Thursday, August 05, 2004


Isolated Incidents

Luckily for poiliticians, the general public has a short memory. If a person can ride out a scandal long enough, people tend to forget about it or become bored with it and unless something brings it back into the media spotlight, it's gone forever. Remember Rep. Gary Condit and missing intern Chandra Levy? Gone from the media, gone from our memory. Such is the case with the prisoner abuse scandal. Remember the outrage and disgust upon seeing those pictures for the first time? Remember the embarassment when you found out that it was Americans who were doing those things that we always suspected other countries of doing? Remember our government insisting that this was an isolated incident ivolving a few rogue MPs? Now, it's more recent than Gary Condit and maybe not so far gone, but the media had virtually let it die. Until now.

With the preliminary hearing for Pfc. Lynndie England, the scandal has come back full force. We're going to start seeing the pictures again and we're going to start hearing the stories. This has to scare the hell out of certain people in the Bush administration because details are going to come out that they would prefer stay hidden. Like the fact that Military Intelligence ordered certain detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison to be kept hidden from the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Donald Rumsfeld must be thrilled to have this come out. For months now he's been claiming that these MPs were acting on their own and now Staff Sgt. Christopher Ward testifies that this was directed from MI. This is the ironic thing about trials, sometimes the truth actually comes out. I can't wait to see what truths come out in the trial of Saddam. Will he be allowed to talk about the support the United States gave him during the eighties? What about the biological and chemical weapons that we gave him? What about our support for him in the Iran-Iraq war? The Bush administration might want this trial held in private to save Poppy Bush's reputation. It could get ugly.

Anyway, back to the abuse. We were told that Abu Ghraib was an isolated incident, but yesterday three British former "enemy combatants" released a 115-page statement claiming abuses at Guantanamo Bay.

Isolated indeed.

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