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Someone thought it would be cute to hand over the running of the prisons in Iraq to military intel, with little to no uniformed oversight. They thought it would be cute to have people ill-equipted to run prisons, much less extract intel, to humiliate and torture prisoners, against all common decency and probably the Geneva Conventions as well. So now, from all of that comes the retaliatory shot by real terrorists... they beheaded an American civilian contractor.

Now, this is not to be read as a absolution of blame from the executioners of the absolute barbaric murder. It's given that they could have found any pretext to do it, but things we do do have consequences. What this group of people did by allowing Abu Graibe is give Osama bin Laden every bit of propaganda material they will ever need for the next decade. And that is not the worse of it.

Conservatives should be furious over this. Conservative concerns about an International Court are not trivial, but now, thanks to Abu Graibe, the first thoughts that will come to anyone's mind if the US ever makes an objection to having our military men and women stand trial will be Abu Graibe.

And that is just one place where our word has been devalued because of our deeds.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
May. 12th, 2004 12:02 pm (UTC)
I don't disagree with you often, Sterling, but I'm not sure we can say whether al-Zarqawi wouldn't have committed an act like this anyway.

However: apparently our people in that part of the world had a few chances to kill or capture al-Zarqawi in 2002, since he was operating out of Kurd-controlled northern Iraq. But they were prevented from acting, since once he was out of action, that would have undermined one of our invasion-justifying claims, that al-Qaeda was operating in Iraq.

And that's a much bigger outrage.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )