Saturday, March 05, 2005

The U.S. Army and the Recommended Policy of Illegal Behavior

Site of Reference:

The Washington Post is reporting of an attempted cover-up on behalf of the U.S. Army, “An Army intelligence sergeant who accused fellow soldiers in Samarra, Iraq, of abusing detainees in 2003 was in turn accused by his commander of being delusional and ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation in Germany, despite a military psychiatrist's initial judgment that the man was stable, according to internal Army records released yesterday.” So don’t shoot the messenger, just accuse him of being insane. Previously in the detainee abuse scandal it was “determined” that the soldiers acted alone and without the knowledge of their superior officers. The Washington Post reports, “Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, asked about detainee abuse yesterday on CNN's "Wolf Blitzer Reports," said he was not surprised. Gonzales said that he presumed the military used lawful interrogation techniques but that "sometimes people do things that they shouldn't do. People are imperfect . . . and so the fact that abuses occur, they're unfortunate but I'm not sure that they should be viewed as surprising." Asking Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales for advice on the proper use of detainees is ridiculous. It would seem that no act of treachery is out of bounds in the U.S. Army these days if you are of necessary rank. The overextended Army that will soon march into Syria and Iran is as full of criminal acts as the time spent in Vietnam.
The reporting continues, “The soldier had angered his commander by urging the unit's redeployment from the military base to prevent what the soldier feared would be the death of one or more detainees under interrogation, according to the documents. He told his commander three members of the counterintelligence team had hit detainees, pulled their hair, tried to asphyxiate them and staged mock executions with pistols pointed at the detainees' heads.” The very same tactics used against our men or women in Iraq would be labeled as a war crime, but since President Bush seems to think he Geneva Convention doesn’t apply to torture, (Perhaps he should have someone read the article to him) we can expect more treatment of our soldiers in this way and then we can all be very subtly shocked and bewildered as to why.
But the violent acts and criminal behavior do not stop there. The practice of documenting these acts has become vogue in the military these days. The site shows photos taken by American soldiers of decapitated bodies of Iraqi’s and are cruelly labeled with gruesome comments as if it were all a game. When you read of the detestable act of Iraqi insurgents posting videos of beheadings and other acts of torture it is criticized from all corners of the earth, especially in the White House briefing room. The same acts are being posted on the web, mailed and handed around by the troops and should be denounced as something more than a “few bad apples.” The Washington post reports, “In another case detailed in the Army files, soldiers in a Florida National Guard unit deployed near Ramadi in 2003 compiled a 20-minute video that depicted a soldier kicking a wounded detainee in the face and chest in the presence of 10 colleagues and soldiers positioning a dead insurgent to appear to wave hello. The video was found in a soldier's computer files under the heading "Ramadi Madness," and it initially prompted military lawyers to recommend charges of assault with battery and dereliction of duty for tampering with a corpse.” The unit commander attempts a feeble case for these acts, “The unit's commander told Army investigators he was concerned about the images becoming public and promised to take steps to "minimize the risk of this and other videos that may end up in the media."
Turn a blind eye and you get what you deserve but I don’t think this is a blind eye. I think this behavior is authorized and is only deemed inappropriate when it is made public. How far the U.S. military will have to go to clear its name is unforeseen. The nation’s character is ruined around the world and our days as a world power may be in serious jeopardy.
- Chris Mansel

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