In this case, that would be our friend, West Virginia's own reservist and designated fall-gal Pfc. Lynndie England, who just caught possibly the break of her life, or at least the next eleven years of it, as Army Col. Pohl, the judge advocate in charge of the kangaroo court set up to bring scapegoats of our empire to some perverse notion of justice whereby those responsible escape punishment in favor of the peons they order around, Col. Pohl declared a mistrial and Pfc. England withdrew her guilty plea.
The reason was something I have been hinting at for quite a while: the orders Pfc. England had, to lead a detainee around on a leash and pose for pictures, were not on their face illegal (compare and contrast orders to shoot anything that moves on site, such as vehicles carrying left-wing independent Italian journalists and Italian intelligence agents, or more to the point, unarmed civilians in front of you). Pfc. England's immediate superior, ex-boyfriend and father of her infant child, ex-Sergeant Charles Graner, testified that Lynch did not know what she did was wrong.
Colonel Pohl may finally have done what I have been hoping would happen for some time: step in and stop this God damned whitewash where only powerless NCO's take the fall, and any officers (or, say, Secretaries of Defense) escape all responsibility for what is clearly their own actions. Maybe. At least in this one little case, the military decided to protect its own. Maybe.
We'll see how this transpires. Col. Pohl gave a tongue-lashing to defense counsel for participating in the charade of letting Lynndie face the next 11 years in jail when she seemed to have a damned good defense to the charges against her. We'll see. There may well be Americans who are war criminals associated with "Operation Iraqi Freedom". But I'll bet dollars to donuts that damned few of them are in uniform, and even fewer of those are NCO's and grunts.
That is all.
I'd really like to know (and it didn't come out at HIS trial) who led Graner to believe that such behavior was sanctioned, and who led THAT individual to believe the same, and so on. I continue to believe that it starts at GWB and Cheney and Rummy, filters down through Al Gonzales to Tommy Franks and Ricardo Sanchez, and finally to the majors and captains who tell the grunts what to do.
Posted by Linkmeister at May 4, 2005 9:47 PM
...whereby those responsible escape punishment in favor of the peons they order around...
Where's the evidence of this? I know you guys hate W and Rummy, so you'd like to see them take the fall, but it's really ridiculous to think the President and SecDef are personally responsible for every action taken by US armed forces personnel. If there's any evidence showing they ordered the humiliation, let's hear it.
As it is, England confessed that what she did was for the amusement of her and her fellow soldiers. The General in charge of the prison should face some serious penalties, though. After all, the oversight in her command was sorely lacking.
Posted by Lawrence at May 4, 2005 10:15 PM
Lawrence, I was in the Navy, as was my father. The Commanding Officer is ultimately responsible.
Bush, Cheney et. al. created an atmosphere in which this behavior was at least winked at, if not encouraged, and for that they should be accountable.
Posted by Linkmeister at May 5, 2005 3:06 AM
I was in the Navy and the Army. I guess CinC Bill Clinton was responsible for every crime committed by US servicemembers back then, being the bad example that he was, winking at sexual misconduct, perjury, etc.
That makes no sense, so I'll ask again ...where's the evidence "Bush, Cheney et al" condoned the abuses at Abu Ghrai?
Posted by Lawrence at May 5, 2005 9:31 AM
Where's your cutoff for responsibility for what happened? Do you question whether the White House knew about this before the American public? Are you denying it happened?
Posted by Captain Paul Lyndy at May 5, 2005 1:59 PM
Posted by Lawrence at May 5, 2005 5:27 PM
That's weird. I'm not being allowed to post my response to Capt. Lyndy for "questionable content," even though there's nothing profane or otherwise questionable about it. Must be a glitch in TD's settings. I'll try again. . .
Posted by Lawrence at May 5, 2005 5:30 PM
Responsibility lies with the chain of command all the way up to General Karpinski (as well as the ones who perpetrated the abuses). She and her subordinate officers failed to maintain troop discipline and adequate supervision. She was the "captain of the ship," as the Linkmeister might say. The only way Pentagon or White House officials should be held responsible is if they knew about or should have known about the actions and did nothing to prevent them from occurring. So far there's no evidence of that, just wishful thinking on the part of Bush haters.
Posted by Lawrence at May 5, 2005 5:31 PM
I'm not denying that abuses occurred, if that's what you're asking, and I know the White House was aware of them before they became public -- the Army had been investagating (sic) the incidents four months before CBS "broke" the story.
Posted by Lawrence at May 5, 2005 5:32 PM
Ah, I've figured out what was wrong... for some reason "t i g" is considered "questionable content." Probably due to a spam filter setting. I purposely misspelled "investagating" to get by it.
Posted by Lawrence at May 5, 2005 5:35 PM
I admit, it would have to be a damn sophisticated spam filter to catch the questionable content in your posts, but judging from the comments that did get posted, it's not far off
Posted by julia at May 5, 2005 11:50 PM
Thank you Lawrence, you've done your country a great service.
Posted by Captain Paul Lyndy at May 6, 2005 1:05 PM
What is this? I am "Terrorist No. 3"
I even copyrighted it, and registered it around the world!!!
This makes me mad! Some pretender claims to be No. 3? No way.
Ooh, I just want to blow up something peaceful and non-threatening, yet yield massive civilian casualties.
Posted by Mohammed Ahmad Mohammed at May 6, 2005 1:10 PM
Posted by 3>>>>> at May 6, 2005 9:16 PM
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