Tuesday, May 04, 2004

On the Misconduct at Abu Ghraib

There have been so many reports about the misconduct of some of the soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq (although here is report about Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's latest statement on the matter) that I don't feel the need to link to a bunch of them. I'll just stick to stating my usual uninformed opinion on the matter. There are two things that need to happen.

First, the people responsible for the mistreatment of those prisoners must be tracked down and appropriately punished. Not just enlisted personnel, but the responsible officers, contractors and military intelligence types who may have been involved in these "interrogations". I think that is necessary to uphold the honor of the United States and that of our armed services. We cannot be like the government we deposed, otherwise we fail. We have a resposibility to make great efforts to live up to the standards we proclaim to stand for.

Second, we must make sure that the Iraqi people know what actions have been taken to ensure that justice has been done. Otherwise, they have will have some reason to believe that the US is no better than than the scumbags who used to rule the place. Certainly that is not the truth, but the perception matters. The Iraqis need to know that we do punish those who break the rules, even (especially) when they are our own people. They need to see that justice can prevail.

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