Threeformer members of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division say soldiers in theirbattalion in Iraq routinely beat and abused prisoners in 2003 and 2004 tohelp gather intelligence on the insurgency and to amuse themselves.
Thenew allegations, the first involving members of the elite 82nd Airborne,are contained in a report by Human Rights Watch. The 30-page report doesnot identify the troops, but one is Capt. Ian Fishback, who has presented some of his allegations in letters this month to top aides of two seniorRepublicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee, John W. Warner of Virginia,the chairman, and John McCain of Arizona. Captain Fishback approached the Senators' offices only after he tried to report the allegations to his superiors for 17 months, the aides said. The aides also said they found the captain's accusations credible enough to warrant investigation.
AsI've said before, the biggest casualty of our War on Terror has been the Department of Defense in general and the United States Army specifically.
First, we (and the rest of the world) have seen that our "best-trained,best-equipped, best-funded" force is not trained, equipped, or funded tofight and win the kind of war it's fighting now. Second, the various agenciesof the military have been caught telling us too many lies (Abu Ghraib, PatTillman, etc.). Third, as Captain Fishback's case illustrates, the chainof command has been corrupted. The source of this behavior, and the subsequent cover-up, goes clear back to the office of the Secretary of Defense.
Finally, our military appears to have transformed into the armed branch of the neoconservative core of the Republican Party.
Is there any way to clean this house without pulling down the entire structure?