Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Just People in Power Abusing it for Kicks

Lynndie England pleaded guilty in her Abu Ghraib trial, and she had to answer questions from the judge as to just what happened. Link.
Judge Pohl asked Ms. England directly whether she had been softening up detainees for questioning, as proponents of the so-called "torture narrative" have claimed. Ms. England denied it, and she also denied that her behavior was related to orders of any kind. "I had a choice, but I chose to do what my friends wanted me to do," she said. As for the others who participated, "They did it for their own amusement."

A military source who has seen all the photos -- not just those leaked to the press -- adds that they are date-stamped. The time sequence begins with naked photos of Ms. England and her boyfriend, convicted abuse ringleader Charles Graner. It progresses to photos of the two engaged in lewd acts, and then to photos involving other soldiers in lewd acts. Finally, the detainees enter the pictures. In other words, the Abu Ghraib crew degraded themselves before they degraded any Iraqis. This all merits punishment, but it doesn't fit any torture narrative.

So it was just what it looked like. The MSM coverage that hammered the torture theme every day for months had nothing to do with news coverage and everything to do with an attempt to defeat the reelection of President Bush. This was just another example of Lord Action's dictum "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Prison guards have extensive power over the prisoners, and strict supervision is necessary. That supervision was missing at Abu Ghraib, and the reservist MPs on the line abused their power for their own amusement. It is also interesting that the ring-leader was a prison guard in civilian life.

With the election over, the MSM have largely dropped the issue, and now only Senator Kennedy is still trying to ride it for all he thinks it is worth. He ignored the anniversary of the start of the war. He skipped the anniversary of the fall of Baghdad. Yet he was all over the airwaves on the anniversary of the breaking of the Abu Ghraib story. He still contends that it was torture ordered from the very top. However, as I have seen others in the blogosphere comment, no interrogator and no prison guard has drowned more people than Senator Kennedy.


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