This is just sick. Ghost detainees, rape, attack dogs, deaths - and there is no sign that anyone in a senior position is being held accountable. Though there are plenty of signs (in this case, even from Republican-appointed panels) that senior officials are responsible. This is the kind of thing that we should be above if we expect to have any sort of legitimacy in our fights for human rights around the world. And it is the kind of thing we should work to prevent from happening (and further undermining our position) in the future. However, our complacency on this issue conveys a lack of concern. In terms of our own behavior and self-image it shows that it's something we are not seriously concerned about, and don't really regret doing. And in terms of our image abroad, it shows that we are willing to live up to the worst things said about us by our enemies. This prisoner abuse story might have faded from public view in this country, but it is still very much in mind elsewhere in the world. And given that pictures like these are now what many people in the Middle East associate with US foreign policy it is not at all surprising that many people in the region are attacking Americans, and few have much interest in working with the Bush administration.
UPDATE: Here are some notes on a speech by Sy Hersh that deals with this topic. Hersh has been doing some of the best reporting on this scandal.Posted by armand at August 24, 2004 10:05 AM | TrackBack | Posted to Politics