31 May 2005 - Tuesday
Generally accepted techniques
This is a few days old, but I just saw it for the first time: "In U.S. Report, Brutal Details of 2 Afghan Inmates' Deaths," by Tim Golden.
The New York Times describes a recent army investigation into two deaths of persons not protected by the Geneva Conventions:
Last October, the Army's Criminal Investigation Command concluded that there was probable cause to charge 27 officers and enlisted personnel with criminal offenses in the Dilawar case ranging from dereliction of duty to maiming and involuntary manslaughter. Fifteen of the same soldiers were also cited for probable criminal responsibility in the Habibullah case.Via The Scope.
So far, only the seven soldiers have been charged, including four last week.
Military spokesmen maintained that both men had died of natural causes, even after military coroners had ruled the deaths homicides. Two months after those autopsies, the American commander in Afghanistan, then-Lt. Gen. Daniel K. McNeill, said he had no indication that abuse by soldiers had contributed to the two deaths. The methods used at Bagram, he said, were "in accordance with what is generally accepted as interrogation techniques."
"I've seen similar injuries in an individual run over by a bus," [said] Lt. Col. Elizabeth Rouse, the coroner, and a major at that time.
Sergeant Yonushonis described what he had witnessed of the detainee's last interrogation. "I remember being so mad that I had trouble speaking," he said.
He also added a detail that had been overlooked in the investigative file. By the time Mr. Dilawar was taken into his final interrogations, he said, "most of us were convinced that the detainee was innocent."
Now, for entertaining commentary on a slightly different topic, here's Rush Limbaugh (27 May 2005):
I'll tell you what, folks. one of the things that gets really frustrating is when I hear anybody -- I don't care what party they're from or ideology they're from -- say, "I am concerned about America's image in the world." Well, can I tell you something? I'm not concerned about our image in the world. I'm going to raise my hand. "I am not concerned about our image in the world, because right now, we got priorities that supersede our image and one of them is national security and the protection of the future of the country." That doesn't mean I'm not interested in our image around the world, but I think I know what it already is. Our image around the world is pretty damned good. Our image around the world is one that's great; you're just listening to the wrong people.