The major news continues to be the photos depicting the acts of some American soldiers in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison. I am disturbed by these images since I do not think these acts are necessary, nor do I think they are acceptable. Are they just the pranks of some bored GIs? Or were these acts ordered by their superiors to break the will of the prisoners? I do not know.
But I have some questions.
- Has the military been investigating these acts? Yes, it most certainly has been. So why the need to publicize the investigation now? What is gained by it? It makes the U.S. look horrible — that is the only way I can answer.
- Were these investigations classified? Yes, they were. Will anyone be charged with leaking this classified information? Probably not, since the investigations have since been declassified.
- Is it a crime to leak the facts of a criminal investigation in progress? Yes, it is. Will anyone be charged with leaking this information? Again, probably not. To put this in context, if I were to leak information about the rape trial of Kobe Bryant, I would be quickly charged.
Some Democrats, smelling blood in the water, and a few stupid Republicans are making political hay from these photos to call for the resignation, firing, or impeachment of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. President Bush has stood firm behind the Secretary of Defense, even while Rumsfeld has taken full responsibility for these acts happening under his watch. Does his taking responsibility mean he should step down? I would say no. Why not? We need not look further than the example of past Attorney General Janet Reno. When she took “full responsibility” for the deaths of the men, women, and children at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, she didn’t step down. And she was much more personally involved with the making of that tragedy than Secretary Rumsfeld has been with the prisoners in Abu Ghraib.
But today, everything is different.
Today, an appalling video of the beheading of an American hostage in Iraq at the hands of terrorists was released. On this tape, the masked thugs made their threats, pronounced their hatred for all things American, and proceeded to cut Nick Berg’s head off.
Fox News published the following today:
“Senators … are in a virtual state of shock about the beheading,” said Sen. John Warner, R-Va., recalling earlier concerns that the prisoner abuse could lead to retaliation against Americans.
Gen. Ronald L. Burgess told Warner “there has been an increase” in threats in the days since the prisoner abuse became known through the publication of photographs.
Earlier this month President Bush went on Arab television and apologized for the abuse. If I were President Bush, I would call a press conference today and rescind that apology, based on today’s video from Iraq. And while I am feeling particularly bloodthirsty today, I would like each of the thugs on today’s video hunted down and dispatched in precisely the same fashion that they brought death to Nick Berg.
While I have been upset over the prison abuse photos, I refuse to be upset anymore. Let me see if I can put the acts of these GIs in perspective with the acts of the followers of the “religion of peace:”
|Religion of Peace||U.S.|
|Being dipped feet-first into acid.||Americans smiling behind a pyramid of naked, hooded Iraqis.|
|Having hands and feet macheted off, then allowed to bleed to death.||A group of clothed but bound prisoners.|
|Tossed off multi-story buildings while bound hand and foot.||Hooded and naked prisoner handcuffed to cell bars.|
|Dead bodies mutilated, burned, dragged through the streets and hung.||Hooded prisoner standing on a box with hands wired together, but not connected to anything.|
|Beheading Daniel Pearl.||Naked Iraqis bound together.|
|State-run rape rooms.||Naked Iraqi with panties on his head.|
|Beheading Nick Berg.||Simulated sex acts.|
|Being tossed into a wood-chipper.||Iraqi on a leash.|
|Slamming two airliners into the World Trade Center.||A naked dogpile.|
They don’t really compare, do they?