Rotten apples

by Henry Farrell on September 25, 2005

Scott Horton has an “indispensable post”: at Balkinization on the armed forces’ response to the torture scandals. One telling paragraph:

bq. Harvey and Schoomaker also claim that the reports reflect that the Army took a “critical look at itself” and that it “investigated every credible allegation of detainee abuse.” But the cumulative evidence shows that, although the investigators and staff took their work seriously, the focus of those higher up was on a whitewash. An excellent example of this can be found in the work of MG Fay, who before being called up was a New Jersey insurance executive best known for his fund-raising activities on behalf of the Bush-Cheney campaign. As it happens, I was in Germany in the spring of 2004 at roughly the same time that MG Fay was there interviewing soldiers and officers with V Corps MI units. Having some contacts with these units, I took the time to speak to a number of NCOs and officers to get a sense of just how Fay was conducting his investigation. What I heard was consistent and very disturbing. Fay repeatedly warned soldiers that if they were involved in incidents, they would be put up on charges. And if they had seen things and not reported them, they would be up on charges. Then he asked if the soldiers had anything to report. One soldier told me that when he began to describe an incident to Fay, he was stopped and told “Son, you don’t want to go there.” This process was constructed to stop soldiers from coming forward with evidence about what had happened — the opposite of a fair or critical inquiry. But I stress that among the twelve investigations conducted, the Fay/Jones report was one of the best. One wonders what it would have netted had proper investigatory technique been used.



nick s 09.25.05 at 1:46 am

This, perhaps, ought to be seen in the light of the Pentagon’s ridiculous response to reporting on the Iraq snuff-for-porn site:

Officials at the Defense Department and at US Central Command in Tampa Bay, Florida, shied away from any direct comments about military personnel posting combat images on Wilson’s porn site, claiming a firewall blocks viewing of such material from their office computers.



Barry 09.25.05 at 12:57 pm

It’s been hours, and the trolls haven’t come. Must be their day off.


Wolfgang 09.25.05 at 3:14 pm

These reports about torture in Iraq should be archived for the next time a journalist asks a politician the “Why do they hate us?” question


Anodyne 09.25.05 at 5:57 pm

A tough week for Army investigations. Via the Cunning Realist.


abb1 09.26.05 at 4:58 am

Thanks for the link, Anodyne.

Chomsky was Pat Tillman’s favorite author?
He urged soldiers to vote against Bush?
He thought the Iraq war was illegal?

I had no idea.

Lol. We really do live in an Orwellian dystopia.

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