What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Abu Ghraib and Compassionate Conservatism

Today brings extensive coverage of America's gulag in Iraq, Abu Ghraib prison. Documents obtained by the ACLU through a Freedom of Information Act request shed new light on events at that prison.

First up: reports that the United States had detained an 11-year-old boy at the prison. Conservatives, of course, like seeing children suffer (especially children with dark skin) and I doubt that many conservatives will shed a tear over this revelation.

In transcripts of interviews between Brigadier General Janis Karpinski (she was the commander of Abu Ghraib and 16 other prisons in 2003 ) and Major General George Fay, conducted in May 2004, Gen. Karpinski stated she often visited the prison's youngest inmates. Karpinski stated that one child looked to be "eight years old."

"He told me he was almost 12," she said. "He told me his brother was there with him, but he really wanted to see his mother, could he please call his mother. He was crying."

Children are protected under the Geneva Conventions, and one provision states that families are to be kept together if detained. Which begs the question, where was this boy's mother?

It interesting that the United States upholds the rule of law, until it becomes an inconvenience, and then we simply find loopholes to those laws, such as capturing prisoners and calling them "enemy combatants."

The May 2004 transcript also states that, according to six witnesses, three interrogators and an interpreter -- all drunk -- forced a 17-year-old female prisoner to expose her breasts while the four kissed her. Harmless frat house fun, eh, Rush Limbaugh?

Other witnesses say that U.S. forces had raped a 14-year-old prisoner, although the transcript did not provide specific details.

Also revealed today, the existence of "ghost" prisoners at Abu Ghraib. These were prisoners the CIA wanted tucked away -- in other words, prisoners kept at the prison but not not recorded as prisoners and hid from the eyes of the Red Cross. Another violation of the Geneva Convention. Of course, at the time, Donald Rumsfeld wanted to classify the detainees in Iraq as enemy combatants, so we could side-step the "antiquated" Geneva Conventions we are signatories to.

So, it would appear that, in the eyes of conservatives, the rule of law is a subjective thing: applicable to Democratic presidents who have lied to a court about sex; not applicable to any Republican for anything at all.

One last bit of compassionate conservatism: the Senate voted to make bankruptcy more difficult for the little guy.

Banks and credit card companies are reportedly very, very happy.


Blogger elendil said...

Came here looking for info on US torture. Thanks for the tip-off. I've created a blog about this stuff called Rummy's Diaries.

God bless the ACLU. If it wasn't for their's and HRF's efforts, none of this would have come to light. Did you know that they put in the first request as early as Oct 2003? Then a second request, and finally court. Sometimes we can plead innocence because we're ignorant of what's going on. Thanks to these NGOs, we are now all accountable, and there's no way Republican-voters can plead ignorance now.

3:42 PM  

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