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And I think the biggest mistake that's happened so far, at least from our country's involvement in Iraq is Abu Ghraib. We've been paying for that for a long period of time. And it's -- unlike Iraq, however, under Saddam, the people who committed those acts were brought to justice. They've been given a fair trial and tried and convicted.

This is your president ladies and gentlemen, a man who has no grasp of the truth.

I've explained before how a culture of impunity permeates the shady world of the CIA and civilian contractors, and I'm going to explain it once again.

Below is a series of sources that prove that some of the worst torturers working for the US have not been put to justice for their crimes against humanity in Abu Ghraib.

US military in torture scandal

One civilian contractor was accused of raping a young male prisoner but has not been charged because military law has no jurisdiction over him. [The Guardian, 4-30-04]

Contractors Implicated in Prison Abuse Remain on the Job

More than two months after a classified Army report found that two contract workers were implicated in the abuse of Iraqis at a prison outside Baghdad, the companies that employ them say that they have heard nothing from the Pentagon, and that they have not removed any employees from Iraq. [The New York Times, 5-4-03]

'Contract Interrogators Hired to Avoid Supervision'

Several high-ranking military legal officers believe the Pentagon used private contractors to interrogate prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan in a deliberate attempt to obscure aggressive practices from congressional or military oversight, according to a civilian lawyer who has spoken with them. [The Financial Times, 5-22-04]

Abu Ghraib abuse firms are rewarded

Two US defence contractors being sued over allegations of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison have been awarded valuable new contracts by the Pentagon, despite demands that they should be barred from any new government work. [The Guardian, 1-16-05]

Impunity for the Architects of Illegal Policy

To date, with the exception of one major directly implicated in abuse, only low-ranking soldiers -- privates and sergeants have been prosecuted. No officer has been charged in connection with detainee abuse by people under his command. No civilian leader at the Pentagon or the CIA has been investigated. [Human Rights Watch, April 2005]

No contractors facing Abu Ghraib abuse charges

No private contractors have so far faced prosecution despite their implication in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq, according to a new Pentagon report.

The study, sent to Congress earlier this year but not publicly released, covers the period from the start of May 2003 to the end of October 2004. It was ordered by Congress last year in the immediate aftermath of the Abu Ghraib scandal, in which it emerged that employees of private contractors were directly involved in interrogating Iraqi detainees.

A Pentagon investigation last year found that "several of the alleged perpetrators of the abuse of detainees" were private contractors, but noted that they might not be subject to criminal prosecution because of the legal vacuum created during US administration of Iraq.

The new report found that during the 18 months examined, no private contractor was disciplined or charged with any criminal offence in relation to their work in Iraq. It noted, however, that several of the abuse cases had been forwarded by the Pentagon to the Justice Department for investigation. "To date, no charges have been filed, however the cases remain under active investigation by the DOJ," the report said. [The Financial Times, 8-9-05]


The house belongs to Mark Swanner, a forty-six-year-old C.I.A. officer who has performed interrogations and polygraph tests for the agency, which has employed him at least since the nineteen-nineties. (He is not a covert operative.) Two years ago, at Abu Ghraib prison, outside Baghdad, an Iraqi prisoner in Swanner's custody, Manadel al-Jamadi, died during an interrogation. His head had been covered with a plastic bag, and he was shackled in a crucifixion-like pose that inhibited his ability to breathe; according to forensic pathologists who have examined the case, he asphyxiated. In a subsequent internal investigation, United States government authorities classified Jamadi's death as a "homicide," meaning that it resulted from unnatural causes. Swanner has not been charged with a crime and continues to work for the agency. [The New Yorker, 11-7-05]

Prosecutions and convictions

Nine U.S. Army soldiers have been court-martialed and convicted of crimes committed at Abu Ghraib prison: seven military police, and two soldiers from military intelligence. All were enlisted soldiers. Within the Army's judicial system, accountability up the chain of command has stopped at the rank of staff sergeant -- to date, no commanding officers have been prosecuted. [, 3-14-06]

No justice for all

Salon has obtained a previously unpublished 2003 Abu Ghraib photograph that shows Daniel Johnson, a civilian contractor, interrogating an Iraqi prisoner using what an Army investigation calls "an unauthorized stress position."

The Army investigated the circumstances behind the photograph, found "probable cause" that a crime had been committed, and referred the case to the Justice Department for prosecution. (Salon obtained the photo from someone who spent time at Abu Ghraib as a uniformed member of the military and is familiar with the Army investigation there.) But in early 2005, a Department of Justice attorney told the Army that the evidence in the case did not justify prosecution. [, 4-14-06]

The very idea that "the people who committed those acts were brought to justice" is simply ridiculous. The only people prosecuted for these acts were low ranking soldiers, scapegoats if you will. The military brass that approved of this mayhem, and the CIA agents and civilian contractors who took part in acts of rape and murder got off with a slap on the wrist. Bush is insulting our intelligence by making such a claim.

Originally posted to Daisy Cutter on Fri May 26, 2006 at 09:08 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You're absolutely on the mark. (0+ / 0-)

    Nevertheless, this will bounce around the Powerline echo chamber as self-evident.  Saddam was a bad guy!  Thus, anything we do, even if it's the same as him, is good.  Because we're not Saddam.

    See?  Isn't that reasonable?  Assholes.  

    "Like the tide is green with algae, and blue with blue-blood fuck-all..." -7.50; -6.21

    by sgoldinger on Fri May 26, 2006 at 09:10:56 AM PDT

    •  Bush Lied? Glad you're out of the Kool-aid coma! (0+ / 0-)

      You're on the wrong issue.

      1. Put all of your efforts into convincing the general public that the MSM is lying to them.
      1. Do what ever you can to prevent another stolen election. It was done in 2004, 2002, 2000 and most likely, before then as well.
      1. Prevent electroninc voting machines from stealing the elections. Tell everyone to wear blue or red to signify their voting preferences. Organize bipartisan exit polls to validate final vote tally outcomes.
      1. Do whatever the hell else you can do to prevent another round of stolen elections:

      Go early to your local pricinct. Take a video camera with you. Give the videos to friends on an hourly basis, but vary it to throw off Hayden and his military spies.

      If there is any problem within your precint, immediately upload the video to:


      1. Send whatever amount of money you can to the DNC and Howard Dean. They are the only official national Democratic group who are actually doing something to break the ties with "K Street and the boys."


      In Virginia, Harris Miller is the only Senate candidate who is not beholden to the Washington, D.C. (pu ck you! I got paid off from billions of missing money from Iraq!) power base.

  •  great diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    glad you put these links together. I think everybody here knows that Bush is lying about bringing the perps to justice, but it's good to have it documented clearly. The contractors in Iraq are the loosest of loose cannons.

  •  heh. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Remember a long time ago when Bush said he was going to close it, shut it down? Oops. What do you call it when someone says he's going to do something, and then does the opposite later? I don't remember. Something about a dolphin?

    •  Here's my Bush imitation... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Well, that's... well at least in Texas, that's called a 'bait and snitch.'  Because you can't have a reasonable debate with a snitch, see?  So we're gonna root 'em out!"

      "Like the tide is green with algae, and blue with blue-blood fuck-all..." -7.50; -6.21

      by sgoldinger on Fri May 26, 2006 at 09:32:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  On a more serious note (0+ / 0-)

        The thing about your excellent diary that really gets me -- the signing statement on the anti-torture law.  What the fuck is this "we prosecute the people responsible" when the fake President is simultaneously defending and continuing the practice?  

        It is baldfaced, bullshit hypocrisy at it's worst.

        "Like the tide is green with algae, and blue with blue-blood fuck-all..." -7.50; -6.21

        by sgoldinger on Fri May 26, 2006 at 09:38:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Very true, it's very false (0+ / 0-)

    I posted my observations today about Bush's comments last night on Abu Garhib HERE and HERE.  My posts focused more on the fact that he said he was sorry for how the torture hurt our image - rather than express regret on what actually occurred there.  

    You have correctly pointed out that not only were his comments on Abu Ghraib insensitive, they were also untruthful. Meanwhile, the mainstream media gushes on about the Presidents public apology. Sickening, isn't it.

    For The Sake Of All Beings I Seek The Enlighted Mind That I Know I'll Reap

    by MQAblog on Fri May 26, 2006 at 09:37:59 AM PDT

  •  Great job -- nice indictment. (0+ / 0-)


    Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
      Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
    Tempest even in reason's seat.

    by GreyHawk on Fri May 26, 2006 at 09:09:54 PM PDT

  •  Great Stuff (0+ / 0-)

    Absolute must read.  Contractors are a HUGE problem.

    As for accountability - no one is more angry about the lack of senior level accountability than Army officers.  We WANT heads to roll.  We NEED heads to roll.  Our Army depends on responsibility and accountability being more than words.

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Fri May 26, 2006 at 09:20:09 PM PDT

  •  It's Saddam in the dock, (0+ / 0-)

    and his high-level advisors, not the lower-level troops who carried out his orders. By Bush's own logic, it ought to be BUSH HIMSELF on trial, along with Rumsfield, Gonzalez, and all the high-level military men whose policies and lack of oversight led to these abuses. Not the enlisted personnel and NCOs who so far are the only ones punished.

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