Sunday, May 16, 2004

. . . the most crooked, you know, lying group
I've ever seen. . .

This may be the most prescient line of the election if today's New Yorker bombshell proves true. It will show every person in the Administration who has commented on the Iraq prison abuse scandal to be a liar. And the New Yorker article is indeed strong. Here's the first three paragraphs, but you can get the entire article here: New Yorker Online

The roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved last year by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly secret operation, which had been focussed on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq. Rumsfeld’s decision embittered the American intelligence community, damaged the effectiveness of √©lite combat units, and hurt America’s prospects in the war on terror.

According to interviews with several past and present American intelligence officials, the Pentagon’s operation, known inside the intelligence community by several code words, including Copper Green, encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in an effort to generate more intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq. A senior C.I.A. official, in confirming the details of this account last week, said that the operation stemmed from Rumsfeld’s long-standing desire to wrest control of America’s clandestine and paramilitary operations from the C.I.A.

Rumsfeld, during appearances last week before Congress to testify about Abu Ghraib, was precluded by law from explicitly mentioning highly secret matters in an unclassified session. But he conveyed the message that he was telling the public all that he knew about the story. He said, “Any suggestion that there is not a full, deep awareness of what has happened, and the damage it has done, I think, would be a misunderstanding.” The senior C.I.A. official, asked about Rumsfeld’s testimony and that of Stephen Cambone, his Under-Secretary for Intelligence, said, “Some people think you can bullshit anyone.”

I'm willing to wait and see whether this story is accurate, but the last story brought to us by Seymour Hersh, about the abuse itself in Abu Ghraib, turned out 100% true. The writer of this story has integrity, and this morning is going to be very interesting watching the Bushies on the news programs denying without denying. Sputtering is already proceeding on Fox.

Rumsfeld, at the least, is done.