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Mr. Rumsfeld's Responsibility (tomorrows WashPost oped)

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coda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:04 AM
Original message
Mr. Rumsfeld's Responsibility (tomorrows WashPost oped)





Mr. Rumsfeld's Responsibility

Thursday, May 6, 2004; Page A34


THE HORRIFIC abuses by American interrogators and guards at the Abu Ghraib prison and at other facilities maintained by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan can be traced, in part, to policy decisions and public statements of Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. Beginning more than two years ago, Mr. Rumsfeld decided to overturn decades of previous practice by the U.S. military in its handling of detainees in foreign countries. His Pentagon ruled that the United States would no longer be bound by the Geneva Conventions; that Army regulations on the interrogation of prisoners would not be observed; and that many detainees would be held incommunicado and without any independent mechanism of review. Abuses will take place in any prison system. But Mr. Rumsfeld's decisions helped create a lawless regime in which prisoners in both Iraq and Afghanistan have been humiliated, beaten, tortured and murdered -- and in which, until recently, no one has been held accountable.



The lawlessness began in January 2002 when Mr. Rumsfeld publicly declared that hundreds of people detained by U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan "do not have any rights" under the Geneva Conventions. That was not the case: At a minimum, all those arrested in the war zone were entitled under the conventions to a formal hearing to determine whether they were prisoners of war or unlawful combatants. No such hearings were held, but then Mr. Rumsfeld made clear that U.S. observance of the convention was now optional. Prisoners, he said, would be treated "for the most part" in "a manner that is reasonably consistent" with the conventions -- which, the secretary breezily suggested, was outdated.


<snip>


The Taguba report and others by human rights groups reveal that the detention system Mr. Rumsfeld oversees has become so grossly distorted that military police have abused or tortured prisoners under the direction of civilian contractors and intelligence officers outside the military chain of command -- not in "exceptional" cases, as Mr. Rumsfeld said Tuesday, but systematically. Army guards have held "ghost" prisoners detained by the CIA and even hidden these prisoners from the International Red Cross. Meanwhile, Mr. Rumsfeld's contempt for the Geneva Conventions has trickled down: The Taguba report says that guards at Abu Ghraib had not been instructed on them and that no copies were posted in the facility.


<snip>


On Monday Mr. Rumsfeld's spokesman said that the secretary had not read Mr. Taguba's report, which was completed in early March. Yesterday Mr. Rumsfeld told a television interviewer that he still hadn't finished reading it, and he repeated his view that the Geneva Conventions "did not precisely apply" but were only "basic rules" for handling prisoners. His message remains the same: that the United States need not be bound by international law and that the crimes Mr. Taguba reported are not, for him, a priority. That attitude has undermined the American military's observance of basic human rights and damaged this country's ability to prevail in the war on terrorism.


2004 The Washington Post Company



more......


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A5840-200...




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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:11 AM
Response to Original message
1. Just wait till other Nation pull that same shit on our people
We sign on to a treaty, a contract, an agreement, and now, on a whim, we unilaterly break the Geneva thingy to go on our merry way?

So what recourse will we have when some Nation decides tit for tat and absconds with one of ours? Are we gonna threaten them? Take over their Nation? What if its China? or France? What to do, what to do?
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coda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:39 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I still can't get over what screw-ups they are.

Even after the last 3 years of crap, I'm still amazed at the incompetence and sheer stupidity. The only thing I find more amazing is their continued level of support.
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Piperay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 03:31 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Yes, I knew they were evil and immoral but
I thought they were somewhat competent and had some kind of smarts. It turns out they are not only evil but incredibly inept and stupid.
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CHIMO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:20 AM
Response to Original message
2. Is
The head cheese aware of the full report after a couple of months and a two week time delay in the information becoming public knowledge in the west?

S. Hersh on Democracy Now stated that this was only the opening volley of things to come!
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icymist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:47 AM
Response to Original message
4. America will never again be able to demand that other countries,
such as China, cease human rights abuses.
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Miss Authoritiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:58 AM
Response to Original message
5. The Dilbertization of the U.S. government.
Everything is tasked and delegated but: Nobody reads the memos. Nobody makes decisions. Nobody signs off on projects. Nobody asks for clarification. Nobody follows up. Nobody takes responsibility.
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:59 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. i think you've finally figured it out. mind if i pass your simple observa-
tion along to some friends at NPR?
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chelaque liberal Donating Member (981 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 03:08 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Perfect!
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gandalf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 03:44 AM
Response to Original message
9. Wasn't one reason to attack Hussein that he didn't follow rules?
Like UN resolutions?

Have only other states the obligation to follow rules, but the US can unilaterally decide if the agreements still suit them or are only "basic rules", and the US sould only behave "in a manner that is reasonably consistent" with them?
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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 03:53 AM
Response to Original message
10. Make calls, send faxes, demand a resignation. Rumsfeld has to go!
All of them should, Rumsfeld has to, along with anyone and everyone associated with this disaster. All of the Neo-Cons, all the PNAC'ers, Wolfowitz, Feith, Abrams, Negroponte, Perle, Armitage, all of them, each and every one of them! If they aren't thrown out, marched out, convicted of crimes and treason, I fear the US will never recover. As it went in Argentina so shall it go here. Our time is short.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 04:07 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. I agree, now is the time for attack attack.... bush on the ropes
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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 04:34 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Here you go... links for media......
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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 04:21 AM
Response to Original message
12. Mr. Secretary
Q: Mr. Secretary, you said, that for the most part, the detainees will be treated in a manner consistent with the Geneva Convention. Exactly which parts, which rights, privileges of the Geneva Convention will they have, and who will decide, and when will it be decided on an ad hoc basis? And just as a follow-up, can you say if there's been any --


Rumsfeld: Well, let me work on that one for a minute. That's a mouthful.



What we've said from the beginning is that these are unlawful combatants in our view, and we're detaining them. We call them detainees, not prisoners of war. We call them detainees. We have said that, you know, being the kind of a country we are, it's our intention to recognize that there are certain standards that are generally appropriate for treating people who were -- are prisoners are war, which these people are not, and -- in our view -- but there -- and, you know, to the extent that it's reasonable, we will end up using roughly that standard. And that's what we're doing. I don't -- I wouldn't want to say that I know in any instance where we would deviate from that or where we might exceed it. But I'm sure we'll probably be on both sides of it modestly.


Q:For instance, will we be allowed to see a list of exactly who the detainees are?


Rumsfeld: I don't know. I've got -- there are a bunch of lawyers who are looking at all these treaties and conventions and everything, trying to figure out what's appropriate. The only thing, I did notice that you can't take pictures of them. That's considered embarrassing for them, and they can't be interviewed, according to the Geneva Convention.



Myers: Let me add a couple --


Rumsfeld: Yeah, sure.


Myers: Let me just add a couple of things to that. We've got to remember that these are very, very dangerous people. And, as I think Charlie, you asked the first question about, well, why were they shackled? I mean, these are --



Q: I'm just passing on the -- (off mike.)


Myers:Well, I'm not.


Rumsfeld: (Laughs.)


Myers: Charlie, I'm coming right back to you. I said you asked the question; I didn't say anything else. (Laughter.)

But if you remember the situation in Mazar --

Rumsfeld: A little sensitive!



Did you notice how sensitive Charlie is? (Laughs; laughter.) Do you want to stand up and give your full name and your organization? (Laughs; laughter.)

Myers: But if you remember the situation in Mazar, where the start of the rebellion was one of them that had explosives, a grenade or something, and killed himself, and it sort of started. I mean, these are people that would gnaw hydraulic lines in the back of a C-17 to bring it down. I mean, so this is -- these are very, very dangerous people, and that's how they're being treated.



At the same time, let me give you a little context on how they're going to be handled when they hit the -- Guantanamo Bay. The meals they're going to be served are going to be culturally appropriate for them. And so, I mean, we're going to try to do our best to treat them humanely, at the same time realizing that they're very, very dangerous people.





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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 04:44 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Very moving piece. The picture of the little girl in the pink dress, with
Edited on Thu May-06-04 04:45 AM by anarchy1999
her family in the middle of the night, having plastic handcuffs put on her........

with her little blue socks.

Remind me, please why are we doing this, these people are a threat to us, to our freedoms, our democracy, .........WTF!!!!

I just hope everyone here puts themselves and their families in this place everytime you see these pictures. I know I do and it is a pain I wish on no one. I know how I would feel if I was the father or the mother of those kids. How about you?
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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:02 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. reminder
Those photos come from a house raid in Habbaniyah, June 21st, 2003. Of course they were looking for bad guys.

Techinically I can't remember which Operation that was part of. There was Operation Desert Scorpion, Sidewinder, Ivy Serpent, and Peninsula Strike, all ostensibly intended to put down the Ba'athists, Fedayeen, Hold-Outs, and Foreign Terrorists and whoseits once and for all, but curiously involving neighborhood sweeps, knocking down doors, dragging people off to Abu Ghraib for stupid reasons, if any, or just handing out friendship bracelets like you see in this photo.

The real motives? Vengence. A culture of fear, and the exploitation of terror and fear by the Chickenhawk Cabal. It's a manifestation of their abuses of authority and instruments of power. That's how it looks to me.
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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:07 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. I'm pretty aware of what you speak of.
It is all very sad. I've been working with the Peace Movement in Dallas for a couple of years now.

I've seen these pictures before, I thank you for finding them and putting them into the piece you did.

My heart breaks every day for what this nation of citizens is allowing to happen, In Their Name.

www.dallaspeacecenter.org
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ronatchig Donating Member (350 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:38 AM
Response to Original message
17. The question I would ask this
Fascist apologist is when did Sec. of Defense become CIC?
The responsibility for this fiasco lies with Uber twit not his evil minion Rumsfeld. For the CIC to offer up an excuse of any sort is just another example of illegally avoiding his personal responsibility for all things great and small going on in the military worldwide.
While Rumsfeld richly deserves a front row seat at Leavenworth's movie nights, It is Bush and Bush alone who bears this cross IMHO.
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Merlin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:46 AM
Response to Original message
18. Wow! What a piece. I just wrote them this Letter To The Editor.
letters@washpost.com

Letters to the Editor
The Washington Post


Dear Editor,

By your astute editorial, entitled "Mr. Rumsfeld's Responsibility," the Washington Post has made a belated but significant down payment toward the repurchase of its tattered, eviscerated journalistic soul from the insolent, dissent suppressing clutches of the Bush administration.

(sig)
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