Jun 01, 2004
Scapegoating or Incompetent
The figure, provided by a senior Army official, extends beyond the much-publicized abuse of detainees in military-run prisons to include the mistreatment of dozens of Iraqis in U.S. custody outside detention centers. It covers not only cases that resulted in death but also those that involved nonlethal assaults. It also includes as many as 18 instances of U.S. soldiers in Iraq allegedly stealing money, jewelry or other property.
[...]President Bush and other senior administration officials have sought to explain the abuses at Abu Ghraib as reflecting the aberrant behavior of a few low-ranking soldiers last fall, graphically exposed in photographs and an internal Army report that emerged a month ago. But the Army’s list of investigations appears to bolster the contention of others, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, that misconduct by U.S. forces has been more extensive—and its consequences more damaging—than can be blamed on the troubled actions of a small group.
While the administration has been talking about bad apples, we did not know about these 91 cases. Anybody in the administration who knew was a liar scapegoating the troops. Anybody who didn’t was incompetent.
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