Speech! Speech!

I’ve been swamped with work here, but I’ve been doing my best to follow the ins and outs of the Abu Ghraib story. You can find the Taguba Report here. Once you’re done reading that catalogue of horrors, feel free to pass it on to GEN Richard Myers (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs), Don Rumsfeld, and the President, none of whom have set eyes on it yet, despite the fact that it’s been available for since February.

Apparently, the President only learned of this last week. I’d say something flip, but there comes a point when the fact of the Administration’s incompetence on so many things becomes so glaringly obvious, and their refusal to do something constructive about it even more so, that I just can’t comment on it anymore.

I mean, you’re the top-ranking military officer, and you couldn’t ask for a copy of the bloody report? You’re the Secretary of Defense, and all you can say is, “The system works. The system works.”?

Well, folks, obviously, it doesn’t, else we wouldn’t be discussing this. Abu Ghraib is a blot upon the honor of all whom have served in Iraq, and worse, upon all whom have given their lives in this war. I didn’t go to war so that I could blithely condone the morally bankrupt crimes of many.

And no, “Saddam did it worse” isn’t a defense, just like “Adolf told me to” wasn’t an excuse at Nuremberg. Not to break Godwin’s Law here, but I find the justification of these actions by more than a few commentators to be beyond the pale. My toil, my uniform, my blood, my sweat and my tears may protect your right to be an moral idiot. It also gives me the privilege of calling you out as the morally excresent gasbags that you are.

For anyone–Rush! Dan Drezner! the collection of blowhards at the WSJ!–to think that this is somehow okay, because it’s not how we do things in America, or because 9/11 changed “everything”, is simply beyond belief. If you think that, then that’s an insult to the memories of all those who have lost their lives in this war. You’re taking the memories of all the friends I’ve lost and soiling them with the excrement of moral relativism

Is this what we fought for? Is it? Is this why 760 soldiers have lost their lives? Is it?

I dearly hope not. Because if it is, then I weep for our lost honor.

Final note: I’ll be speaking at the Colorado Springs Democracy for America Meetup. It’s at 7PM tonight, at Slocum Commons, Colorado College. I’ll be talking about–what else?–Iraq.

Look forward to seeing you guys there.


5 responses to “Speech! Speech!

  1. Great idea about sending a copy of Taguba’s report up the chain of command! Am splattering that idea across Whiskey Bar, War Blogging, and Back-to-Iraq =)

  2. Update: tossed this on to Kidding on the Square and the Wesley Clark blog as well, hee hee.

  3. [Um, looks like I just posted a blank–let me try again:]

    I haven’t seen much commentary from pro-war bloggers excusing the prisoner abuse because the Saddammites did worse. In fact, I’ve seen several calls for hanging or firing squad because of the damage this does to the American campaign, to say nothing of the fact that we, dammit, expect better of our soldiers acting in our names.

    What I have seen is a lot of justified (in my mind) bitching concerning the lob-sided coverage of American behavior and Iraqi behavior. For instance, it is hard for me to apply “horrific” to both what the Americans did and what the Iraqis did at Abu Ghraib. There seems to me to be qualitative and quantitative differences between the cases that makes conflating them damn near a lie.

    I won’t even mention the children’s prisons, the mass graves, the gassed Kurds, the rape rooms…. There is a huge gulf between that and what the Occupation has done.

    Again, nothing excuses what we (in the national sense) did. But it would be nice to see a sense of proportion and balance being brought to the discussion.

    [My contact info is at my rr.com url.]

  4. I’ve seen a *lot* of pro-war excusing it on the grounds that we’re not as bad as Hussein. Much more than the other. Letters to the editor, editorials, in the mainstream presses, and in blogs and posts in the (real) free press. Also still some on the grounds of Remember The Maine – er, 911. Today’s cartoon in the Chicago Sun Times is a particularly nasty version of that.

    The administration is now taking a “not as bad as Hussein” tack, in fact – they’re attempting to coopt Darby’s (and who else? Who made the stunning gesture of handing a classified report to *Sy Hersh* when *Colin Powell* is again saying All Quiet On The Eastern Front? and why is the press not asking this?) heroism by saying, “See! This is why we’re better! Would you ever have had such an honest, open admission and inquiry and justice to be served, under Hussein?”

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