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Why Our Boys Tortured and Murdered Prisoners

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  • This is good, and I agree with you, but I think some of the claims require more abstract thought than I think the average person is inclined to do. Here is something I wrote [] on the subject that makes a much more direct connection between the lies behind this war and the actions of our soldiers.

    • You're right, it requires more thought then almost any of the soldiers involved were likely to give, but the basic premise is still correct. All of these things show that our leaders are willing to lie, cheat and manipulate to achieve what they consider to be "good". Our soldiers learned by example to do the same.

      Our soldiers learned that doing "whatever it takes to achieve success" is effectively the law of the land, even if that "whatever" includes violating nearly everything you state you're fighting
  • More likely it was related to stuff like how the Geneva convention wasn't so important in the fight against terrorism.

    "A new Battle for a new Millenium demands new Rules! If you believe in the rule of law, you're no better than the French!"

  • by Red Warrior ( 637634 ) * on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:27AM (#9104484) Homepage Journal
    EVEN IF all your claims were true (and the only one remotely true is the bi-partisan PATRIOT act, btw), which I will grant for the sake of arguement, It does not either explain or excuse the actions of those MPs. Those MPs did NOT "act out" because they were unhappy with the Bush administration, or the State of the Union. It's fine if you wanna dislike Bush or his policies, but trying to tie the election results in Florida (and, btw, every single recount done using Gore's preferred methods showed Bush winning, but I digress) to the acts of these soldiers is unworthy of you. You are smarter than that.
    • Und ze most important, Herr Perens.

      "Ve ver yust following orders!" []

    • Yeah,

      But a fish rots from its head.

      The whole administration and its endeavours - from the top down - stinks with preachy and disingenuous morality. A false morality which insinuates a message of power and predudice, with a sly wink.

      "We are right." " You are either with us, or against us." "This is a Crusade. Ooops! We 'misspoke'."

      Hey, if you're in Iraq, how are you getting web-access? KBR is supposed to have suspended the Interne to rank and file - Cheney's spin control partner.

      • If you really believe that, you must believe that a majority, or at least a sizable minority, of us over here are just looking for an opportunity to find someone to abuse. If you believe that, I am sorry for you.

        The very idea that these soldiers acted the way they did because "Bush sucks" (to summarize your arguement), uhhmm sucks. Interesting that you can say that Bush has a "false morality", and quitely encourages abuse on the part of soldiers. Did a shrink or a pyschic let you know what's really lurks i

        • Fark linked to a blog that supposedly has scooped all the other news media. Supposedly no private machines allowed on halliburton's network or something like that became no internet access period.

 i nk =947470

 49 .html

          About the recount:
          Gore could have won []


          Ironically, a tougher standard of counting only cleanly punched ballots advocated by many Republicans would have resulted in a Gore lead of just th
          •,8599,634 6 38,00.html []

            Saturday, May. 08, 2004
            It's not exactly every day that the Pentagon warns military personnel to stay away from Fox News. But that's exactly what some hopeful soul at the Department of Defense instructed, in a memo intended to forbid Pentagon staff reading a copy of the Taguba report detailing abuse of detainees at prisons in Iraq that had been posted at the Fox News web site.

            An email to Pentagon staff marked "URGENT IT (Information Technolog

          • We covered this recently in my statistics class. The only way Gore would have won would have been by using the standard of "obvious intent" which was opposed by the republicans during a complete recount of the entire state which was opposed by the democrats. This also doesn't take into consideration the fact that the state was called for Gore before the polls closed in the largely republican panhandle.

            Any statistical analysis of the votes shows that Florida was a tie.
            • if a state is so close that a recount is needed, perhaps the electoral votes should get split evenly. that way gore would have won 280 to bush's 259.
              • A neat idea. Can you point out where that is documented in the US Constitution, the Florida State Constitution or the Florida elections laws? No? Well, then you are stuck playing by the rules that are in effect at the time of the election, not what you think would be better after your guy loses. You would also end up splitting states like Washinton, New Mexico and Wisconsin since they were close enough and there were enough alegations of fraud to trigger your idea.
                • My reply was lighthearted. No kidding it isn't in the law books.

                  Perhaps we should split all the close states. There needs to be some reform to make the 32 states that aren't swing states more relevent to the outcome. Just like the Senate increases representation of small states, there should be some mechanism to better help a candidate who gets 65% of a states vote. Maybe the winner of a state should get the electoral votes, plus an extra vote per 500,000 of the margin of victory. So in a state where
                  • Perhaps we should split all the close states.

                    All of this ignores the fact that the United States is now capable of counting large numbers accurately.

                    If it were a national election, rather than the sum of the decision of a bunch of state elections, it would more accurately reflect the will of the people.


                    • Sure, but even I'm willing to concede that under that system the candidates would spend most of their time going from large city to large city. Considering how many people live in cities, that's really not a bad idea, but I wonder how this would play in the less populated states? I think my idea has a better chance of becoming reality, even if its odds are still close to zero.

                      I think its lame how many people don't consider that maybe other countries have better democratic representation and government sy
                    • I think they'd make more use of the media. Most of the voters don't live in cities, and it's impossible to present live before more than a tiny fraction of them.


        • A sizeable majority are complicit - as volunteers, not conscripts - in an illegal war of aggression against an innocent civil population.

          Complicity includes logistical and support positions, not just combatants. Some one who ensures a proper supply of ball-point pens may feel safely removed from this [].

          "I was only following orders."

    • (and, btw, every single recount done using Gore's preferred methods showed Bush winning,

      Screw the recount. Bush's brother made sure that hundreds, if not thousands of black voters were incorrectly denied the right to vote in Florida.

      It's clearly obvious that there was blatant corruption and voter fraud going on.
      • It's just as obvious that thousands of members of our military, a traditionally conservative votership, were incorrectly denied the right to vote due to mishandling of their absentee ballots.
        • This canard keeps getting repeated, but my memory was that not only were the military votes counted the Gore/Lieberman team were considering blocking the counting but gave in, in the end, to the principle that those votes should be counted: Gore wanted them counted, Leiberman was pretty furious at him for that), but votes were counted that were clearly against the rules (ie military postal votes that arrived a week or more later for which there was every reason to believe had been sent after the deadline.)
      • Didn't the CEO of Diebold state that his job was to deliver the vote to Bush?

        I'd say it's in the bag!

        Four more years! Four more years!


    • EVEN IF all your claims were true

      All of the events he mentions are well documented, and your assertion that they are not shows you to be about as informed on our countries recent history as the average American (If you like, I can provide links for you, but you'll learn more if you look for the evidence yourself.)

      I reccomend you poke around the National Security Archives [] in order that you might learn of contemporary American history.

      It does not either explain or excuse the actions of those MPs.

    • EVEN IF all your claims were true (and the only one remotely true....

      Red Warrior is simply trying to shield his consciousness from the very obvious fact that his orders [] are illegal. []

      When it became obvious to General Zinni [] that the orders were illegal, he resigned. That is true bravery, honor, and fidelity. How many followed his lead?

      Now those who did not are under stop-loss orders, and have all had their honor stained by the realities of "military intelligence." What goes around comes around.

    • (Maybe off topic, but I don't care.) Wow! Are you in the military?? And you're makiing statements like this, "We're better than they are. []"? Well, that certainly goes a long way to explain your bias, and the hate directed at the Americans. And just who are you serving? Obviously not the Iraqis whose country you INVADED. Amazing. You lock a guy(Iraq) up in a room with a maniac(Saddam), and then you expect him to be grateful for letting him out. Beautiful, man.
  • Thanks (Score:3, Informative)

    by Raindance ( 680694 ) * <> on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:47AM (#9104543) Homepage Journal

    Thanks for the article. It hit a chord with me.

    I agree with the direction of your thoughts- I'd also suggest a couple possible additions:

    We showed them that the Arabic people are terrorists with the way we've handled our War Against Terror.

    We showed them that Might makes Right when Mr. Bush managed to turn a family grudge match with Saddam Hussein into a war with Iraq and no one successfully called him on it.

    Take care,
  • With all due respect, you have many valid points, but none of them seem to come close to a convincing explanation for me. Disenfranchised voters etc. weren't on those soliders' minds, as far as I can tell. This article [] paints a bleak but rather plausible picture. Most striking quote: `"To the country boys here, if you're a different nationality, a different race, then you're sub-human. That's the way that girls like Lynndie are raised. Tormenting Iraqis, to their mind, would be no different from shooting
  • You're far more intelligent than your article shows -- I have had a great deal of respect for you for a long time. If I have time later I'll come back and refute your claims one by one, but for now I'll just say that what happened over there is a dishonor to everyone in uniform, and has nothing to do with our president. The whole story has yet to be told, and I suspect a lot of you will get an eye-opener when the court martials start.
    • You can't claim all the successes and distance yourself from failures. Bush is the commander in chief and as they say "The Buck Stops There." Like an exception the failure bubbles up. Guess who is responsible for handling the exception?
      • There is a difference between responsibility and fault. There is also a difference between direct responsibility and ultimate responsibility.

        You're right, the buck does stop with the President, but that doesn't mean that he's directly responsible for what happened, nor does it mean that it's his fault. A LOT more work needs to be done to argue that.

        As far as I've seen, the president is doing a good job of taking that ultimate responsibilty and the proper channels are being utilized to deal with the peo

  • I think that you are mistaken when you assume it's a recent problem.

    One becomes like the person they hate most. We saw this when the US faught communism and they had all of those not so nice McCarthy hearings. We saw this when the US govt overthrew democratic governments for being too close to "the enemy". We saw it when the pictures of troops murdering civillians in Vietnam. So we see it again now.

    The real problem is that the US answers to no one and they know it.

  • ...but not valid, IMHO. I agree with your points and the political views that go with them, and I'm baffled by the replies that have said your essay somehow insults soldiers (it doesn't) and the president (well, that's the what?). I think what happened was basic human nastiness that could have happened under just about any government given the wrong circumstances.

    There was a great article [] in the NYT recently summarising the Stanford prison experiment; folks, if you haven't heard about it, che

    • There was a great article in the NYT recently summarising the Stanford prison experiment

      The first-hand (eg written up by the organizer) account of that is here [].

      Must admit I thought I understood the situation with the Iraqi prisoners a week ago, but it seems like the more facts that have come out since, the more the waters have been muddied. About the only thing you can be sure of is that the reported torture did happen, and the people who did it were happy to do it.

  • Bruce, no mention of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp (Gulag if you will)? I think that shows more than others that we have no respect for human rights and the geneva convention.

    • The section on the PATRIOT act speaks of that point, although it doesn't mention the physical location. Good idea.


      • Do we know of torture, etc., at Guantanamo Bay? Maybe it doesn't make as much sense as talking about the Iraq site.



        • It'd take me a bit to dig it up, but they used 'torture light' techniques on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. There's a personal account by someone they released (who was originally being slightly mistreated in a Taliban prison before we decided he should be mistreated a little worse in our prison instead) because they couldn't manage to get anything on him, not even a traffic ticket.

          I also mention it in my LJ someplace. :-)

          It was similar in style. Degradation and humiliation instead of outright gross physi

      • Bruce,

        The PATRIOT act is about domestic affairs, while the Guantanamo activies are all about captured foreigners. I agree, the abduction (not arrest) of Jose Padilla and the holding of foreign nationals without charge or trial is from the same cloth. However, the PATRIOT act is not what is claimed to give the government the powers they are exercising in Guantanamo. Perhaps this is a subtle point.

  • The attorney for Albert Gore was one David Boies. If you want to know why Bush was selected, keep in mind that Boies made such a transparent bid for an improper recount that it was hard for the Court to correct the situation.

    In general, courts do not act sua sponte (on their own motion). They respond to the motions of the parties in suit by granting or denying particular relief requested.

    Boies did not ask for a statewide recount of ballots, a request that would have been hard to deny the propriety of. Ins
  • Brilliant and concise distillation of what is most wrong with these modern United States, especially regarding the Bush administration.

    However, I do not believe that most of those things had any substantial contribution to the war crimes comitted.

    The same anything-goes-when-fighting-terrorism attitude that gave us the PATRIOT Act and the two recent illegal, unprovoked and unjustified invasions, may have also justified these soldiers actions in their own mind.

    But I think the largest underlying cause is

  • Bruce,

    I don't feel that these reasons you cite contributed as directly as you suggest to our boys' and girls' torturing of prisoners. While they no doubt made it easier for those GIs to justify or rationalize their actions, the more significant factor in their behavior is human nature.

    We already know that under the conditions that were set for the American jailers, this outcome was all but assured -- PATRIOT Act, voting scandals, hypocritical Bush government or not. I quote from an article in the []

  • Thank you, Bruce!

    Here are some good links to cast far and wide: [] [] (see my JE for more info.)

  • Bruce,

    I think the list you compiled is very insightful and telling
    of a broader picture that--sadly--nearly half of Americans do
    not see--or worse--openly accept. However, I do believe it to be
    the case that the list you compiled functions best as a list of
    grievances and offenses committed by Mr. Bush and the people close
    to him and should act as a list of reasons not to re-elect him and
    as a basis for present or future censure against him; but not as a
    direct line of empirical reasoning drawing the conclu
  • Thanks for writing that Bruce, I agree with you on a lot of points with F/OSS. But in this..... I take some lines from two movies, swordfish and The Untouchables. In swordfish, the ploy was to make the business of terrorism a losing proposition. Even though it turned out to be a lie, the basic concept is sound. To hurt them so hard that it stops. In the Untouchables the Sean Connery character says early on "What are you prepared to do?" "He pulls a knife, you pull a gun, Capone puts one of your men in the
    • I did stay in the hotel at 7 World Trade on July 11 that year, and carried out meetings in the towers. So, it came close to many of us. But I would not have had the US invade Iraq in my name.



    • Two things:

      #1 Putting Them Down: Irish terrorism largely stopped when the Irish people were given more freedom and the economy improved (largely as a result of that freedom). Palestinian violence dramatically increased as troops rolled in to the occupied territories and made economic activity almost impossible. It's clear that guns alone are not a complete solution. A complete solution must include respect. Not respect for the terrorists themselves, but respect for the people that the terrorists claim
  • Bruce,

    A few of those are non-sequiturs, and you're missing a very important one: This administration considers 'support our troops' to mean 'put our boys in harms way, but not 'give them decent health and disability benefits'. It's a pretty important point that those have actually been *cut* recently.
  • Sorry Bruce,
    But I have to disagree with you here. The fact is that the military does not condone this type of action and as such it is out of the norm. I don't know where they got their ideas but those ideas were wrong. I don't much care for the Bush administration but saying that they caused it removing the blame from where belongs, ie firmly on the heads of the perpentrators.
  • Better edit out the bit about lying about weapons of mass destruction. Seems like we found some today [].
    • But the story says our side thinks it's a pre-1991 round. Not that I believe that the Hussein government were at all disinclined to produce WMD. This just isn't the red flag we've been looking for.


      • Yes, but the pre-1991 round were all destroyed according to Iraq. Mustard gas last week, sarin this week, hugh stockpiles of pesticides hidden in ammo dumps. Why am I starting to think that nothing we find is ever going to convice that anti-war people?

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein