The News in Pictures
Monday, May 10, 2004 - 05:00 PM
This week, we will be posting excerpts of selected listener emails in the blog. If you would like to comment on this (or anything else on the show for that matter), email us your thoughts. Today, listeners weigh in on the interview with journalist Anthony Lewis
It is clear that the prosecution for *picture taking* is a sanction for whistle blowing. Before the Senate, Rumsfeld himself said not that the torture documented would be worse, but that the *situation* would be when further photos came out.
I fully agree with Anthony Lewis's column.
My first thoughts after seeing the photographs went in two directions: first to the prisoners in Guantanamo, for whom I have no sympathy and yet feel are deserving of being brought before the light of day and fully investigated and tried before a US court of law. The secrecy of their internment is counter to our best traditions, and gives our enemies fuel from our hypocrisy.
Secondly, I could not help thinking how tone deaf our leaders are to history to preserve the prison in the first place. I would say liberators would have bulldozed the prison, as France revolutionaries did the Bastille, as the symbol of tyranny. This goes to the same post victory lapses in protecting the oil ministry in Baghdad and letting all the cultural and social institutions to be looted.
Bush's culpability in this fiasco stems from the lack of resources and planning that went into the post-war. Every description of the Army Reserve unit that oversaw the prison portrayed it as poorly trained and under-staffed. We know from the Woodward book that we spent over a year planning the war itself in meticulous detail, and yet we couldn't provide extra training for these soldiers before the war? The fact that the Abu Ghraib was overcrowded and being shelled on a regular basis stems directly from the absence of any realistic plan for the managing the transition to democracy, and from there simply not being enough troops to deal with the insurgency. It is these "facts on the ground" that set the conditions for the abuses at Abu Ghraib. And they are directly Bush's responsibility.