No officer will serve jail time for the crimes at the Abu Ghraib prison.
THE MISBEGOTTEN effort to hold military officers accountable for the notorious abuses at Iraq‘s Abu Ghraib prison limped to a close last week when an Army lieutenant colonel was cleared by a court-martial jury of charges that he was responsible for the mistreatment of detainees.
. . . The Pentagon’s moves to protect guilty commanders while targeting their subordinates have been blatant. Col. Pappas, who confessed to approving the use of dogs in interrogations, was granted immunity from prosecution. He then testified against the soldiers who handled the dogs. Gen. Miller, who, according to sworn testimony by others, recommended that dogs be used at Abu Ghraib and sent “tiger teams” of Guantanamo interrogators to Iraq to train Abu Ghraib personnel, was allowed to retire a year ago. A general rejected the recommendation of a Pentagon investigator that Gen. Miller be sanctioned; the Army inspector general turned aside clear evidence that he lied to Congress and to military investigators.
Another example of the Washington ‘bubble.’ Pentagon commanders actually thought that what really mattered was how they were perceived within the beltway. How does this affect my relationship with my Commander in Chief and Congress?
The real damage–and it is unrelentingly long term damage–has been suffered out in the boondocks of America.
The list of general officers that support the patriotic vision, from Washington up through MacArthur and Eisenhower, stop dramatically with the Vietnam war. That was the beginning of being lied to, by politicians and general officers.
Subsequent graduating classes at West Point swore that that dissembling would never again occur. Yet here we are, a dozen generals into the Iraq war, being once again lied to by politicians (no great surprise) and general officers.
The ghastly legacy continues.