By SEYMOUR HERSH e jurnalistul american care a dezvaluit abuzurile de
facute de unii soldati americani la puscaria Abu Ghraib.

> The Military is Nowhere; the Press is Nowhere; the Congress is
>>> Nowhere...
>>> We've Been Taken Over By a Cult

>>> About what's going on in terms of the President is that as
>>> as I feel, you know, at The New Yorker, writing an alternative 
>>> history more or less of what's been going on in the last three 
>>> years, George Bush feels just as virtuous in what he is doing. He
>>> absolutely committed -- I don't know whether he thinks he's doing 
>>> God's will or what his father didn't do, or whether it's some 
>>> mandate from -- you know, I just don't know, but George Bush
>>> this is the right thing. He is going to continue doing what he
>>> been doing in Iraq. He's going to expand it, I think, if he can.
>>> think that the number of body bags that come back will make no 
>>> difference to him. The body bags are rolling in. It makes no 
>>> difference to him, because he will see it as a price he has to
>>> to put America where he thinks it should be. So, he's inured in a 
>>> very strange way to people like me, to the politicians, most of
>>> who are too cowardly anyway to do much. So, the day-to-day
>>> that all of us have, and believe me, though he got 58 million
>>> many of people who voted for him weren't voting for continued 
>>> warfare, but I think that's what we're going to have.
>>> It's hard to predict the future. And it's sort of silly to, but
>>> question is: How do you go to him? How do you get at him? What
>>> you do to maybe move him off the course that he sees as virtuous
>>> he sees as absolutely appropriate? All of us -- you have to -- I 
>>> can't begin to exaggerate how frightening the position is --
>>> in right now, because most of you don't understand, because the 
>>> press has not done a very good job. The Senate Intelligence 
>>> Committee, the new bill that was just passed, provoked by the
>>> committee actually, is a little bit of a kabuki dance, I guess is 
>>> what I want to say, in that what it really does is it
>>> an awful lot of power in the Pentagon -- by statute now. It gives 
>>> Rumsfeld the right to do an awful lot of things he has been
>>> to do, and that is basically manhunting and killing them before
>>> kill us, as Peter said. "They did it to us. We've got to do it to 
>>> them." That is the attitude that -- at the very top of our 
>>> government exists. And so, I'll just tell you a couple of things 
>>> that drive me nuts. We can
>>> -- you know, there's not much more to go on with.
>>> I think there's a way out of it, maybe. I can tell you one thing. 
>>> Let's all forget this word "insurgency". It's one of the most 
>>> misleading words of all. Insurgency assumes that we had gone to
>>> and won the war and a group of disgruntled people began to
>>> against us and we then had to do counter-action against them.
>>> would be an insurgency. We are fighting the people we started the 
>>> war against. We are fighting the Ba'athists plus nationalists. We 
>>> are fighting the very people that started -- they only choose to 
>>> fight in different time spans than we want them to, in different 
>>> places. We took Baghdad easily. It wasn't because be won. We took 
>>> Baghdad because they pulled back and let us take it and decided
>>> fight a war that had been pre-planned that they're very actively 
>>> fighting. The frightening thing about it is, we have no 
>>> intelligence. Maybe it's -- it's -- it is frightening, we have no 
>>> intelligence about what they're doing. A year-and-a-half ago,
>>> up against two and three-man teams. We estimated the cells
>>> against us were two and three people, that we could not
>>> As of now, we still don't know what's coming next. There are 10, 
>>> 15-man groups. They have terrific communications. Somebody told
>>> it's -- somebody in the system, an officer -- and by the way, the 
>>> good part of it is, more and more people are available to
>>> like me.
>>> There's a lot of anxiety inside the -- you know, our professional 
>>> military and our intelligence people. Many of them respect the 
>>> Constitution and the Bill of Rights as much as anybody here, and 
>>> individual freedom. So, they do -- there's a tremendous sense of 
>>> fear. These are punitive people. One of the ways -- one of the 
>>> things that you could say is, the amazing thing is we are been
>>> over basically by a cult, eight or nine neo-conservatives have 
>>> somehow grabbed the government. Just how and why and how they did
>>> so efficiently, will have to wait for much later historians and 
>>> better documentation than we have now, but they managed to
>>> the bureaucracy and the Congress, and the press, with the
>>> of ease. It does say something about how fragile our Democracy
>>> You do have to wonder what a Democracy is when it comes down to a 
>>> few men in the Pentagon and a few men in the White House having 
>>> their way. What they have done is neutralize the C.I.A. because 
>>> there were people there inside -- the real goal of what Goss has 
>>> done was not attack the operational people, but the intelligence 
>>> people. There were people -- serious senior analysts who disagree 
>>> with the White House, with Cheney, basically, that's what I mean
>>> White House, and Rumsfeld on a lot of issues, as somebody said,
>>> goal in the last month has been to separate the apostates from
>>> true believers. That's what's happening. The real target has been 
>>> "diminish the agency." I'm writing about all of this soon, so I 
>>> don't want to overdo it, but there's been a tremendous sea change
>>> the government. A concentration of power.
>>> On the other hand, the facts -- there are some facts. We can't
>>> this war. We can do what he's doing. We can bomb them into the
>>> ages. Here's the other horrifying, sort of spectacular fact that
>>> don't really appreciate. Since we installed our puppet
>>> this man, Allawi, who was a member of the Mukabarat, the secret 
>>> police of Saddam, long before he became a critic, and is
>>> Saddam-lite. Before we installed him, since we have installed him
>>> June 28, July, August, September, October, November, every month, 
>>> one thing happened: the number of sorties, bombing raids by one 
>>> plane, and the number of tonnage dropped has grown exponentially 
>>> each month. We are systematically bombing that country. There are
>>> embedded journalists at Doha, the Air Force base I think we're 
>>> operating out of. No embedded journalists at the aircraft
>>> Harry Truman. That's the aircraft carrier that I think is doing
>>> of the operational fights. There's no air defense, It's simply a 
>>> turkey shoot. They come and hit what they want. We know nothing.
>>> don't ask. We're not told. We know nothing about the extent of 
>>> bombing. So if they're going to carry out an election and if
>>> going to succeed, bombing is going to be key to it, which means
>>> what happened in Fallujah, essentially Iraq -- some of you
>>> Vietnam -- Iraq is being turn into a "free-fire zone" right in
>>> of us. Hit everything, kill everything. I have a friend in the
>>> Force, a Colonel, who had the awful task of being an urban
>>> planner, planning urban bombing, to make urban bombing be as 
>>> unobtrusive as possible. I think it was three weeks ago today,
>>> weeks ago Sunday after Fallujah I called him at home. I'm one of
>>> people -- I don't call people at work. I call them at home, and
>>> has one of those caller I.D.'s, and he picked up the phone and he 
>>> said, "Welcome to Stalingrad." We know what we're doing. This is 
>>> deliberate. It's being done. They're not telling us. They're not 
>>> talking about it.
>>> We have a President that -- and a Secretary of State that, when a 
>>> trooper -- when a reporter or journalist asked -- actually a 
>>> trooper, a soldier, asked about lack of equipment, stumbled
>>> an answer and the President then gets up and says, "Yes, they
>>> all have good equipment and we're going to do it," as if somehow
>>> wasn't involved in the process. Words mean nothing -- nothing to 
>>> George Bush. They are just utterances. They have no meaning. Bush 
>>> can say again and again, "well, we don't do torture." We know
>>> happened. We know about Abu Ghraib. We know, we see anecdotally.
>>> all understand in some profound way because so much has come out
>>> the last few weeks, the I.C.R.C. The ACLU put out more papers,
>>> is not an isolated incident what's happened with the seven kids
>>> the horrible photographs, Lynndie England. That's into the not
>>> issue is. They're fall guys. Of course, they did wrong. But you 
>>> know, when we send kids to fight, one of the things that we do
>>> we send our children to war is the officers become in loco
>>> That means their job in the military is to protect these kids,
>>> only from getting bullets and being blown up, but also there is 
>>> nothing as stupid as a 20 or 22-year-old kid with a weapon in a
>>> zone. Protect them from themselves. The spectacle of these people 
>>> doing those antics night after night, for three and a half months 
>>> only stopped when one of their own soldiers turned them in tells
>>> all you need to know, how many officers knew. I can just give you
>>> timeline that will tell you all you need to know. Abu Ghraib was 
>>> reported in January of 2004 this year. In May, I and CBS earlier 
>>> also wrote an awful lot about what was going on there. At that 
>>> point, between January and May, our government did nothing.
>>> Rumsfeld later acknowledged that he was briefed by the middle of 
>>> January on it and told the President. In those three-and-a-half 
>>> months before it became public, was there any systematic effort
>>> do anything other than to prosecute seven "bad seeds", enlisted 
>>> kids, reservists from West Virginia and the unit they were in, by 
>>> the way, Military Police. The answer is, Ha! They were basically
>>> bunch of kids who were taught on traffic control, sent to Iraq,
>>> in charge of a prison. They knew nothing. It doesn't excuse them 
>>> from doing dumb things. But there is another framework. We're not 
>>> seeing it. They've gotten away with it.
>>> So here's the upside of the horrible story, if there is an
upside. I 
>>> can tell you the upside in a funny way, in an indirect way. It
>>> from a Washington Post piece this week. A young boy, a Marine, 
>>> 25-year-old from somewhere in Maryland died. There was a funeral
>>> the Post, a funeral in Washington, and the Post did a little
>>> about it. They quoted -- his name was Hodak. His father was
>>> He had written to a letter in the local newspaper in Southern 
>>> Virginia. He had said about his son, he wrote a letter just 
>>> describing what it was like after his son died. He said, "Today 
>>> everything seems strange. Laundry is getting done. I walked my
>>> I ate breakfast. Somehow I'm still breathing and my heart is
>>> beating. My son lies in a casket half a world away."
>>> There's going to be -- you know, when I did My Lai -- I tell this 
>>> story a lot. When I did the My Lai story, more than a generation 
>>> ago, it was 35 years ago, so almost two. When I did My Lai, one
>>> the things that I discovered was that they had -- for some of
>>> most of you remember, but basically a group of American soldiers
>>> the analogy is so much like today. Then as now, our soldiers
>>> see enemies in a battlefield, they just walk on mines or they get 
>>> shot by snipers, because it's always hidden. There's inevitable 
>>> anger and rage and you dehumanize the people. We have done that
>>> enormous success in Iraq. They're "rag-heads". They're less than 
>>> human. The casualty count -- as in Sudan, equally as bad.
>>> numbers that we're killing. In any case, you know, it's -- in
>>> case, these -- a group of soldiers in 1968 went into a village.
>>> had been in Vietnam for three months and lost about 10% of their 
>>> people, maybe 10 or 15 to accidents, killings and bombings, and
>>> ended up
>>> -- they thought they would meet the enemy and there were 550
>>> children and old men and they executed them all. It took a day.
>>> stopped in the middle and they had lunch. One of the kids who had
>>> done a lot of shooting. The Black and Hispanic soldiers, about 40
>>> them, there were about 90 men in the unit -- the Blacks and
>>> shot in the air. They wouldn't shoot into the ditch. They
>>> people in three ditches and just began to shoot them. The Blacks
>>> Hispanics shot up in the air, but the mostly White, lower middle
>>> class, the kids who join the Army Reserve today and National Guard
>>> looking for extra dollars, those kind of kids did the killing.
One of
>>> them was a man named Paul Medlow, who did an awful lot of
>>> The next day, there was a moment -- one of the things that
>>> remembered, the kids who were there, one of the mothers at the
>>> of a ditch had taken a child, a boy, about two, and got him under
>>> stomach in such a way that he wasn't killed. When they were
>>> having the K rations -- that's what they called them -- MRE's now
>>> the kid somehow crawled up through the [inaudible] screaming
>>> and he began -- and Calley, the famous Lieutenant Calley, the
>>> England of that tragedy, told Medlow: Kill him, "Plug him," he
>>> And Medlow somehow, who had done an awful lot as I say, 200
>>> couldn't do it so Calley ran up as everybody watched, with his
>>> carbine. Officers had a smaller weapon, a rifle, and shot him in
>>> back of the head. The next morning, Medlow stepped on a mine and
>>> had his foot blown off. He was being medevac'd out. As he was
>>> medevac'd out, he cursed and everybody remembered, one of the
>>> chilling lines, he said, "God has punished me, and he's going to
>>> punish you, too."
>>> So a year-and-a-half later, I'm doing this story. And I hear
>>> Medlow. I called his mother up. He lived in New Goshen, Indiana.
>>> said, "I'm coming to see you. I don't remember where I was, I
>>> it was Washington State. I flew over there and to get there, you
>>> to go to - I think Indianapolis and then to Terre Haute, rent a
>>> and drive down into the Southern Indiana, this little farm. It
was a 
>>> scene out of Norman Rockwell's. Some of you remember the Norman 
>>> Rockwell paintings. It's a chicken farm. The mother is 50, but
>>> looks 80. Gristled, old. Way old - hard scrabble life, no man 
>>> around. I said I'm here to see your son, and she said, okay. He's
>>> there. He knows you're coming. Then she said, one of these great
>>> she said to me, "I gave them a good boy. And they sent me back a 
>>> murderer." So you go on 35 years. I'm doing in The New Yorker,
>>> Abu Ghraib stories. I think I did three in three weeks. If some
>>> you know about The New Yorker, that's unbelievable. But in the 
>>> middle of all of this, I get a call from a mother in the East
>>> Northeast, working class, lower middle class, very religious, 
>>> Catholic family. She said, I have to talk to you. I go see her. I 
>>> drive somewhere, fly somewhere, and her story is simply this. She 
>>> had a daughter that was in the military police unit that was at
>>> Ghraib. And the whole unit had come back in March, of -- The 
>>> sequence is: they get there in the fall of 2003. Their reported 
>>> after doing their games in the January of 2004. In March she is
>>> home. Nothing is public yet. The daughter is sent home. The whole 
>>> unit is sent home. She comes home a different person. She had
>>> married. She was young. She went into the Reserves, I think it
>>> the Army Reserves to get money, not for college or for -- you
>>> these -- some of these people worked as night clerks in pizza
>>> in West Virginia. This not -- this is not very sophisticated. She 
>>> came back and she left her husband. She just had been married 
>>> before. She left her husband, moved out of the house, moved out
>>> the city, moved out to another home, another apartment in another 
>>> city and began working a different job. And moved away from 
>>> everybody. Then over -- as the spring went on, she would go every 
>>> weekend, this daughter, and every weekend she would go to a
>>> shop and get large black tattoos put on her, over increasingly -- 
>>> over her body, the back, the arms, the legs, and her mother was 
>>> frantic. What's going on? Comes Abu Ghraib, and she reads the 
>>> stories, and she sees it. And she says to her daughter, "Were you 
>>> there?" She goes to the apartment. The daughter slams the door.
>>> mother then goes -- the daughter had come home -- before she had 
>>> gone to Iraq, the mother had given her a portable computer. One
>>> the computers that had a DVD in it, with the idea being that when 
>>> she was there, she could watch movies, you know, while she was 
>>> overseas, sort of a -- I hadn't thought about it, a great idea. 
>>> Turns out a lot of people do it. She had given her a portable 
>>> computer, and when the kid came back she had returned it, one of
>>> things, and the mother then said I went and looked at the
>>> She knows -- she doesn't know about depression. She doesn't know 
>>> about Freud. She just said, I was just -- I was just going to
>>> it up, she said. I had decided to use it again. She wouldn't say 
>>> anything more why she went to look at it after Abu Ghraib. She 
>>> opened it up, and sure enough there was a file marked "Iraq". She 
>>> hit the button. Out came 100 photographs. They were photographs
>>> became -- one of them was published. We published one, just one
>>> The New Yorker. It was about an Arab. This is something no mother 
>>> should see and daughter should see too. It was the Arab man
>>> against bars, the prisoner naked, two dogs, two shepherds,
>>> on each side of him. The New Yorker published it, a pretty large 
>>> photograph. What we didn't publish was the sequence showed the
>>> did bite the man -- pretty hard. A lot of blood. So she saw that
>>> she called me, and away we go. There's another story.
>>> For me, it's just another story, but out of this comes a core of
>>> you know, we all deal in "macro" in Washington. On the macro,
>>> hopeless. We're nowhere. The press is nowhere. The congress is 
>>> nowhere. The military is nowhere. Every four-star General I know
>>> saying, "Who is going to tell them we have no clothes?" Nobody is 
>>> going to do it. Everybody is afraid to tell Rumsfeld anything. 
>>> That's just the way it is. It's a system built on fear. It's not 
>>> lack of integrity, it's more profound than that. Because there is 
>>> individual integrity. It's a system that's completely been taken 
>>> over -- by cultists. Anyway, what's going to happen, I think, as
>>> casualties mount and these stories get around, and the mothers
>>> the cost and the fathers see the cost, as the kids come home. And 
>>> the wounded ones come back, and there's wards that you will never 
>>> hear about. That's wards -- you know about the terrible
>>> injuries, but you don't know about the vegetables. There's ward 
>>> after ward of vegetables because the brain injuries are so
>>> As you maybe read last week, there was a new study in one of the 
>>> medical journals that the number of survivors are greater with 
>>> catastrophic injuries because of their better medical treatment
>>> the better armor they have. So you get more extreme injuries to 
>>> extremities. We're going to learn more and I think you're going
>>> see, it's going to -- it's -- I'm trying to be optimistic. We're 
>>> going to see a bottom swelling from inside the ranks. You're 
>>> beginning to see it. What happened with the soldiers asking those 
>>> questions, you may see more of that. I'm not suggesting we're
>>> to have mutinies, but I'm going to suggest you're going to see
>>> dissatisfaction being expressed. Maybe that will do it. Another 
>>> salvation may be the economy. It's going to go very bad, folks.
>>> know, if you have not sold your stocks and bought property in
>>> you better do it quick. And the third thing is Europe -- Europe
>>> not going to tolerate us much longer. The rage there is enormous. 
>>> I'm talking about our old-fashioned allies. We could see
>>> there, collective action against us. Certainly, nobody -- it's
>>> to be an awful lot of dancing on our graves as the dollar goes
>>> and everybody stops buying our bonds, our credit
>>> -- our -- we're spending $2 billion a day to float the debt, and
>>> of these days, the Japanese and the Russians, everybody is going
>>> start buying oil in Euros instead of dollars. We're going to see
>>> enormous panic here. But he could get through that. That will be
>>> another year, and the damage he's going to do between then and
now is
>>> enormous. We're going to have some very bad months ahead.
>>> Seymour Hersh's latest book is Chain of Command: The Road to Abu 
>>> Ghraib.

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