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View Diary: Kids sodomized at Abu Ghraib, Pentagon has the videos - Hersh (430 comments)

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  •  Oh, you might be interested in this aside... (none)
    from Sy Hersh's piece in the New Yorker of May 17th, "Chain of Command":

    http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?040517fa_fact2

    NBC News later quoted U.S. military officials as saying that the unreleased photographs showed American soldiers "severely beating an Iraqi prisoner nearly to death, having sex with a female Iraqi prisoner, and `acting inappropriately with a dead body.' The officials said there also was a videotape, apparently shot by U.S. personnel, showing Iraqi guards raping young boys."
    •  Like I said, American-run prison, American MI/MP (none)
      I appreciate your response to my request for evidence that the rapes were done by Iraqis, but it misses the broader point.  I asked you to 'explain how it is that prisoners taken by and held by Americans are being raped in American-run prison, or why this "will make a difference in the impact the story has", or how it "might explain some of the failures of the media to report it", or why you might think "we're going to be accused of being all kinds of crazy"'.  You now say that "a significant and insensitive portion of the American populace, who prefer reality television to reality, would rationalize the scandal away" but it is your rationalizations that are at issue.  Since you "don't know what to think", I'll tell you -- Americans and American policy are clearly responsible for what goes on in American prisons by Iraqi guards hired and supervised by Americans under an American occupation.  And Iraqis performing the rapes has nothing to do with the explanation of the failure of the media to report it -- as if the U.S. corporate-controlled media would be more inclined to report this story if it had been American personnel.
      •  Let's. Do. This. Again. Slowly. (none)
        Is there something you'd like to accuse me of? I'd prefer you just said it, rather than play this coy game of wilfully misinterpreting everything I say. It's more than a bit wearisome, and I think we'd all just rather hear it straight up.

        I'm glad you appreciate my slam-dunking the central tenet of your complaint. I appreciated the opportunity to do it. Onwards and upwards from there.

        1. How it is that prisoners taken by and held by Americans are being raped in American-run prison?

        By invitation, I assume. My guess is that as lax as regulations were at Abu Ghraib, it wasn't someplace that your average Iraqi on the street could stroll into to sneak in a quick rape before breakfast. Have I said otherwise elsewhere? Show it to me.

        Why will this make a difference in the impact the story has?

        Because wingnuts are desperate to deflect any blame for the disaster of Abu Ghraib, and my fear is that they'll try to say, "Look, the 'Blame America First' crowd says it was our beloved troops who did this, when it was really Iraqis!" And the fact that it was done at the invitation and under the direct supervision of American troops is an abstraction they'll pretend not to understand. (But I see that particular form of myopia knows no ideology.)

        How might the possibility that the perpetrators were Iraqi explain some of the failures of the media to report it?

        Because some of the media are as much a bunch of cockeyed right-wing apologists as are the people I anticipate latching onto the pisss-poor excuse I outlined in answer to the previous question. Plus, their dingbat editors may be thinking, "Who cares, if it was just a bunch of filthy Iraqis?"

        Why might I think "we're going to be accused of being all kinds of crazy?".

        Because that's what wingnuts love, more than anything else, to say about us. We're "crazy" because we don't see the problem the only "real" way there is to see it -- for its face value and nothing else. They'll say, "You want to pin this on Americans, but the plain fact is that it was the Iraqis." Try as you might to explain the concept of responsibility to them, they'll simply hold their hands over their ears and say, "Lalalala, I'm not listening to you (you commie)."

        I now say that "a significant and insensitive portion of the American populace, who prefer reality television to reality, would rationalize the scandal away."

        Yes? I stand by that. That's what I've been saying from the beginning.

        Is it my rationalizations that are at issue? Very well then, name them. I'll discuss them. Name them. Time's a-wasting.

        I also note that, like Marisacat, you hang your hat on my use of the cliche, "I don't know what to think." Please, God, tell me this buffoon is joking when he tells me he'll tell me what to think. Please, tell me he's pulling my leg!

        Ahhh, no such luck. "Americans and American policy are clearly responsible for what goes on in American prisons by Iraqi guards hired and supervised by Americans under an American occupation."

        Oh, wait. He is telling me what I think! What a miraculous coincidence! Of course, you'd think that since I had been saying that from the beginning, he'd have caught on, well... from the beginning. But apparently he has someone to impress, or some liberal bona fides to establish.

        But wait, there's more! "Iraqis performing the rapes has nothing to do with the explanation of the failure of the media to report it -- as if the U.S. corporate-controlled media would be more inclined to report this story if it had been American personnel."

        Hmm, a sliver of hope. It's as plausible a thought as mine. Of course, he thinks it's been handed down as truth from on high, and that makes him a little bit of a lunkhead, but a lovable one nonetheless.

        This has been a collossal waste of time, jgb. I'll continue it for it's entertainment value, though. Just to see how much straw you can stuff into that man you're building up.

        •  Willful misrepresentation of every thing you say? (none)
          This is the way you "start again"?  F-off, a-hole.
          •  Is that what we were doing? (none)
            Starting again? I didn't realize that. Seriously.

            It looked to me like all your quotations back to me, your insistence that I'd missed "the broader point," your stress on things "your rationalizations," and of course, your continued insistence that I literally "don't know what to think" (and that you could tell me) was just more of the same.

            If it wasn't, I can accept that. Let's start over, because this is crazy.

            1. I believe that regardless of who perpetrated the rapes, we are responsible. I have no doubt that it wasn't a bunch of Iraqi freelancers who proposed dropping by the prison to commit some rapes in their spare time.
            2. I believe that if we'd really like to hold all involved responsible, for instance, for war crimes, it will make the very questions I've asked here absolutely necessary.
            3. I believe that right wing apologists will not agree to numbers one and two, and further that they will believe that the fact that Iraqis may have perpetrated the rapes will provide them some sort of cover.
            Concessions I am perfectly willing to make:
            1. That my guess that the fact that the rapists might be Iraqis might not have anything at all to do with the lack of media coverage. This is not at all central to what I'm talking about, and is only one of a million possible explanations. I don't need it, and it's getting in the way. You have another theory, and it serves me just as well, and I'm willing to accept it.
            2. That once you get to the punishment stage, there is no need to separate the act from the responsibility for it.
            Concessions I am unwilling to make:
            1. That a legitimate legal process under which one might punish the offenders (both rapists and their collaborators) can afford due process without establishing the facts of the case.
            2. That I believe that apologists will reject a conspiratorial view of the acts, and seek to minimize the American role in these atrocities.
            3. That the acknowledgement of the facts is still easily separable from apologia.
            I think that's pretty straightforward.
             

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