Saturday, May 08, 2004

Its not just the photos that are sickening 

Posted today by Associated Press -- Yahoo! News - Early Iraq Abuse Accounts Met With Silence describes detainees punished by hours lying bound in the sun . . . being attacked by dogs . . . being deprived of sufficient water . . .. spending days with hoods over their heads . . . an elderly Iraqi woman tied up and lying in the dust . . .ill men dying in crowded tents . . .a man saw his sister being punished by being stretched out bound in the sun. He angrily tried to cross the razor wire ringing his tent, and they shot him in the shoulder . . . he saw another prisoner shot dead when he approached the wire at Abu Ghraib. "On Friday, the Red Cross disclosed it had repeatedly demanded last year that U.S. authorities correct problems in the detention centers. The Americans took action on some issues but not others, it said. "We were dealing here with a broad pattern, not individual acts. There was a pattern and a system," Pierre Kraehenbuel, the Red Cross operations director, said in Geneva."
He's wrong in one respect, I think -- there was no system, really, just ad hoc bumbling where prisoner of war camps were set up on the fly, then underresourced and poorly managed, with happenstance dictating whether the individual soldiers trying to run things were competent to do so -- like we've seen with so many other aspects of this occupation. The incompetence of the Pentagon in managing this war is breathtaking.

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