May 10th, 2004

yet more

A new New Yorker article on Abu Ghraib. Interesting things in it:

  • Yet more new examples of abuse, including unconfirmed rumors about what Rumsfeld was hinting at when he said, "It's going to get still more terrible, I'm afraid."
  • It suggests that there may have been a de facto cover-up going on at DOD, in that the general tendency of the department under Rumsfeld was to delay dealing with bad news, in the hopes that it would eventually go away, or some good news would come in to counterbalance it.
  • Some evidence that the photographing of abuse was part of an intentional process of humiliation for interrogation purposes, dating back to the war in Afghanistan.

So we have at least four possibilities for reasons why this happened:

  • The MPs who did it were assholes.
  • The MP leadership was incompetent, and didn't train MPs on legal and proper handling of prisoners.
  • The MPs were encouraged to perform these acts by MI as part of a deliberate interrogation strategy.
  • The overall climate, set by the Defense Department, encouraged a "by any means necessary" attitude in the war on terror.

I'm betting that all four are true.