Sunday, May 16, 2004

The Next Wave

Seymour Hersh’s next installment is here in The New Yorker, detailing Rumsfeld’s authorization to “do what you want” to prisoners in Abu Ghraib.

A Pentagon spokesman is saying it’s all lies. Of course he is. Anyone who knows anything about special forces knows that the IMF disclaimer is bone-chillingly true: “If any of your agents should be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.”

This effectively hangs the lower-level troops and commanders out to dry with no other option than to point fingers elsewhere. And while they may be right – that the blame lies up the chain of command – they will never get anyone in flag country to admit their complicity. In a way I feel sorry for the accused, but “I was only following orders” hasn’t worked since 1946.