Thursday, August 26, 2004

OpinionJournal - Featured Article::"A Rumsfeld Vindication"
Since Operation Enduring Freedom began in October 2001, the U.S. has handled about 50,000 detainees in Afghanistan, Iraq and other venues of the war on terror. Among those, about 300 allegations of abuse have arisen. And as of this month 155 investigations have resulted in 66 substantiated cases of mistreatment. Only about a third of those cases were related to interrogation, while another third happened at the point of capture, "frequently under uncertain, dangerous and violent circumstances."

So notes Tuesday's report from the Independent Panel to Review DOD Detention Operations, empowered in May by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and chaired by former Pentagon chief James Schlesinger. The report offers invaluable perspective on the abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib and is devastating to those who've sought to pin blame on an alleged culture of lawlessness going all the way to the top of the Bush Administration. John Kerry must be even more disoriented by the Swift boat story than he appears if he thinks now's the time to call for Mr. Rumsfeld's resignation.

and then there's this:
"Citing Prison Abuse and Iraq 'Failures,' Kerry Demands That Rumsfeld Step Down"

Teeing off two reports detailing abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Senator John Kerry on Wednesday renewed his call for Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld to resign, citing the need for "accountability that runs through the civilian command."

"It's not just the little person at the bottom who ought to pay the price of responsibility," Mr. Kerry told union members at a steamfitters hall in Philadelphia before heading to Green Bay. "Harry Truman had that sign on the desk and it said, 'The buck stops here.' The buck doesn't stop at the Pentagon. And in this case it doesn't just stop with any military personnel."

..the Independent Panel to Review DOD Detention Operations, empowered in May by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld...Government Vindicates Government! Stop the Presses!
I see little option but government oversight. I mean, what do you call our entire law system but oversight by government, and sometimes against government?

Not only would I trust a decision to vindicate Rumsfeld, I don't buy the argument that he is responsible because he is the strategic head of the defense department. In my understanding, that just isn't the way the military works; rather, a top-down command is both diluted and expanded in detail as it goes down the chain of command.

Would you rather have another Ken Starr running around? The whole idea of an "independent" counselor is a bit ridiculous to me.
I just don't think it's a big surprise. The government initially spent about six months telling the press that they would make America lose the war if they printed these pictures, and in strong enough terms that the papers all obliged; why should I take Rumsfeld's word on this issue now?
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