The truth hurts

In today’s Guardian, Seymour Hersh explains the lack of accountability at the top levels of the Bush administration:

“It’s been over a year since I published a series of articles in the New Yorker outlining the abuses at Abu Ghraib. There have been at least 10 official military investigations since then – none of which has challenged the official Bush administration line that there was no high-level policy condoning or overlooking such abuse. The buck always stops with the handful of enlisted army reservists from the 372nd Military Police Company whose images fill the iconic Abu Ghraib photos with their inappropriate smiles and sadistic posing of the prisoners.”

“There is no evidence that President Bush, upon learning of the devastating conduct at Abu Ghraib, asked any hard questions of Rumsfeld and his own aides in the White House; no evidence that they took any significant steps, upon learning in mid-January of the abuses, to review and modify the military’s policy toward prisoners. I was told by a high-level former intelligence official that within days of the first reports the judicial system was programmed to begin prosecuting the enlisted men and women in the photos and to go no further up the chain of command.”

But we shouldn’t be surprised. With the lack of a real opposition in America, Britain or Australia, speaking truth to power is left to figures such as British MP George Galloway, saluted here by Scott Ritter:

“Galloway has…had the courage to stand up to unjust charges and an unjust war – and that is the only way that opinion will shift. Two years ago I wrote that the accusations of corruption against Galloway were too convenient, designed to silence one of the Iraq war’s harshest critics. The honourable member for Bethnal Green and Bow has entered the lair of a conservative American political body to confront it head-on about a war and occupation that many on both sides of the Atlantic, politicians and public alike, seem only too willing to sweep under the carpet. So, Mr Galloway, please accept from this American three cheers for a job well done.”

Independent American journalist Dahr Jamail, a regular visitor to Iraq without major news organisation backing, explains “living in two worlds”, between an American public not being told the truth about Iraq and average Iraqis struggling to understand a country blighted by violence.

Meanwhile, back on planet Bush, pictures of Saddam Hussein, published in Murdoch’s Sun in the UK, have further enraged the American administration. Once again, more concern is expressed about an American solider (presumably) leaking photos than actual abuses in Iraqi jails and beyond. The “mother of all smokescreens”, as Galloway said earlier in the week.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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