Did Rummy OK Prisoner Abuse?

Comrades in Terrorism MoveOn.org says it’s time for thinking Americans to speak up regarding the unconscionable abuse of prisoners held by the US-led occupying force in Iraq. The organization writes:

As America learns more about the prisoner abuse scandal, it’s becoming clear that the path to the crimes committed at Abu Ghraib prison began at Donald Rumsfeld’s office in the Pentagon. According to an article in the New Yorker magazine, a policy put in place by Secretary Rumsfeld “encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in an effort to generate more intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq.”

And Dubya says Rummy is doing “a superb job.” MoveOn suggests that if the Terrorist-in-Thief won’t take action, the US Congress must. And so should you.

TAKE ACTION: Call your congressional lawmakers right away via the Congressional Switchboard, 202-224-3121, and insist they urge Bush to fire Donald Rumsfeld. (Let MoveOn know you’re calling too.)

MoveOn has more to say on the matter:

Bush approved a policy that the Geneva Convention wouldn’t
apply to suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters held in Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba. When the war in Iraq started to go badly, Rumsfeld extended
these aggressive interrogation policies to Iraqi prisons. According
to the current issue of Newsweek,

“It was an approach that they adopted to sidestep the historical safeguards of the Geneva Conventions, which protect the rights of detainees and prisoners of war. In doing so, they overrode the objections of Secretary of State Colin Powell and America’s top military lawyers – and they left underlings to sweat the details of what actually happened to prisoners in these lawless places. While no one deliberately authorized outright torture, these techniques entailed a systematic softening up of prisoners through isolation, privations, insults, threats and humiliation – methods that the Red Cross concluded were ‘tantamount to torture.’”

High-level officials in the Pentagon were sent from Guantanamo Bay to
Iraq to implement the more aggressive policies, and it appears that
command of the prison was placed in the hands of military intelligence
officers. Techniques that had been approved only for suspected al-Qaeda
terrorists were suddenly applied to Iraqi prisoners (up to 90% of whom
were mistakenly detained, according to the Red Cross).

Despite the eagerness of the Bush administration to blame the torture
at Abu Ghraib on a few rogue soldiers, it is now clear that real
responsibility lies at the top of the chain of command.

What happened to the prisoners at Abu Ghraib at the hands of US terrorists — and, in a separate incident at the hands of revenge-seeking Iraqi terrorists, to American Nick Berg — is beyond the pale, beyond inhumane. In the case of the Iraqi prisoners, there is action we can take: It’s time to speak out for the sake of justice and human rights.

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One thought on “Did Rummy OK Prisoner Abuse?

  1. The rhetorical title of this item inspires another question:

    Does the Pope shit in the woods?

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