Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Justice for Torturer

Lynndie England was declared guilty by a military court. We all know why because we've all seen the photos.

She's guilty -- and yet responsibility for ordering and condoning torture runs very high up the chain of command, as far as it can go.
Lynndie herself stated in a May 11, 2004 interview with Denver CBS affiliate television station KCNC-TV, that she was "instructed by persons in higher ranks" to commit the acts of abuse for psyop reasons, and that she should keep doing it, because it worked as intended. England noted that she felt "weird" when a commanding officer asked her to do such things as "stand there, give the thumbs up, and smile". However, England felt that she was doing "nothing out of the ordinary". Ms. England later went for a plea bargain by admitting to criminal offenses.

Most of us know that there is an ongoing cover-up of that guilt high up the chain of command. General Karpinski, in charge of the Abu Ghraib prison at the time, was removed from that post and demoted to Colonel after an investigation, yet she was never charged, much less court martialed. Above her head were several others never investigated, including Rumsfeld. Karpinski is still unwilling to see that while she "didn't know" what was going on, nevertheless it was precisely her job as prison boss to know what was going on. Now, filled with righteous resentment, the ex-General has lashed out at Rumsfeld and the rest of the chain for undermining her authority. In a revealing interview in which she gives away State secrets, Karpinski insisted that she later realized that the torture was imported along with civilian contractors who had just been fired by the Justice Department for prisoner abuse in Utah, then sent by the same Justice Department over to Abu Ghraib. Similar techniques seen in the photos were already used elsewhere:

"These torture techniques were being implemented and used down at Guantanamo Bay and, of course, now we have lots of statements that say they were used in Afghanistan as well."

When asked if she thinks that the truth has been uncovered and that justice is served, Karpinski answered "No." She firmly denounced the coverup:

"We're never going to know the truth until they do an independent commission or look into this independently," Karpinski maintains. "This is about instructions delivered with full authority and knowledge of the Secretary of Defense and probably Cheney. I don't know if the President was involved or not. I don't care. All I know is, those instructions were communicated from the Secretary of Defense's office, from the Pentagon, through Cambone, through Miller, to Abu Ghraib."

[see the whole interview at

Guilt is distributed in other directions besides up the chain; it is also spread around at other military prisons where torture was and still is routinely inflicted. It extends certainly to the CIA extradition flights of arrested persons out of American territory to pro-torture territory. Facts are not being faced here. Abu Ghraib was normal rather than an aberration.

Something is rotten in the State, and removing one bad apple has not removed the moldering cause of this stench.


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