.  :rolleyes:

You might have saved some face if the apology was genuine and BEFORE the media circus. The Arab world might have actually ADMIRED your straight-forward admittance, but no! Like a thief in the dark, you make your plea when the bright light of day shines down on you and there is no more corner to hide in. Now we can possibly thank you for future terrorist attacks for the revenge on the revenge on the revenge...


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The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlinetaco
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Re: Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible? [Re: Swami]
    #2650723 - 05/07/04 06:01 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Given the choice, which would you choose:

1. a 95% chance that nobody will ever find out about this very shameful thing, so let's just sweep it under the carpet and act like it never happened (come on, it's not like we haven't done that before, with, ironically, the same results)

2. admitting it and apologizing to all involved parties. You think the Arabs would be like "Oh, yeah, that's cool, we know how it gets"? No, they wouldn't. They would be just as pissed off as they are now, except before, there was at least a CHANCE they wouldn't find out. Now, they ask questions about our accountability to officers and how fit we are to supervise a pig sty, let alone enemy prisoners.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible? [Re: Swami]
    #2650739 - 05/07/04 06:06 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Swami, have you actually done any research into this? Like maybe looking for a timeline of events? This is old news. The allegations of abuse were reported long ago. The investigations into the allegations were initiated long ago. The photos hit the public eye recently, yes. But that's all that's new.

From http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110005044

The incidents at Abu Ghraib that triggered this week's news occurred last autumn. They came to light through the chain of command in Iraq on January 13. An Army criminal probe began a day later. Two days after that, the U.S. Central Command disclosed in a press release that "an investigation has been initiated into reported incidents of detainee abuse at a Coalition Forces detention facility." By March 20, Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt was able to announce in Baghdad that criminal charges had been brought against six soldiers in the probe.

By the end of January, meanwhile, Major General Antonio Taguba was appointed to conduct his separate "administrative" probe of procedures at Abu Ghraib. It is his report, complete with its incriminating photos, that is the basis for the past week's news reports. The press didn't break this story based on months of sleuthing but was served up the results of the Army's own investigation.

By February, the Secretary of the Army had ordered the service's inspector general to assess the doctrine and training for detention operations within all of CentCom. A month after that, another probe began into Army Reserve training, especially military police and intelligence. Those reports will presumably also be leaked and reported on, or at least they will be if they reach negative conclusions.

This is a cover-up? Unlike the Catholic bishops, some corporate boards and the editors of the New York Times or USA Today, the military brass did not dismiss early allegations of bad behavior. Instead, it established reviews and procedures that have uncovered the very details that are now used by critics to indict the Pentagon "system."

more at the link.


pinky


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible? [Re: taco]
    #2650763 - 05/07/04 06:13 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

taco said:
Given the choice, which would you choose:

1. a 95% chance that nobody will ever find out about this very shameful thing, so let's just sweep it under the carpet and act like it never happened (come on, it's not like we haven't done that before, with, ironically, the same results)



It's going to get out somehow. Maybe not to the American public, but you can bet Al Jazeera would do everything they could to expose it.

Quote:

2. admitting it and apologizing to all involved parties. You think the Arabs would be like "Oh, yeah, that's cool, we know how it gets"? No, they wouldn't. They would be just as pissed off as they are now, except before, there was at least a CHANCE they wouldn't find out. Now, they ask questions about our accountability to officers and how fit we are to supervise a pig sty, let alone enemy prisoners.



Of course they'd be pissed off. What we should have done is actually DEALT with the people abusing the prisoners. I know that this is a foreign concept to some people, but usually the correct thing to do in situations like this is actually PUNISH the people doing it and put a stop to it. Crazy idea, huh?


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


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Re: Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible? [Re: Swami]
    #2650774 - 05/07/04 06:16 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

:lol:


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
illusion

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Re: Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible? [Re: Phred]
    #2650812 - 05/07/04 06:27 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

you're the one who needs to do some research and maybe keep up with the news a little more. no one's denying that there was an ongoing investigation. what Swami is referring to is that Rumsfeld had not read Army Major General Antonio Taguba's report on abuses at Abu Ghraib because he had better things to do. and your article just confirms what Swami said -

from the article:
"By the end of January, meanwhile, Major General Antonio Taguba was appointed to conduct his separate "administrative" probe of procedures at Abu Ghraib. It is his report, complete with its incriminating photos, that is the basis for the past week's news reports."

Rumsfeld didn't read this report until AFTER the pictures were released...


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #2650824 - 05/07/04 06:33 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

infidelGOD writes:

no one's denying that there was an ongoing investigation.

No one other than Swami is denying it, and my reply was to Swami. To save you the trouble of re-reading Swami's post, let me cut and paste the statement of his I was replying to:

Quote:

He could not deny having the file so in order to rationalize why no previous investigation nor public apology until AFTER the press releases the pictures...




Hope that clears things up for you.

pinky


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible? [Re: Phred]
    #2650913 - 05/07/04 07:07 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

nice. quoting out of context to try to save face.. real nice.
I guess you missed this part:

Quote:

Rummy admits having had the files on prisoner abuse since January, but never "got around" to looking at it.




can we put two and two together?

if he had files on prisoner abuse since January, then obviously there was some kind of investigation going on. when put in it's proper context it's clear that Swami was talking about there being no public investigation, or should I say - a public revelation of the ongoing investigations. in fact, the government attempted to prevent CBS from broadcasting those pictures.

here's some more CONTEXT from Swami's post:
Quote:

Like a thief in the dark, you make your plea when the bright light of day shines down on you and there is no more corner to hide in




this quote makes clear that he knew there were ongoing internal and administrative investigations. His point was that Rumsfeld didn't offer an apology or an explanation until AFTER the pictures were released to the PUBLIC, either because he really didn't know what was going on until this week (in which case he's completely irresponsible) or because he was trying to suppress the facts (in which case he's a liar).

hope that clears things up for you.


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
illusion

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Re: Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible? [Re: Phred]
    #2650944 - 05/07/04 07:17 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Swami, have you actually done any research into this? Like maybe looking for a timeline of events? This is old news. The allegations of abuse were reported long ago. The investigations into the allegations were initiated long ago. The photos hit the public eye recently, yes. But that's all that's new.

hey thanks for bringing that up!
you're helping Swami make his point :lol:

"The photos hit the public eye recently, yes. But that's all that's new"

yes EXACTLY!!! that WAS THE POINT!!!
it's been known for months that there have been abuses in Iraqi prisons, but there were no apologies or public revelations, but as soon as the pictures come out, it's raining apologies!


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #2651052 - 05/07/04 07:45 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

So then you and Swami (since you are speakng for Swami now) do not deny that the military was investigating the problem and was trying to put an end to prisoner abuse?


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible? [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2651529 - 05/07/04 10:20 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

No American military body is "trying to put an end to prisoner abuse" in Gitmo BECAUSE NO PICTURES ARE LEAKING OUT due to better security and threat of court martial, not more compassion.


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The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleJellric
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Re: Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible? [Re: Swami]
    #2652064 - 05/08/04 01:32 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Damn those pesky cameras!


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I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #2652431 - 05/08/04 03:26 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

infidelGOD writes:

nice. quoting out of context to try to save face.. real nice.

What are you talking about, "out of context"? Swami explicitly claimed there was no investigation until AFTER (Swami's own emphasis on "after", you will notice) the photos were shown to the public by the press.

Now, maybe you are capable of reading Swami's mind and you therefore know that this isn't really what he meant to say. If you can read minds, I suggest you go to the S&P forum and take Swami up on one of his challenges. Make some money off him.

But see, I am incapable of reading minds, so I have to read what is written.

when put in it's proper context it's clear that Swami was talking about there being no public investigation, or should I say - a public revelation of the ongoing investigations.

Here's a hint. A revelation is not an investigation. An apology is not an investigation either. But an investigation is an investigation. It need not be a public investigation to be an investigation.

This is nuts. Why do you have such a wild hair up your ass? Swami made a msisstatement. I called him on it. Not the first time. Probably won't be the last. Deal with it. Move on.

pinky


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible? [Re: Phred]
    #2652549 - 05/08/04 04:32 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

There are investigations and investigations. Having been in the US Navy and personally witnessing cover-ups in two different peace-time deaths and having been through three contrived Captain's Masts myself (a form of at-sea court martial) on drummed up charges for reporting safety violations which got one man killed, I have some insight into the military investigating itself. FYI, I was exonerated on all charges (because I learned how to protect myself in advance through impeccable record-keeping and letters to my Congressmen) except one: disrespect to a senior petty officer. The career officer banged a billy club on my metal rack near my head at 3AM for no reason other then to provoke. I cursed him out.

Both families of the deceased were lied to as to exact cause of death. An entire department's leave in Tahiti was cancelled due to "non-standard maintenance". These guys had to work seven days a week, 12-16 hours a day until they pulled their collective request for a Congressional investigation into one of their shipmates deaths. The crime: smoking pot. Punishment: drowning. As soon as the paperwork was pulled; the department was on the beach, getting drunk and laid.

So in one sense you are correct about the on-going investigation, but yet notice that Congress is not calling for an update of the in-progress investigation of which you speak, but a "real one" or at least one with outside overseers. That is the investigation to which I am referring, not some "sweep-shit-under-the-rug" type of inconclusive self policing.

Hell, the Marines were aware of abuse in basic training for decades, but it took families of recruits who were beaten to death and OUTSIDE INVESTIGATIONS to put a stop to the most dangerous practices.


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible? [Re: Swami]
    #2652574 - 05/08/04 04:47 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

I hope this gives America a good taste of American millitary culture that we won't forget for a while.

Some kind of external controlls need to be placed on our military.

Quote:

The crime: smoking pot. Punishment: drowning.




Can you elaborate on how they drowned?


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
illusion

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Re: Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible? [Re: Phred]
    #2652691 - 05/08/04 07:03 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

What are you talking about, "out of context"?

I'm talking about reading the whole post and understanding what is being said. that an "administrative probe of procedures" is not the same as a full-blown public investigation, which is only being conducted now that those pictures have been made public. you do understand the difference don't you? in the 80's and 90's the LAPD routinely conducted internal investigations into police brutality, but none of it meant a thing until the video of the Rodney King beating came out. then, and only then did the REAL investigation begin.

if those pictures from the prison had never come out, do you think those soldiers would be facing the kind of punishment that they are facing now? do you think that president Bush would be offering apologies in interviews with the Arab press? do you think there would have been the kind of congressional hearings that we saw yesterday? (I assume you saw it). the fact that an investigation is public makes all the difference in the world - it doesn't take a genius to figure it out.

an investigation is an investigation

ah, more of your inane literalism... how refreshing. try this on for size - an investigation is NOT an investigation - just because you call something an investigation does not mean that you are interested in the truth. I actually remember reading the news report that came out in January - it was a brief item buried somewhere in page A16 and didn't really reveal the extent of the abuses in Iraq. and the most disturbing thing about this whole episode is that the administration actually called CBS to try to dissuade them from broadcasting those pictures. why did they do that? what difference does it make if an investigation is made public? an investigation is an investigation? right?

Swami made a msisstatement. I called him on it. Not the first time. Probably won't be the last. Deal with it. Move on.

there was no misstatement, you just misinterpreted it, because apparently, you are incapable of reading nuance or context. not the first time, won't be the last.


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
illusion

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Re: Rumsfeld - liar or irresponsible? [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2652703 - 05/08/04 07:23 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

do not deny that the military was investigating the problem and was trying to put an end to prisoner abuse?

I don't deny that there were internal probes, reports and whatnot. but I don't think that they were too interested in fully investigating the abuses or prosecuting the offenders until their hand was forced by the release of the pictures (which the administration tried to suppress). and now that the pictures have been released, I bet they are really trying to put an end to prisoner abuse.

that's why in the end, the release of those pictures is a good thing - it just might shame the military enough to make them clean up their act and prevent future abuse.

one more thing: those soldiers in the pictures were not professional soldiers, they were reservists - weekend warriors who didn't have the proper training in handling prisoners. they obviously didn't have a clue about the geneva convention or basic human decency. you have to ask yourself why didn't they have the proper training? who allowed this to happen? their immediate superiors? the secretary of defense? there will be various scapegoats along the chain of command but who is ultimately responsible for this?


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OfflinePhred
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Good grief! [Re: infidelGOD]
    #2652747 - 05/08/04 08:16 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

infidleGOD writes:

I'm talking about reading the whole post and understanding what is being said. that an "administrative probe of procedures" is not the same as a full-blown public investigation, which is only being conducted now that those pictures have been made public.

So now we will have a second investigation in addition to the fullblown investigation that resulted in six criminal charges being laid by March 20th. The same investigation that was provided to the press. The same investigation that unearthed the photos being shown, that provided the names of the soldiers involved.

if those pictures from the prison had never come out, do you think those soldiers would be facing the kind of punishment that they are facing now?

Are those soldiers abusing prisoners today? Were they abusing prisoners after January 13? What kind of punishment do you believe they should receive? Is being tried in court not sufficient for you? Are they even entitled to a trial before the punishment is meted out?

do you think that president Bush would be offering apologies in interviews with the Arab press?

Is an apology the same as an investigation? Nope. Will the troops, if convicted, be given a different sentence because Bush apologized? Where in the law does it say that sentences in criminal trials are contingent on presidential apologies to Arabs?

the fact that an investigation is public makes all the difference in the world - it doesn't take a genius to figure it out.

I don't understand. What procedural differences in the trial of those who have had criminal charges laid against them occur when the results of an investigation are made public vs. when they are not? Do they not get to defend themselves or something? Are they allowed to defend themselves but not have legal representation present?

What you still seem unable to comprehend is that the press didn't dig this stuff up on their own. They got the information and the photos handed to them on a platter. Did you actually bother to read the link I provided? Or even to read the excerpt from the report I provided in my first post? Here, let me save you the trouble of scrolling back up --

Quote:

By the end of January, meanwhile, Major General Antonio Taguba was appointed to conduct his separate "administrative" probe of procedures at Abu Ghraib. It is his report, complete with its incriminating photos, that is the basis for the past week's news reports. The press didn't break this story based on months of sleuthing but was served up the results of the Army's own investigation.




This is a coverup? How the fuck would it be possible for this investigation to be any more public than it is already? Answer me that, infidelGOD. What more do you want, fa cryin' out loud?

try this on for size - an investigation is NOT an investigation - just because you call something an investigation does not mean that you are interested in the truth.

What, now you're telling me these photos are fakes?

and the most disturbing thing about this whole episode is that the administration actually called CBS to try to dissuade them from broadcasting those pictures. why did they do that?

Ummm.... maybe because they thought it might make life a bit more dangerous for the troops serving in Iraq if the "Arab Street" were finally able to point to something factual rather than made up out of thin air?

what difference does it make if an investigation is made public? an investigation is an investigation? right?

Now I'm confused. We know the press has access to the entire report of the investigation. They government first gave them everything, and only after having done so did they appeal to the (non-existent) common sense of the press to try to dissuade them -- not to force them, mind you, but to dissuade them -- from airing the inflammatory photos. Just exactly what is it that you believe the government has done wrong here? I ask again...
Quote:

This is a cover-up? Unlike the Catholic bishops, some corporate boards and the editors of the New York Times or USA Today, the military brass did not dismiss early allegations of bad behavior. Instead, it established reviews and procedures that have uncovered the very details that are now used by critics to indict the Pentagon "system."




there was no misstatement...

Yeah there was. Anyone who can read can verify this for themselves. You apparently can't read, so you can't recognize it. Not my fault. Whaddya wanna do here? Take a poll to ask everyone how this simple declarative sentence...
Quote:

He could not deny having the file so in order to rationalize why no previous investigation nor public apology until AFTER the press releases the pictures, he claims that he had more imporant things to do than read some silly file.


... should be interpreted?



pinky


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
illusion

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Re: Good grief! [Re: Phred]
    #2652808 - 05/08/04 09:43 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

What kind of punishment do you believe they should receive? Is being tried in court not sufficient for you? Are they even entitled to a trial before the punishment is meted out?

huh? I'm not calling for harsher punishment, simply stating the degree of their punishment is probably related to the release of the photos. as I indicated, I think that those soldiers are being scapegoated now that all this has come out in public.

Is an apology the same as an investigation? Nope. Will the troops, if convicted, be given a different sentence because Bush apologized? Where in the law does it say that sentences in criminal trials are contingent on presidential apologies to Arabs?

I didn't say any of these things. try to stay on topic please.

I don't understand. What procedural differences in the trial of those who have had criminal charges laid against them occur when the results of an investigation are made public vs. when they are not?

no. you obviously don't understand. I never said there were any procedural differences, so please stop putting words in my mouth (another one of your debating tactics) and try to address the points I make. do you honestly think that there isn't any more political pressure for harsher punishments now that those photos have been made public? do you think that the release of those photos made no difference in the investigation?

What you still seem unable to comprehend is that the press didn't dig this stuff up on their own. They got the information and the photos handed to them on a platter

handed to them on a platter? ok, so now the military wanted these photos to be released? come on pinky, you should really do some research before posting - the Taguba report was completed in March and later leaked to the press (Donald Rumsfeld didn't get around to reading it until after the pictures came out) and the details of the case were not known to the public until just last week. please get your facts straight.

This is a coverup?

I never said it was (again, try not to misrepresent my position, please). as I said, I read about this months ago. there were reports of prisoner abuse in Iraq, but very little detail. not exactly a coverup, but the government wasn't exactly forthcoming with the information either.

How the fuck would it be possible for this investigation to be any more public than it is already?

well it certainly is public now.

What, now you're telling me these photos are fakes?

huh? did you read that correctly? maybe you misinterpreted?

Ummm.... maybe because they thought it might make life a bit more dangerous for the troops serving in Iraq if the "Arab Street" were finally able to point to something factual rather than made up out of thin air?

ah, the exact same excuse offered up by Rummy during the senate hearings.. how predictable. I guess you got around to reading the transcripts. by this reasoning, wouldn't it be justifiable to suppress any and all reports of misconduct by US military personnel? we wouldn't want to inflame the Arab street now do we? and how funny is it that NOW you (and Rummy) would consider the consequences of inflaming the arabs? - oh the hypocrisy!

Now I'm confused. We know the press has access to the entire report of the investigation. They government first gave them everything, and only after having done so did they appeal to the (non-existent) common sense of the press to try to dissuade them -- not to force them, mind you, but to dissuade them -- from airing the inflammatory photos. Just exactly what is it that you believe the government has done wrong here? I ask again...

again, you need to get your facts straight (and please don't rely on opinion columns for that). but I will answer your last question - the thing I find distasteful is the torrent of disingenuous apologies coming from the administration now that these photos have been made public. had these photos been kept secret, no apologies would have been forthcoming and there would not have been any congressional hearings. in short, most Americans would still be in the dark. whether you acknowledge it or not, the truth is that something becoming public makes a huge difference.

how this simple declarative sentence...
Quote:

He could not deny having the file so in order to rationalize why no previous investigation nor public apology until AFTER the press releases the pictures, he claims that he had more imporant things to do than read some silly file.


...should be interpreted?

in context.


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
illusion

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A Sorry State [Re: infidelGOD]
    #2652858 - 05/08/04 10:24 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

A Sorry State
by Chris Strohm

http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=express&s=strohm050604
_______________________________________________________

Last week, Jacob Levy, wrote a piece for TNR Online arguing that the genre of meaningful apology was nearly dead in American politics. Apologies, he argued, gradually became delinked from real consequences over the last few decades. And he pointed out that President Bush and members of his administration have apparently decided to stop apologizing for anything at all.

That was before news of the abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq became public. If ever circumstances called for a sincere, meaningful, adept apology from a commander-in-chief, this is it. The only way to undo the damage of Abu Ghraib is to convince the Arab world that the incident was an aberration, that the U.S. government accepts responsibility, and that we will make things right. And it's not just Bush who could benefit America's long-term interests by accepting responsibility and showing contrition; strong apologies from cabinet secretaries, military figures, spokesmen, even senators--anything to convince Iraqis that our regret is real--would also seem to be appropriate, and strategically wise.

Unfortunately, the last few days have largely proved Levy's thesis correct. The truth is, U.S. government officials, with a few notable exceptions, just aren't very good at accepting responsibility honorably, even when the success of U.S. foreign policy is riding on their ability to do so. Herewith, ranked from best to worst, are how some of our key civilian and military leaders apologized (or more often didn't) to the Iraqi people for Abu Ghraib:

Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt
Kimmitt, spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority, yesterday gave the most sincere apology of any American to date: "My Army's been embarrassed by this," he said. "My Army's been shamed by this. And on behalf of my Army, I apologize for what those soldiers did to your citizens. It was reprehensible and it was unacceptable. And it is more than just words, that we have to take those words into action and ensure that never happens again. And we will make a full-faith effort to ensure that never happens again."

Army Major General Geoffrey D. Miller
Miller, who was brought in last month to replace Brigadier General Janis Karpinski as the superintendent of prisons, also directly apologized to Iraqis Wednesday. "I would like to personally apologize to the people of Iraq for the actions of the small number of leaders and soldiers who violated our policy and may have committed criminal acts. We are investigating those acts as rampantly as possible and will bring those responsible to the bar of justice."

Both Miller and Kimmitt get extra credit for their compelling use of the second person in addressing Iraqis directly--rather than talking generally about how terrible the abuses were, as others have done.

President George W. Bush
In interviews with Al-Arabiya and Al Hurra satellite television networks yesterday, Bush said the actions were "abhorrent" but offered no apology. "We've discovered these abuses. They're abhorrent abuses," he said during the Al Hurra interview. "The actions of these few people do not reflect the hearts of the American people. The American people are just as appalled at what they have seen on TV as Iraqi citizens have. The Iraqi citizens must understand that."

Bush's statement falls short on a few counts. First, he didn't apologize. (Of course, as we know, he never does.) Then, rather than speaking to Iraqis directly, he spoke about them in the third person: "The Iraqi citizens must understand that." Sounds more like a command than an expression of contrition.

Finally, worse than not bothering to apologize himself, Bush let his spokesman apologize for him. "We've already said that we're sorry for what occurred and we're deeply sorry to the families and what they must be feeling and going through as well," Scott McClellan said later in the day. "The president is sorry for what occurred and the pain that it has caused."

Reporters pointed out that Bush hadn't actually apologized. "The president is deeply sorry," McClellan restated. "I'm saying it for him right now." Well, that settles it.

Colin Powell
Powell pulled the exact same move as Bush--declining to apologize, and letting his spokesman do it for him. "We are all terribly distressed and shocked by those photos and by what those photos said about the manner in which the troops there were doing their job," he said. "And as you've heard the president, you've heard Secretary Rumsfeld, myself and others say, it's unacceptable. We are a nation that believes in justice. We are a nation that's governed by the rule of law, and nowhere is that more the case than in the armed forces of the United States."

On Saturday, Powell's spokesman, Richard Boucher, had offered the State Department's apology, saving his boss the indignity of having to do it himself. Boucher told The Boston Globe that the United States is "very sorry" that the abuse occurred, and will do everything in its "power to make sure it doesn't happen again."

John Kerry
Kerry ranks low on this list because, given the chance to show how he might have handled this situation better than his rival, he simply demurred. He was, to be sure, critical. "The horrifying abuse of Iraqi prisoners, which the world has now seen, is absolutely unacceptable and inexcusable," he said. "And the response of the administration, certainly the Pentagon, has been slow and inappropriate." But he remained noncommittal when pressed by reporters on whether Bush should apologize to the Iraqi people or whether he would apologize if he were president. He said the investigation first needs to determine how high up the chain of command responsibility goes. "The person who speaks on behalf of [the United States], the president of the United States, needs to offer the world an explanation and needs to take appropriate responsibility," he said. "And if that includes apologizing for the behavior of those soldiers and what happened, we ought to do to that."

Joe Lieberman
Not to be outdone by Kerry, Lieberman went ahead and made himself an apologist for Bush's failure to apologize. Asked about Bush's remarks, he said: "It sure seemed to me that the tone of all of this was that we regret it. It was effectively an apology."

Donald Rumsfeld
Never the best at owning up to mistakes, Rumsfeld seems to believe that an apology from the United States should be assumed or implied. When prompted for an apology, Rumsfeld gave one of his typical responses: "Oh my goodness. Anyone, any American who sees the photographs that we have seen has to feel apologetic to the Iraqi people who were abused, and recognize that that is something that is unacceptable and certainly un-American." It's as if he's saying that what took place was so terrible, so obviously worthy of an apology, that it would be beneath him to actually offer one. Classic Rumsfeld logic. End result: no apology.

Brigadier General Janis Karpinski
The most blatant failure to apologize has come from the person who probably should be taking the most responsibility. Karpinski, who was in charge of the prison system when the abuses occurred, has not apologized and even resists accepting blame for the incident. "I certainly take the responsibility for some of this because those soldiers were assigned to a company under my command," she told CNN on Tuesday. "Blame? I don't think that the blame rests with me or with the 800th MP Brigade. In fact it's unfair because we had 3,400 soldiers and 16 facilities and this was the only facility where interrogation operations were taking place and this is the only facility where there were infractions."

To be fair, Karpinski is clearly parsing her words in order to minimize whatever legal trouble she may face. And yet surely she could manage a bit more humility, a bit more contrition. Then again, we live in a moment in American politics when few will apologize for anything. Perhaps Karpinski is just taking her cues from everyone else.


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