Saturday, June 12, 2004


... a few bad apples can spoil the whole bunch.

From Knight-Ridder:

What began as a military investigation of seven low-ranking Army reservists accused of tormenting Iraqi prisoners now appears likely to become a wide-ranging examination of whether top civilian and military leaders authorized torture or approved efforts to intimidate, humiliate or degrade suspected terrorists in violation of U.S. laws.

The Army is considering placing its investigation under a four-star general, a move that would permit a top to bottom examination of the actions of the military chain of command, including those of the commander of all U.S. forces in Iraq. The current head of the investigation is a two-star general.

In Congress, Democrats and some Republicans are calling for greater scrutiny of what interrogation guidelines the Bush administration approved for dealing with prisoners in Afghanistan and at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Such scrutiny is likely over the actions of top aides to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Following April's release of photographs of abuse by U.S. soldiers in Baghdad's notorious Abu Ghraib prison, military leaders and Bush administration officials denounced the acts as the isolated work of undisciplined reservists.

Since that time, however, the Army has announced that it is investigating the deaths of 127 prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, and evidence compiled by military and congressional investigators indicates that top civilian and military leaders dispensed contradictory advice on how far to push the bounds of laws against torture and whether certain detainees were covered by international treaties.

One hundred and twenty-seven prisoner deaths are being investigated.

One hundred and twenty-seven.


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