Monday, June 16, 2008

McClatchy Does It Again

Taxi to the Darkside trailer...

McClatchy is doing an important series on the sweeping up of the innocents in the GWOT which is bound to raise some hackles (once heavy crepe veiling and deepest mourning for the Monsignor have passed) among the Palace Courtiers and might just get the perpetrators -- of the series, not the crimes -- a Pulitzer or two.

Wouldn't hurt given the fact that McClatchy is bleeding advertising revenues and announced another staff cutback today.

From today's report on the routine brutality of captive in American military custody:

The brutality at Bagram peaked in December 2002, when U.S. soldiers beat two Afghan detainees, Habibullah and Dilawar, to death as they hung by their wrists.

Dilawar died on Dec. 10, seven days after Habibullah died. He'd been hit in his leg so many times that the tissue was "falling apart" and had "basically been pulpified," said then-Lt. Col. Elizabeth Rouse, the Air Force medical examiner who performed the autopsy on him.

Had Dilawar lived, Rouse said in sworn testimony, "I believe the injury to the legs are so extensive that it would have required amputation."

After Habibullah died, a legal officer for U.S. forces in Afghanistan asked two military police guards at Bagram to demonstrate how they'd chained detainees' wrists above their heads in a small plywood isolation cell.

"Frankly, it didn't look good," Maj. Jeff Bovarnick, the legal adviser for the Bagram detention center from November 2002 to June 2003, said during a military investigation hearing in June 2005.

"This guy is chained up and has a hood on his head," Bovarnick continued. "The two MPs that were demonstrating this took about five minutes to get everything hook(ed) up; and I was thinking to myself, if this was a combative detainee, it must have been a real struggle for them to get him to comply, and the things they must have been doing to make him comply."

The only American officer who's been reprimanded for the deaths of Habibullah and Dilawar is Army Capt. Christopher Beiring, who commanded the 377th Military Police Company from the summer of 2002 to the spring of 2003.

One of the many problems all along has been the absence of field officers in this Great War against innocents. It's not just that few have been charged and convicted of the endless crimes committed in our names, it is that they aren't there at all. Officers are simply absent. They are either holed up in the various palaces or bases seized from the natives, which, until recently, they rarely left. Or they are running around sucking up to their own superiors, sometimes quite openly angling for attention and promotions by... "following orders" which has led to one atrocity after another.

McClatchy is documenting war crimes, in detail, with plenty of names, dates and whatever evidence they can secure. The military, of course, denies everything -- when it isn't completely refusing comment of any kind.

What will eventually happen with this material is anybody's guess. Righteously, the entire regime and all of its enablers, and those in the military who have carried out atrocities and war crimes would face justice of some sort, but we've seen that no such thing even contemplated.

No. They'll get away with it. Indeed, they may be honored, at least some of them.

And We, the People look on in horrified disbelief. The McClatchy series needs to be seen.

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