Observations on the world today.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

General Mayhem 

The New York Times > Washington > General Took Guant?namo Rules to Iraq for Handling of Prisoners:
When Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller arrived in Iraq last August with a team of military police and intelligence specialists, the group was confronted by chaos.

In one prison yard, a detainee was being held in a scorching hot shipping container as punishment, one team member recalled. An important communications antenna stood broken and unrepaired. Prisoners walked around barefoot, with sores on their feet and signs of untreated illness. Garbage was everywhere.

Perhaps most important, with the insurgency raging in Iraq, there was no effective system at the prisons for wringing intelligence from the prisoners, officials said.

"They had no rules for interrogations," a military officer who traveled to Iraq with General Miller said. "People were escaping and getting shot. We tried to offer them some very basic recommendations."

According to information from a classified interview with the senior military intelligence officer at Abu Ghraib prison, General Miller's recommendations prompted a shift in the interrogation and detention procedures there. Military intelligence officers were given greater authority in the prison, and military police guards were asked to help gather information about the detainees.

Whether those changes contributed to the abuse of prisoners that grew horrifically more serious last fall is now at the center of the widening prison scandal.
Wait. Hold up. Whether this contributed to the abuse? There was already abuse. They witnessed abuse, and their only problem was that the abuse they witnessed was ineffective for garnering information. "What you guys need here is some better abuse techniques."

I also found this paragraph telling.
His hard-charging attitude has also raised questions that go beyond interrogation methods. He was the official most responsible for pressing a case last year against a Muslim chaplain at the base, Capt. James J. Yee, that was initially billed as a major episode of espionage. In March, the military announced that it would drop all charges.
This comes after a series of paragraphs detailing how the pentagon considered Miller their golden-boy. And then there is this:
The Taguba report also highlighted General Miller's recommendation that commanders in Iraq form and train a prison guard force "subordinate to the Joint Interrogation Debriefing Center (J.I.D.C.) Commander" that "sets the conditions for the successful interrogation and exploitation of internees/detainees.
(Emphasis mine.) Gosh, I wonder how anybody could misread that to mean torture and exploit the prisoners?


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?