The L Files  
comments_image Comments

Torture is democratic

How nice that we've gone to the trouble of overthrowing Saddam to replace him with toadies who act exactly like him.
 
 
Share
 

Yet another sign that Iraq is indeed on its merry way to a bright, democratic future:

An Iraqi government search of a detention center in Baghdad operated by Interior Ministry special commandos found 13 prisoners who had suffered abuse serious enough to require medical treatment, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Sunday night.

An Iraqi official with firsthand knowledge of the search said that at least 12 of the 13 prisoners had been subjected to "severe torture," including sessions of electric shock and episodes that left them with broken bones.

I'm not exactly sure what it means to begin an article like this with "An Iraqi government search ..." The torture was at the very least conducted on behalf of this "Iraqi government" -- and most likely with the knowledge of officials at the highest level. The lede makes it sound as though the Iraqi government stumbled upon torture being conducted by third parties unaffiliated with itself. That may be its line of defense but an "objective" journalist ought not to be reporting it as fact.

The WaPo article also points to this illuminating exchange between Rumsfeld and and Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, at a news conference Nov. 29:

Pace said then that it was "absolutely the responsibility of every U.S. service member if they see inhumane treatment being conducted to intervene to stop it."

Rumsfeld said, "I don't think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it; it's to report it."

Pace responded, "If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it." [ WaPo]

Ah well, now we know the difference between a real soldier and a chickenhawk.

To repeat what I've said in the previous John Kerry entry: how nice that we've gone to the trouble of overthrowing Saddam to replace him with toadies who act exactly like him.

P.S.: As for those who accuse me of "misrepresenting" Kerry's remarks in the comments section of that entry, don't forget all the times we've enjoyed laughing at Bush's struggles with the English language. No reason why John-John should be exempt from such ungenerous humor just for being a Democrat.

Lakshmi Chaudhry is a senior editor at In These Times , and the former senior editor of AlterNet. You can write to her at lakshmi@alternet.org.