Honestly, I wonder what Rumsfeld was supposed to do. There were allegations of serious wrongdoing at Abu Ghraib. Rumsfeld allowed the press in. He sicc’ed a couple generals on the case in a big investigation, not to mention a bunch of Criminal Investigations Division agents, the Inspector General, and basically Loddy-Doddy and everybody. No coverup, no nothin’. It doesn’t look like DOD’s handling of the issue was perfectly smooth, but it seemed to be what should have been done. Court martials are pending for a bunch of major league sadistic prison guards, and long prison terms are probably in the offing. Rumsfeld has made public statements of intent that indicate such bias, that the defense counsel are questioning the ability of the accused to receive fair trials, and the prosecutors are urging him to shut up before the military judges get the message. He’s apologized a couple times (so he’s finished now, professionally) and 65 year-old patrician senators are being reduced to drooling and shaking in phony rage in his presence. Seymour Hersch is on Hardball every night insisting all of our troops are brutal subhuman scum, and the likes of Ted Kennedy are dropping carefully prepared nasty one-liners for media consumption.
It’s clear we’re all supposed to hate Rumsfeld, Bush and all of our troops now. So what was Rumsfeld supposed to do in lieu of going by the book? And what about all those other troops, who don’t engage in human rights violations?
I’ll tell you what Rumsfeld was supposed to do.
He was supposed to take those MPs out – the 120 or so privates and sergeants and captains running the prison, take them out front, and shoot them right in the fucking head one at a time – just like Nguyen Ngoc Loan did to that Viet Cong bomber in 1967. Kill them dead. And maybe shoot a dozen or so other troops, as if the event was the French mutiny of 1917. Then he was to turn the pistol on himself.
Fuck due process, fuck justice, fuck questions of guilt or innocence. That was the only course of action that would satisfy the left, and the more opportunistic politicians among the right.
As for the Arab street, well, he was expected to set his corpse on fire, too, and mutiliate his own corpse after he killed himself. That would quell their rage…
The alternative, of course,
is sappy euro post-colonial guilt, of the type we are trying to inflict on the Milosevic set. A couple years in prison, maybe, but more importantly, a couple years of browbeating by a sanctimonious judge, who retires each day to suck down snails and wine, and grab a bunch of roses for his wife from the Fish and Flower market on the way home… after which he can lecture her about what a bunch of dumb beasts Americans are. Sure, international justice may be, well, less filling and tastes not-too-great, but if following the book and due process are somehow improper, then that’s the sole alternative to the Gallipoli solution.
Indeed, expect Rumsfeld to be indicted in Brussels or Rome for his part in this. (Sure, it was essentially nil, but never mind. Facts (if such a thing actually existed for our postmodern robed masters) are irrelevant.
You know, on days like this I sorta quietly nurse a perverse hope that the U.S. efforts in the middle east fail. Then when Paris and New York get nuked, or Ebola’ed, at least we’d have some moral clarity underlying our over-the-top genocidal response.
As it is, the phony posturing and phony outrage of our politicians, the attemps at political correctness, the media feeding frenzy, the lefty editorialists talking about how we have riled the fearsome Arab street – all of it is just about too much of a fake dog and pony show for a man to take.
Bad things were done. It was really nasty prison guard abuse, in a land where U.S. troops caught in similar predicaments are treated much worse. Then a bunch of businesslike military men were fixing it, and well along the way to remedy the problems, and to punish those who caused the problems. That’s out the window now, and it’s been replaced by a bunch of camera-magnet pols who, on a good day, make about as much sense as my infant son. What an improvement, huh? So much for Congressional oversight serving as a tonic to executive branch abuse.
I have an idea. Let’s run around screaming and rending our garments. That’ll fix things up just fine, won’t it?
Jeebus, I’m pissed. The one time in the last 50 years we really need some serious people, some adults running things, and we get a malicious and infantile peanut gallery on one side of the aisle, and a bunch of low-forehead, cynical opportunists longing for a role on Law and Order on the other side.
I’m feeling ill…