Friday, June 11, 2004

The Dogs Of War

The evidence is continuing to surface that the prisoner abuse, torture and homicide in Iraq was not the brainchild, and sole domain, of seven low ranking enlisted soldiers. In the latest revelation, today's Washington Post is reporting how the "highest-ranking military intelligence officer" at Abu Ghraib prison "ordered military dog handlers at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq to use unmuzzled dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees during interrogations late last year...according to sworn statements the handlers provided to military investigators."

This testimony points to the increasingly plausible conclusion that the activities in these prisons were at least in spirit, the result of order, directives and the general tone as set from high in the chain of command. As the article states, "The statements by the dog handlers provide the clearest indication yet that military intelligence personnel were deeply involved in tactics later deemed by a U.S. Army general to be 'sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses.'"

Furthermore, "The military intelligence officer in charge of Abu Ghraib later told investigators that the use of unmuzzled dogs in interrogation sessions was recommended by a two-star general and that it was 'okay.'"

Of course, none of the dog handlers are among the seven enlisted soldiers facing courts martial despite the fact that "such use of dogs is an apparent violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Army's field manual."

In terms of the Geneva Conventions and the Army field manual, consider this gruesome detail, "A military intelligence interrogator also told investigators that two dog handlers at Abu Ghraib were 'having a contest' to see how many detainees they could make involuntarily urinate out of fear of the dogs, according to the previously undisclosed statements obtained by The Washington Post." [emphasis added]

I am really beginning to wonder how the American people will react, in light of the mounting evidence, if President Bush, or other members of his administration, try to make the "few bad apples" claim again. Unless he is referring to members of his cabinet, I don't think that dog will hunt.

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