Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rumsfeld's Knowledge of Abu Ghraib

Top Military Investigator: "He's Trying to Acquit Himself"
The General who conducted the investigation into the Abu Ghraib torture scandal admits that he was told not to investigate anyone with a higher rank than the MPs involved in the scandal.

The article is simply Seymour Hersh at his history making best. General Antonio Taguba has some very interesting insights about the military and civilian leadership he wasn't allowed to investigate.
  • "Rumsfeld is very perceptive and has a mind like a steel trap. There’s no way he’s suffering from C.R.S.—Can’t Remember Shit. He’s trying to acquit himself, and a lot of people are lying to protect themselves."
  • "The whole idea that Rumsfeld projects—‘We’re here to protect the nation from terrorism’—is an oxymoron. He and his aides have abused their offices and have no idea of the values and high standards that are expected of them. And they’ve dragged a lot of officers with them."
  • "These M.P. troops were not that creative. Somebody was giving them guidance, but I was legally prevented from further investigation into higher authority. I was limited to a box."
Hersh tells how General Abizaid once warned Taguba that his report would make him a target.
A few weeks after his report became public, Taguba, who was still in Kuwait, was in the back seat of a Mercedes sedan with Abizaid. Abizaid’s driver and his interpreter, who also served as a bodyguard, were in front. Abizaid turned to Taguba and issued a quiet warning: “You and your report will be investigated.”

“I wasn’t angry about what he said but disappointed that he would say that to me,” Taguba said. “I’d been in the Army thirty-two years by then, and it was the first time that I thought I was in the Mafia.”

The White House denies Taguba's assertion that Bush probably knew, reiterating it's prior statement that Bush learned about Abu Ghraib from media reports.

Doesn't matter what Bush knew. Rumsfeld clearly knew plenty. Perhaps we'll hear echoes of this article in testimony before the Arms Services Committee from General Taguba in advance of a subpoena to Rumsfeld.

Oh, Henny Penny, the sky is falling.

UPDATE: Thanks to Wordsmith for pointing out that Crooks and Liars has the video of Wolf Blitzer interviewing Sy Hersh on CNN Sunday.

RELATED: "The Seymour Hersh Mystery" by Tom Engleheardt.

VIDEO: Hersch's explosive scoop from last month--U.S. funding Fatah.

Crossposted at IST.

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