Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Samira Simone/CNN Blurring Lines On Abu Ghraib

Today, Samira Simone over at CNN posted a story on their website in which Col. Janis Karpinski, who presided over the Abu Ghraib scandal, expresses a feeling of "vindication" due to the information revealed in recently released memos exposing Bush-era interrogation methods.

What the Colonel is implying is that she was not responsible for the atrocious abuses of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, and that the newly released memos prove that the Bush Defense Department gave her soldiers the go-ahead to take part in the outrageous abuses of prisoners seen in the now famous Abu Ghraib photographs.

In describing the memos the CNN story states:

"The memo, by then-Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee and then-Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Steven G. Bradbury, allowed the use of such tactics as keeping a detainee naked and in some cases in a diaper, and putting detainees on a liquid diet. One memo said aggressive techniques such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation and slapping did not violate laws against torture absent the intent to cause severe pain."

CNN and Karpinski hope that you're really stupid.

By referring to the technique of "..keeping a detainee naked" during interrogation, CNN is hoping that you associate that practice with the now infamous photos of naked prisoners piled on top of each other at Abu Ghraib. The difference is that what we saw in the Abu Ghraib photos wasn't interrogation. It was a bunch of morons getting their jollies by humiliating Iraqi prisoners. Lynndie England wasn't a CIA interrogator. She was a Private.

Karpinski wants to shift the blame for Abu Ghraib directly to Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush in order to absolve herself of responsibility for the scandal which, I'm sure, has made her life very difficult. However, in this case she is just a pawn of CNN which is trying to confuse its readers into believing that CIA interrogation practices and the degradation of prisoners for fun are one and the same. This is just the latest example of CNN's shift to the promotion a left-wing mythos in the FOX News Era.

Does this look like interrogation to you?

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Anonymous said...

You've obviously not served in the military, blogger. When you receive an order in a war zone and that order has been reviewed and approved by the Pentagon and the President, you follow it. You may question it, you may protest it and - later - demand a formal investigation, but you nonetheless follow it.

It appears that Col. Karpinski did all these things. She did her duty. Yes, her soldiers went overboard; there can be no doubt about that. But she and several other low level officers and enlisted personnel were made scapegoats and took the heat. As it turns out, the Pentagon's lawyers knew that the torture was illegal and fought against the policy vehemently. The Bush administration, and Donald Rumsfeld in particular, told them to shut up and sit down. Dick Cheney had already decided that the policy would be implemented and the legal review was nothing but a formality. Justice department lawyers had already produced political memoranda justifying the abuses and palmed them off as carefully researched legal opinions.

What needs to come of this is that the military personnel in theater who followed orders should be exonerated and the civilian members of the Bush administration arrested, convicted and then turned over for war crimes.

Oh, and ignore CNN. It has become nothing more than a cleverly disguised shill for corporate interest. They are about making money, not reportiung the news accurately.

Anonymous said...

Seconded. Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Yoo, Bybee and more.

Catherine1985 said...

This "report" was a democratic led report with very few republicans on this board led by lib Levine. It has been politicized, plain and simple-AG Is a completely separate matter and people were already held accountable,we should not be lumping this in with the current ongoing investigation by the flip-flopper Obama.

Anonymous said...

I believe we've established that "just following orders" is not a valid defense when the perpetrator willfully commits or facilitates the commission of acts they know to be illegal.

Personally, given how much this woman and her subordinates damaged our national reputation, she deserves to be tried and humiliated publicly, not given a soapbox to proclaim her innocence.

street smart said...

Sorry Catherine1985 but the report you speak of has John McCains name on it as well. Last I heard he is still a republican

street smart said...

Sorry catherine1985 but the report you speak of had John McCains name on it as well. Last is heard he is a Republican.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a dog pile to me. If this is torture, then what is cutting off a man's head with a sword on camera? Hmmm...
The payee of this policy should be the policy makers. To bust a general for the implementation of the policy is escape-goatism. Bush and Rumsfeld and Cheney and Karl Rowe and Alberto Gonzalez should be made to answer for allowing such a thing to happen. They are the criminal masterminds. I'm so glad this Bush nightmare is over! Let the courts begin to prosecute the guilty. Bring it on.

Anonymous said...

To the first anonymous, you obviously never served outside combat arms. To use the tactics in the memos, you must be a trained and certified interrogator. We call this carry B's&C's (badges and credentials). The personnel you see in the photos are not interrogators. They are MP's. Prior to deployment they are specifically instructed that they are not allowed to take part in interrogations unless their name and rank in the memo.

What happened at Abu Ghraib was a terrible blow to the intelligence community (which I am a part of). These two "bad apples" and Col. Pappas showed complete lack of judgement and did things they are specific unathorized to do (letting non-ineterrogators interact with prisoners and use illegal techniques), that's why they were relieved.

As a soldier, you have the right to disobey or not follow through with any order that you feel is illegal, immoral, or unethical. Col. Karpinski and her soldiers chose to ignore this and follow these "bad apples" or are just sick people and thought this was a good way to waste sometime over the year long deployment. Either way, they were guilty and deserved their punishment

Anonymous said...

These commens miss the point, Dan. Nice work in identifying this inconsistency. This is probably just the first salvo in media frenzy over this.

hrazorback1803 said...

Poorly led idiots were held accountable. Karpenski is, just as she did when relieved of command, is trying to deflect blame that clearly rests on her shoulders as she was the commander. CNN however is quite ready to give her time to continue her buckpassing in the name of bashing the Bush Administration. The real scandal is that she was ever given command.