Thursday, August 04, 2005

Torture in Al Qaim 
Looks like it really happened.

I knew Chief Welshofer and Chief Manwaring. I knew Chief Manwaring very well, actually, and worked with him every few days from May through August of 2003, as I'd drop off truckloads of detainees at the facility he was running. Frankly, it surprises me to see Chief Manwaring implicated in anything like this, even by association. Chief Manwaring and I had long conversations about just what was appropriate and what the legal limits were. And if I brought anyone into his facility who was so much as cuffed too tight, you can bet I'd hear it from the Chief.

He was one of those guys who was out there trying to get information from the detainees, but was also trying to do the right thing. And I'll go to my grave defending the man.

Welshofer I didn't know as well, but I'm still surprised that he would be involved in something like this. I had seen him interrogating people before, and while he was verbally aggressive and pointed, I had never seen him threaten anyone.

If the death documents were altered to conceal the alleged CIA involvement, it looks like the 3rd ACR stepped in a cesspool that extends beyond some overzealous interrogators.

If a detainee dies as a result of U.S. interrogation techniques, abuse, or neglect, that's wrong, and must not be tolerated. The Army is pursuing charges against those directly responsible, and has been doing so for months. The Army is doing exactly what it should, here. And as a general officer, this guy was clearly entitled to Geneva Convention protection -- as all detainees in Iraq were at the time, by Army policy, I believe.

But lets look at the reaction of the lefties:

Here's a Ba'athist General who had "execution authority," and was known far and wide for being one of Saddam's most brutal and murderous henchmen. His involvement in the ongoing insurgency does not seem to be in serious dispute. Looks to me like his end was a matter of karmic machinery resetting itself to rough equilibrium.

Ezra Klein, for his part, refers to him as "innocent."

For the record, though, the break we got leading us to Saddam Hussein's hiding place came from a translator slapping someone's face.

Yeah, it's not pretty, how we make the sausage, in real life. But those you're responsible for shouldn't end up dead. And we are still a nation -- and an Army -- of laws.

Splash, out


So.. are you for or against torture?
My husband served with Chief and I know him personally he is a wonderful man who didn't deserve to go through this. By the grace of God he will not spend a day in jail. He deserves a medal not a conviction for his service to our country.
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