Saturday, August 27, 2005

Weekend Drive By: Pavlov's Fall Dogs

From Truthout (with a hand salute to Suburban Guerilla):

Former Brigadier General Janet Karpinski spills the beans on Rummy's and Major General Miller's role in the Abu Ghraib fiasco.
[Karpinski said], "The most pronounced difference was when Miller came to visit. He came right after Rumsfeld's visit ... And he said that he was going to use a template from Guantánamo Bay to 'Gitmo-ize' the operations out at Abu Ghraib."

These torture techniques were being implemented and used down at Guantánamo Bay and, of course, now we have lots of statements that say they were used in Afghanistan as well," Karpinski said. Although Miller has sworn he was just an "advisor," Miller told Karpinski he wanted Abu Ghraib. Karpinski replied, "Abu Ghraib is not mine to give to you. It belongs to Ambassador Bremer. It is going to be turned over to the Iraqis." Miller replied, "No it is not. I want that facility and Rick Sanchez [subsequently given his fourth star and placed in charge of Southern Command] said I can have any facility I want." Karpinski said, "Miller obviously had the full authority of somebody, you know, likely Cambone or Rumsfeld in Washington, DC."

...The first [Karpinski] heard about the torture was on January 12, 2004. She was never allowed to speak to the people who had worked on the night shift. She "was told by Colonel Warren, the JAG officer for General Sanchez, that they weren't assigned to me, that they were not under my control, and I really had no right to see them."

...When Karpinski inquired, "What's this about photographs?" the sergeant replied, "Ma'am, we've heard something about photographs, but I have no idea. Nobody has any details, and Ma'am, if anybody knows, nobody is talking." When Karpinski asked to see the log books, the sergeant told her that the Criminal Investigation Division had taken everything except for something on a pole outside the little office they were using.

"It was a memorandum signed by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, authorizing a short list, maybe 6 or 8 techniques: use of dogs; stress positions; loud music; deprivation of food; keeping the lights on, those kinds of things," Karpinski said. "And then a handwritten message over to the side that appeared to be the same handwriting as the signature, and that signature was Secretary Rumsfeld's. And it said, 'Make sure this happens' with two exclamation points. And that was the only thing they had. Everything else had been confiscated."

Karpinski tried to get information, but "nobody knew anything, nobody - at least, that's what they were claiming. The Company Commander, Captain Reese, was tearful in my office and repeatedly told me he knew nothing about it, knew nothing about it," Karpinski said. But in a later plea bargain he entered into after the Taguba Report came out, "Captain Reese said that not only did he know about it, but he was told not to report it to his chain of command, and he was told that by Colonel Pappas. And he claimed that he saw General Sanchez out there on several occasions witnessing the torture of some of the security detainees."

To date, Karpinski is the only officer to have been punished over Torturegate, having been administratively demoted to Colonel.

The only folks convicted on criminal charges have been enlisted personnel.

My keyboard gently weeps.


  1. Barndog5:35 AM

    CMDR Huber -

    Interesting that your found the 'only enlisted have been found guilty of criminal charges' -little tidbit of information 'slightly stunning'.

    My use of the occasional tautological redundancy, (or your common pleonasm) is only here to make your brain work better.

    Ah well, some of us only wish for the days when the UCMJ was applied uniformly and fairly across the ranks. Guess that shit doesn't happen anymore in BushWorld!!!

    Semper FI, Sir

  2. Barndog;

    Thanks for stopping by.

    I"m of two minds on just how stunning this is. In normal times, I'd find it unbelievable. In neocon-times, I find it normal.