U.S. Army Issues Bald-Faced Abu Ghraib Whitewash

Anyone remember Abu Ghraib? Seems like only . Did you read about the recently-released Army investigation into the abuses there and elsewhere? No? It’s getting great reviews:

“effectively communicates the strategy of the military brass on the detainee affair, which is to focus blame on a few low-ranking personnel, shield all senior commanders from accountability, and deny or bury any facts that interfere with these aims… implausible and unacceptable.”Washington Post

“this 300-page whitewash… found no ‘systemic’ problem… The inspector general’s staff did not dig into the abuse cases, but merely listed them.”New York Times

The Democrats sure have been making a lot of noise lately. Maybe they’ll show some remorse for giving Dubya a blank check to invade Iraq, for signing off on the “Patriot Act” with a salute, and for the rest of their cowardly cave-ins by showing some purposeful outrage now. This shall not stand! The United States will not wink at torture or enshrine it as a policy and our Democratic Party will not allow this to happen!

Cue Democrats.

I’m happy to say that I watched none of the convention, and I look forward to to devoting just as little attention to that of the Republicans. But Zeynep Toufe of Under the Same Sun took a gander and failed “to hear the words ‘torture,’ ‘abuse,’ or ‘Abu Ghraib’ mentioned anywhere in the Democratic National Convention.”

Just to make sure it wasn’t just a bad sample, Zeynep searched through the transcripts of the speeches as they were posted to the Democrats’ website. None of the transcripts mentioned those words, including the speeches by:

  • Roberta Achtenberg
  • David Alston
  • Rep. Tammy Baldwin
  • Marcia Bristo
  • President Jimmy Carter
  • President Bill Clinton
  • Senator Hillary Clinton
  • Howard Dean
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro
  • Rep. John Dingell
  • Shirley Franklin
  • Rep. Richard Gephardt
  • Vice-President Al Gore
  • Teresa Heinz Kerry
  • Barack Obama

She checked the transcripts again the following day, when ’s prime-time speakers were up — including the darling of the left Dennis Kucinich. Still no mention, so Zeynep kept adding to her list:

  • Senator Bob Graham
  • Governor Jennifer Granholm
  • Hon. Cheryl Jacques
  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich
  • Governor Bill Richardson
  • Al Sharpton

Did Kerry say anything about it in his acceptance speech? I’m not even going to look, so if you think I’m being cynical about the Democrats’ great hope, go check it out for yourself and you can triumphantly send me the transcript if my cynicism is unwarranted.

Make note also of the amount of time the Democrats are crowing about how bravely John Kerry fought in the Vietnam War and how little time they’re talking about how bravely John Kerry fought against the Vietnam War. Kerry’s decided to surrender in this battle to keep history from being rewritten by the Rambo Brigade — like he surrendered to Dubya and voted to give him the blank check — like he surrendered to Ashcroft and gave him the “Patriot Act” — and like he’s surrendering now when he could stand up and fight for something worth winning, rather than just a tarnished trophy like the presidency. It seems that his days of bravery are behind him.

“But,” says the donkey on my shoulder, “would you expect Bush to make any brave or good decisions in a second term? At least in Kerry you have someone who can point to an episode or two of genuinely honorable behavior in his life.”

Bush went from drunken ne’er-d’ye-well to much-less-of-a-fuck-up (though on a grander scale). Not anything to expect an award for, but at least a move in the right direction. Kerry on the other hand has effectively disowned his most honorable moment, glamorized the war that he should know as much as anyone was shameful to have fought, and has spent the last several years being a cowardly politician. He may be easily no worse than Bush now, but I don’t like his momentum. I imagine a President Kerry willing to do anything to keep Joe Lieberman or Fox News from questioning his commitment to the stupid hawkish patriotic bullshit he’s “proud” to support.