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Think I've got it, folks.  The unprecedented dismissal on August 8 of 4-Star Gen. Kevin P. Byrnes for alleged "sexual misconduct" is about the White House's need to block anti-torture legislation on detainees currently holding up the $442 billion defense bill and threatening a bruising Republican meltdown after the recess.

Retiring General Discredited for Political Reasons?

In a letter signed by Retired Brig. Gen. David Irvine and 10 other former high-ranking military officers -- and waved around by Senator John McCain on the Senate floor as documentation of DoD support for his bill--  :

[Irvine], who spent 18 years teaching interrogators how to question prisoners of war, is among 11 former high-ranking officers calling on Congress to tighten laws against abusing prisoners.

"What has gone on over the past few years is completely off the book," the Salt Lake City resident told The Salt Lake Tribune.

The good stuff after the cut!

Gen. Byrnes, scheduled to retire in November, may very well have been just about to add his name to that list.  Remember, Gen. Byrnes has an otherwise unblemished 36-year record for service and was the head of TRADOC the Army's training division.  Reading his speeches, one can only imagine this man's reaction to Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo if he (correctly, IMHO) perceived that the civilian leadership was scapegoating soldiers and their "poor training" for carrying out the administration's illegal torture policies.

Bush and Rumsfeld (who are meeting tonight in Crawford) had to move quickly to preempt such a credible and high-profile exposure of military dissent that could threaten to tip the balance in the coming debate over the anti-torture provisions in the defense bill and force the President to veto that juicy, pork-filled bill.

Best guess?  Rumsfeld learned or surmised how Byrnes felt and anticipated his coming plans to join "the 11" and ordered some quick digging into Byrnes' private life.  Turns out Byrnes, separated from his wife over a year ago but not yet officially divorced, had a girlfriend.  

Bang bang Gen. Byrnes, your career and reputation are dead.

Threat neutralized.  In Byrnes' place?  The General in charge of covering up official misconduct at Abu Ghraib, Rumsfeld pet Gen. Anthony R. Jones.  

Very nicely done, gentleman.  Who cares about destroying some General's life?  There must be some good belly laughs and merry toasts at the cruelty and luscious power of it all going down in Crawford tonight.

Or maybe I'm just a conspiracy theorist.  Dare you recommend?

Originally posted to iCassandra on Thu Aug 11, 2005 at 09:54 PM PDT.

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