Metaphors & Images

Who Gave the Orders?

Well! That didn’t take long, did it? Thanks again to the New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh we are going to get the truth. Here’s his article posted 17 May 2004 on there web site:

And as a result, the mainstream media seems to be getting some in-depth reporting done now too. Here’s the Newsweek story of the May 24 issue which contains an extensive chronology of the events that led to this disgusting, shameful episode.

And finally; today I received this e-mail from the lovely folks at, if you’re feeling in the mood to take some action regarding the shameful actions of our Defense Secretary.

Dear MoveOn member:

As America learns more about the prisoner abuse scandal, it’s becoming
clear that the path to the crimes committed at Abu Ghraib prison began
at Donald Rumsfeld’s office in the Pentagon. According to an article
in the New Yorker magazine, a policy put in place by Secretary Rumsfeld
“encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners
in an effort to generate more intelligence about the growing insurgency
in Iraq.” [1]

Despite this horrible scandal and the cascading failures of U.S.
military policy in Iraq, President Bush says that Rumsfeld is doing “a
superb job.” In the absence of presidential leadership, Congress must
step in and hold the administration accountable.

Please call your Senators and Representative today and tell them to
call on President Bush to fire Donald Rumsfeld.

Senator Patty Murray
Washington, DC: 202-224-2621

Senator Maria Cantwell
Washington, DC: 202-224-3441

Congressman Norman D. Dicks
Washington, DC: 202-225-5916

Please let us know you’re calling, at:

President Bush approved a policy that the Geneva Convention wouldn’t
apply to suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters held in Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba. When the war in Iraq started to go badly, Rumsfeld extended
these aggressive interrogation policies to Iraqi prisons. According
to the current issue of Newsweek,

“It was an approach that they adopted to sidestep the historical
safeguards of the Geneva Conventions, which protect the rights of
detainees and prisoners of war. In doing so, they overrode the
objections of Secretary of State Colin Powell and America’s top
military lawyers – and they left underlings to sweat the details of
what actually happened to prisoners in these lawless places. While
no one deliberately authorized outright torture, these techniques
entailed a systematic softening up of prisoners through isolation,
privations, insults, threats and humiliation – methods that the Red
Cross concluded were ‘tantamount to torture.’” [2]

High-level officials in the Pentagon were sent from Guantanamo Bay to
Iraq to implement the more aggressive policies, and it appears that
command of the prison was placed in the hands of military intelligence
officers. Techniques that had been approved only for suspected al-Qaeda
terrorists were suddenly applied to Iraqi prisoners (up to 90% of whom
were mistakenly detained, according to the Red Cross) [3].

Despite the eagerness of the Bush administration to blame the torture
at Abu Ghraib on a few rogue soldiers, it is now clear that real
responsibility lies at the top of the chain of command.

As the Commander-in-Chief, it’s President Bush’s job to decide who runs
the Pentagon. If he won’t take the steps that are needed to restore
American credibility around the world, Congress needs to use its power
to convince the president to do the right thing – whether it issues a
clear public call for the Secretary’s resignation or whether it uses
other leverage to force the Administration’s hand.

Please call your elected Representatives today and ask them to do the
right thing, for America’s sake.

Thanks for making these important calls,

– Carrie, Joan, Noah, Peter, and Wes
The team
Tuesday, May 18th, 2004

THE GRAY ZONE, How a secret Pentagon program came to Abu Ghraib.
Seymour M. Hersh, 5/24/2004, New Yorker

[2] “The Roots of Torture: The road to Abu Ghraib began after 9/11,
when Washington wrote new rules to fight a new kind of war.”
John Barry, Michael Hirsh and Michael Isikoff, 5/24/04

[3] Red Cross: Iraq Abuse Widespread, Routine
Alexander G. Higgins, 5/10/04. For AP story on this report, see:

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This entry was published on May 18, 2004 at 11:32 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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