Thursday, October 06, 2005

Military prisoner (abuse) issue

This is encouraging. Senator McCain responds to Captain Fishback's letter.

Several weeks ago I received a letter from Captain Ian Fishback, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, and a veteran of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. Over 17 months he struggled to get answers from his chain of command to a basic question: what standards apply to the treatment of enemy detainees? But he found no answers. In his remarkable letter, he pleads with Congress, asking us to take action, to establish standards, to clear up the confusion – not for the good of the terrorists, but for the good of our soldiers and our country. The Captain closes his letter by saying, “I strongly urge you to do justice to your men and women in uniform. Give them clear standards of conduct that reflect the ideals they risk their lives for.” I believe that the Congress has a responsibility to answer this call – a call that has come not just from this one brave soldier but from so many of our men and women in uniform.

I linked to the letter Monday.
Thanks Josh Claybourn for noticing.
The comments thread reflects the snark to serious range of reactions to the debate. Most people are either in denial or ignorance about the issue. This is a snip that I like.
There is pretty compelling evidence that what happened at Abu Ghraib was not just a few rogue underlings doing what they wanted to do without adequate supervision, but was instead a case of the folks at the bottom following orders from above as part of official policy. It's also quite clear that what went on there was far more serious than what the public has been shown so far, hence the furious reaction to the judge ordering the release of the rest of the photographs. Whenever you hear hysterical complaints about how exposing what the government has done will "undermine the war on terror" and "give aid and comfort to the enemy", you can be damn sure that you're looking at a government frantic to cover up what they've done.

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