Thursday, May 06, 2004

Bad apple talking points 

Well, I guess the Republican talking points about Iraq prisoner abuse have been distributed.
I heard the chairs of the House armed services and Senate foreign relations committees (or maybe it was the other way around) on Lou Dobbs and on Hardball respectively. But they might as well have been the same person speaking -- "It was only six soldiers blah blah blah it wasn't Rumsfeld's fault blah blah blah in a war you have to expect these kinds of isolated incidents blah blah blah it was only six bad apples blah blah blah we are in an insurgency situation and we have to press hard to protect our troops blah blah blah Saddam was a lot worse than this blah blah blah the brigade commander should be held accountable but no one any higher is to blame blah blah blah and did I mention that it was only six bad apple soldiers?" The stress on the number six echoed the talking points last summer --"it was only 16 words". And Chris Matthews has got the message, he was repeating these talking points himself.
But Lou Dobbs hadn't read the memo -- I could tell he was particularly unimpressed with the "Saddam did it too" justification after two years of arguments that America represents a higher standard. And Dobbs pointed out the absurdity of the idea that we should blame it all on the brigade commander but no one any higher in the chain of command should have to fall on their sword.
What was particularly silly, too, was the repeated reference to "only six" soldiers, when the Washington Post photos today clearly show many soldiers standing in the hallways watching as the naked Iraqi prisoners are being bound together.

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