More on Abu Ghraib

The cancer spreads. “This New Yorker article”: sheds a lot more light on the goings-on at the prison, and none of it is good. A classified report on what was happening there was given to the Pentagon in February, and knowledge of the atrocities being committed extended far up the command line.

As the international furor grew, senior military officers, and President Bush, insisted that the actions of a few did not reflect the conduct of the military as a whole. Taguba’s report, however, amounts to an unsparing study of collective wrongdoing and the failure of Army leadership at the highest levels. The picture he draws of Abu Ghraib is one in which Army regulations and the Geneva conventions were routinely violated, and in which much of the day-to-day management of the prisoners was abdicated to Army military-intelligence units and civilian contract employees. Interrogating prisoners and getting intelligence, including by intimidation and torture, was the priority.

That seven stressed-out soldiers might be driven to commit atrocities is awful, if unsurprising. But I never would have guessed that complicity in such acts could go so far; it gives the lie to the “99.9%” of my previous post. This is just sick.