Campaign 2010

Jun 24, 2004

What Remains

The Washington Post editorial board, which has been strict and fair in their coverage of this particular affair (despite Rumsfeld’s complaints) has looked over the “Partial Disclosure” of documents by the administration.  After the obligatory encouragement of such rare openness, this is what is left behind:

Questions also remain about how the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere came about. The documents confirm that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld approved a number of harsh interrogation techniques for use in Guantanamo in December 2002, including hooding, requiring nudity, placing prisoners in stress positions and using dogs. After military lawyers objected that these violated international law, Mr. Rumsfeld suspended their use a month later. But all these techniques, as well as the restricted practices now approved for Guantanamo, appeared in an interrogation policy issued for Iraq by command of Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez in September 2003. Nearly word for word, the harsh methods detailed in memos signed by Mr. Rumsfeld—which even administration lawyers considered violations of the Geneva Conventions—were then distributed to interrogators at Abu Ghraib. The procedures in turn could be read to cover much of what is seen in the photographs that have scandalized the world. How did this spread of improper and illegal practices occur? The Bush administration has yet to offer a convincing answer—or hold anyone accountable for it.

I’m actually not sure I see a real question in there.


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