Meaningful Distinction:

Patrick S. Lasswell Look outward for something to accomplish, not inward for something to despise.
pslblog at gmail dot com
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Hang the Right People, Roger


I realize that right now you may not care very much about the procedures of the military, but I hope you can take a minute to do so. While military justice is awfully roughshod in some places, it does tend to make sure that innocents under its jurisdiction are not punished. The press and the media never provide that kind of protection. The problem here is that Rumsfeld is under an obligation to make sure that at the end of the day, the United States has an effective security apparatus. The press has an obligation to sell papers, and the media has a compulsion to attract viewers; neither of them have much accountability for the damages their stories may cause.

If it were up to me, the idiots in those photos and responsible for them should hang from the highest yardarm for the damage they have done to the mission. Those stupid braggarts are costing the lives of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines as surely as if they were planting the bombs themselves. Afterwards, if the UN wants to try their corpses for crimes against humanity, we should send them the coffins with our compliments and assist with the prosecution. The spooks involved in this should hang as well. The CIA directors responsible for them should be fired for hiring dumb people, and imprisoned for failing to exercise control. For reference, I am not speaking rhetorically.

Another thing to keep in mind is what the Wall Street Journal said today, the military justice system is what brought this problem to light. This tends to indicate that this system is not actually broken, and that Rumsfeld's subordinates were doing their jobs. I do not see how calling for Rumsfeld's head on this makes things better. Yes, he is responsible, but he has exercised his authority correctly. Punishing subordinates for doing their jobs right is always a bad plan. If Rummy had wanted to cover this up, he had the perfect opportunity to make all the involved parties go away in a car bombing. What kind of behavior can we expect of the next Secretary of Defense if we start rewarding cover-ups?

Update: Thanks to Roger for the link.

More: IRAQ NOW, has a great discussion of this story.
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