I'm quite happy to see that the mainstream press hasn't let the Guantanamo-Abu Ghraib-Afghanistan prison abuses issue fall of the edge of the earth. In today's Washington Post Josh White describes how the Abu Ghraib tactics were first used at Guantanamo.
White draws his story from a recently released military investigation. "The report's findings are the strongest indication yet that the abusive practices seen in photographs at Abu Ghraib were not the invention of a small group of thrill-seeking military police officers," he writes. "The report shows that they were used on Qahtani several months before the United States invaded Iraq."
White also says the report "supports the idea" that interrogators thought use of hoods and sexual humiliation were "authorized" techniques.
The investigation also recommended that Major General Geoffrey Miller, who commanded the Guantanamo prison, be reprimanded for failure to properly supervise the interrogation of Mohamed Qahtani, the alleged "20th" 9-11 hijacker, but "General Bantz Craddock, head of the U.S. Southern Command, declined to follow the recommendation."
White and the military investigation also connect the dots between Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.
"Some Republicans, however, said the alleged abuses occurred in just a small fraction of cases. They noted that there have been 24,000 interrogations at Guantanamo Bay and highlighted recent improvements at the facility. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) called the Guantanamo abuse relatively 'minor incidents' that should not be a matter of national interest."
Should not be a matter of national interest. Sure, Pat, whatever you say.
Oh, did I forget to mention that the techniques used to interrogate Qahtani were approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld?
No, Pat, no national interest there.