Sunday, May 09, 2004

a week ago i posted about the supreme court reviewing the treatment of prisoners at guantanamo bay, & how naive some of the govts arguments in that case sounded now that photos of abuse in abu ghraib have turned up. the nytimes is a week behind me as they dig up an interesting passage from those arguments. (the supremes might also want to pick up the daily mirror, where a british citizen who was held at gitmo for two years tells his sad tale.

the photos are blowing up into a huge scandal. bush went on arab tv to talk about them, but he did not actually apologize. people noticed. scott mcclellan then apologized on bush's behalf to the white house press corps. then the next day, bush appeared on tv and announced that he had personally apologized to king abdullah of jordan. the press reinterpreted this as a public apology, which he technically had not. either way, the pseudo-apology has not done much to rectify the situation, & bush himself has not taken responsibility for any problems: he's pawned that off on rumsfeld.

times are hard for rumsfeld. some remember his past statements about how little he thinks of geneva conventions & many are calling for him to resign. the president publically stands by him, but even the prez is pretty pissed... not only did bush chew rummy's bitch ass out, but then the white house leaked that it had happened. & when rummy was being grilled by the senate on friday, he admitted that there are much worse photos out there.

maybe worse pictures need to come out before some people come out of denial... rush limbaugh and a disappointing number of others think the abuse scandal is no big deal, likening it to "innocent" pranks like fraternity hazing. now, if frat boys like to sodomize each other & rape each other's women, then good for the frats (but not so good for the sororities). but regardless how harsh you think this stuff is, as buzzflash points out, it does classify as torture under the UN conventions. and the word is that at least 25 prisoners in iraq & afghanistan have died, which is more deaths than frat hazing causes in a decade or more...

the military has announced its first court-martial over the torture scandal, with more to follow. it remains to be seen whether any of the "private contractors" who were involved in these brutal interrogations will face justice, or what will become of the military intelligence officers who egged it all on.

this story is so big & deep i'm sure i'm missing some juicy details, & i can only imagine what more will come out in the next few weeks...

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