Sunday, May 09, 2004

"Let all you do be done in love"

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not Love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not Love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not Love, it profiteth me nothing.

Love suffereth long, and is kind;
Love envieth not;
Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly,
Seeketh not her own,
Is not easily provoked,
Thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, Love, these three; but the greatest of these is Love.

Paul of Tarsus
1 Corinthians 13

Seymour Hersh: Chain Of Command

New Yorker Feature-
Seymour Hersh: Chain of Command

Mr. Hersh shows how the M.P.s at Abu Ghraib were failed by their commanders—both low-ranking and high.

In his devastating report on conditions at Abu Ghraib prison, in Iraq, Major General Antonio M. Taguba singled out only three military men for praise:

1. Master-at-Arms First Class William J. Kimbro, US Navy Dog Handler, knew his duties and refused to participate in improper interrogations despite significant pressure from the MI personnel at Abu Ghraib.

[not mentioned in article, but I wish to mention:]

2. SPC Joseph M. Darby, 372nd MP Company discovered evidence of abuse and turned it over to military law enforcement.

3. 1LT David O. Sutton, 229th MP Company, took immediate action

One of the new photographs shows a young soldier, wearing a dark jacket over his uniform and smiling into the camera, in the corridor of the jail. In the background are two Army dog handlers, in full camouflage combat gear, restraining two German shepherds. The dogs are barking at a man who is partly obscured from the camera’s view by the smiling soldier. Another image shows that the man, an Iraqi prisoner, is naked. His hands are clasped behind his neck and he is leaning against the door to a cell, contorted with terror, as the dogs bark a few feet away. Other photographs show the dogs straining at their leashes and snarling at the prisoner. In another, taken a few minutes later, the Iraqi is lying on the ground, writhing in pain, with a soldier sitting on top of him, knee pressed to his back. Blood is streaming from the inmate’s leg. Another photograph is a closeup of the naked prisoner, from his waist to his ankles, lying on the floor. On his right thigh is what appears to be a bite or a deep scratch. There is another, larger wound on his left leg, covered in blood.

The Pentagon official told me that many senior generals believe that, along with the civilians in Rumsfeld’s office, General Sanchez and General John Abizaid, who is in charge of the Central Command, in Tampa, Florida, had done their best to keep the issue quiet in the first months of the year. The official chain of command flows from General Sanchez, in Iraq, to Abizaid, and on to Rumsfeld and President Bush. “You’ve got to match action, or nonaction, with interests,” the Pentagon official said. “What is the motive for not being forthcoming? They foresaw major diplomatic problems.”
Secrecy and wishful thinking, the Pentagon official said, are defining characteristics of Rumsfeld’s Pentagon, and shaped its response to the reports from Abu Ghraib.

[From the Major Gen.Taguba report:] "There are a large number of Iraqi criminals held at Abu Ghraib. These are not believed to be international terrorists or members of Al Qaeda." Taguba noted that [Major Gen. Geoffrey] Miller’s recommendations “appear to be in conflict” with other studies and with Army regulations that call for military-police units to have control of the prison system. By placing military-intelligence operatives in control instead, Miller’s recommendations and [General]Sanchez’s change in policy undoubtedly played a role in the abuses at Abu Ghraib.

One lingering mystery is how [Maj. Gen. Donald J.] Ryder could have conducted his review last fall, in the midst of the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, without managing to catch it.

Bush: "You can count on God and me"

"God loves you, and I love you. And you can count on both of us as a powerful message that people who wonder about their future can hear."

--—G.W. Bush Los Angeles, Calif., March 3, 2004


"What hawks never seem to realize is that while war is sometimes necessary, it always breeds inhumanity. There are no "evildoers" and good guys when bullets fly. When enemies threaten you, it's you or them, and you shrug off "collateral damage." And when our leaders preach that "they" are evil, and we have God on our side, anger can morph oh-so-easily into brutality. Think Rwanda. My Lai. Al-Qaida. Hitler.

We've lost. How many more must die before we admit it?"

Debbie Armstrong speaks for Lynndie

Lynndie's Aunt Debbie is proud of her

Seen at the website for the David Lawrence show:
(I repost the message as I found it--written in caps)


Posted by: debbie on May 8, 2004 04:05 PM


I would invite Lynndie's aunt, Debbie Armstrong, to make any comment here at Iddybud. We need to have an American discussion in a place we all feel safe.

Philly Inquirer to Rumsfeld: Resign or be fired

Philadelphia Inquirer calls for Rumsfeld resignation

Editorial | After Abu Ghraib:
Donald Rumsfeld must resign, or be fired

Donald Rumsfeld should resign as U.S. secretary of defense.

If he lacks the decency and courage to do so, President Bush should fire him.

Accountability also means the departure of Rumsfeld's top lieutenants, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, the architects of the dubious invasion rationales and the disastrously incompetent occupation.

All must go.

WP- Deep divisions in U.S. Military-
U.S. May Be Winning Battles in Iraq But Losing the War, Some Military Officers Say
"The people in the military are mad as hell."
Timeline of abuses in Abu Ghraib prison

Jan 13, 2004: Joseph Darby, a reservist in the military police, alerts his superiors of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison.

Jan 16: The US Central Command announces that an investigation "has been initiated into reported incidents of detainee abuse at a coalition forces detention facility." A Pentagon spokesman says a criminal investigation was underway. But no details are provided.

Jan 31: Major General Antonio Taguba is named the chief investigative officer and begins a review of procedures in the prison.

March 3: Taguba presents his preliminary findings to Lieutenant General David McKiernan. His report is classified, but copies leaked to the press say he found that military police were directed to change prison procedures to "set the conditions" for military intelligence interrogations. He singled out two military intelligence officers and two civilian contractors for blame.

April 6: McKiernan approves some recommendations of the Taguba report, which results in letters of reprimands for six military police officers and non-commissioned officers, and the relief from duties of two of them. Six guards are criminally charged.

April 28: CBS television's 60 Minutes II program airs photographs showing hooded, naked prisoners being forced to engage in simulated sexual acts. The network delayed broadcasting the images for two weeks at the request of top military officials.

April 30: US President George W Bush expresses "deep disgust" and Tony Blair's spokesman says the British prime minister is appalled. The Arab League calls on the US-led coalition to "punish everyone who has been involved in these savage acts".

May 5: US military gives a tour of Abu Ghraib jail to journalists. Bush gives interviews to two Arab-language television channels and calls the abuse "abhorrent." US media report the next day that Bush admonished Rumsfeld for failing to inform him about the photographs of the abuse.

May 6: The Washington Post publishes new photos from the jail, including one showing a woman soldier holding a leash tied around the neck of a naked man. Calls for Rumsfeld's resignation intensify. Bush offers apology during news conference with Jordan's King Abdullah II.

May 7: Rumsfeld appears before Congress and offers his "deepest apology," but he says he will not resign. He reveals the existence of more photos and videos of the prison abuse. The international Red Cross says the abuse it found in Iraq's US-run prisons was systematic and amounted to torture. [LINK]
The road to Abu Ghraib:
A prison on the brink- Usual military checks and balances went missing

This is Part 1 of a promised three-part series by Scott Higham, Josh White and Christian Davenport from The Washington Post (via the MSNBC website).

Some of the Players:

Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba- was assigned to investigate the officers involved--had called for Steven Stephanowicz to be sacked back on March 8.

Brig. Gen. Janis L. Karpinski- Lt. Col. Phillabaum's boss, a reservist general in charge of the 800th Military Police Brigade

Steven Stephanowicz- an interrogator, CACI International, worked w/ military intelligence officers

John Israel- translator, worked for CACI International, worked with military intelligence officers

Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller - in August, 2003, Miller recommended that MPs and military intelligence officers work closely to gather information from the prisoners at Abu Ghraib

Col. Thomas M. Pappas- commander of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade

Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan- Col. Pappas' liason officer

Donald J. Reese- 372nd company commander given perhaps the most sensitive mission: control of Tier 1A, where "high priority" detainees were held for interrogation by civilian and military intelligence officers

Lt. Col. Jerry L. Phillabaum--officer in charge of Abu Ghraib, a reservist who commanded the 320th Military Police Battalion

Spec. Joseph M. Darby- the soldier who placed an anonymous note describing the photographs under the door of an Army criminal investigator

Maj. Gen. Donald J. Ryder- conducted a "comprehensive review of the entire detainee and corrections system in Iraq" in October 2003

Adel L. Nakhla, a U.S. civilian contract translator

The charged soldiers:

Staff Sgt. Ivan L. "Chip" Frederick II- a charged soldier

Pfc. Lynndie R. England-charged soldier

Spec. Sabrina D. Harman- charged soldier

Spec. Megan M. Ambuhl- charged soldier

Sgt. Javal S. Davis, charged soldier

Spec. Jeremy C. Sivits-a charged soldier

Spec. Charles A. Graner Jr- a charged soldier

Guy L. Womack- a Houston lawyer representing Graner

Six of the seven criminally charged soldiers (all except Pfc England) are now stationed in Camp Victory, a U.S. base near the Baghdad airport, where they are awaiting their fate. They face charges that include conspiracy, dereliction of duty, cruelty toward prisoners, maltreatment, assault and indecent acts.
More on Abu Ghraib in Today's News

Boston Globe- Details emerge of a wartime prison in chaos

NYT- US general says no reason to close Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq

Independent: US military confirms existence of horrific pictures and video

Charlotte Observer- Abu Ghraib should cause us to search our souls

The Oregonian- In Abu Ghraib, a wake-up call: Our own democracy is in danger

Independent- Jessica Lynch and Lynndie England: An American odyssey

ABC News- Who is Nadem Sadoon Hatab? Why we will be hearing more about a makeshift prison camp named Camp White Horse.

NYT / Frank Rich- The War's Lost Weekend

Dr Farrukh Saleem- Credit goes to American media
I remain convinced.. that all the checks and balances built into the American system by America’s constitutional forefathers shall, once again, make America’s model representative democracy represent America’s true heart and soul.

Captain Kenneway defends Pappas, Jordan, and others at Abu Ghraib

A former company commander of the New England-based 325th Military Intelligence Battalion said he never witnessed inhumane interrogations of Iraqi detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison complex.
"If that was done, it was done on an individual basis," said Capt. Steve Kenneway, who commanded 112 Devens(MA)-based reservists in the battalion's Alpha Company.....

Kenneway was present for many interrogations at Abu Ghraib, but did not conduct them.....

He said most of the work was overseen by Col. Thomas Pappas, commander of the 205th Military Intelligency Brigade, and Lt. Col. Steven Jordan, who worked with the 205th, and said both men were good soldiers.

"I found him to be a very supportive commander to his soldiers," he said of Jordan.

Both men were accused in the Taguba report of being "either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuse at Abu Ghraib."
"(Pappas) was in charge of the largest military intelligence battalion ever assembled," Kenneway said. "That's a monumental task for one guy to oversee. We had that guy run seven battalions. He did the best he could."


The Observer / Guardian writers Peter Beaumont, Paul Harris, and Jason Burke reveal how the abuse of prisoners began long before the sickening images which have outraged the world appeared.

Joseph Darby, a 24-year-old reservist at Abu Ghraib, had plucked up his courage and slipped an anonymous note underneath the door of one of his superior officers. It described brutal incidents of abuse of Iraqi prisoners and the existence of graphic photographs taken by Darby's own colleagues.

That move triggered the crisis which has emerged from the brutal hallways of Abu Ghraib to echo through Washington's corridors of power. Darby eventually turned over a computer disk of pictures to a sergeant in his unit on 13 January. A few hours later, army investigators seized other computers and disks from members of the unit. By 14 January - according to this version of events - General John Abizaid was on the phone to Rumsfeld, as Kellenberger was also raising his concern.
UK Troops shot Iraqi civilians dead in cold blood, new dossier claims

Lawyers acting for the dead men's families will urge the High Court (in London) to ask Geoff Hoon, the British Secretary of State for Defense, to hold an independent judicial inquiry into the deaths.

Hilal Finjan, an elderly school guard killed around Basra last October.

Ali Kadhim Shamkhi was shot in the stomach on November 10, 2003 as he ran to help his father

Jawad Kadhim Bahidh was on his roof with his wife and six children on August 28, 2003, and was shot after lighting a cigarette.

As'ad Kadhim Jassim's taxi was hit by "a barrage of bullets" on November 3, 2003 after it passed through a checkpoint which witnesses claim seemed to be unmanned and unlit.

Ameen Ajman Ismail was providing security for a demonstration on September 14th, 2003.

Husam Salih Owaid was a cigarette-seller close to an angry demonstration August 9, 2003.

Ghanim Gatteh was killed during a wedding celebration on January 2, 2004.

Ammar Shakir Mahmood was shot as he watched neighbours celebrate the lifting of UN sanctions on Iraq on May 28, 2003.