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 >>> By SEYMOUR HERSH >>> >>> About what's going on in terms of the President is that as virtuous >>> 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 is >>> 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 thinks >>> this is the right thing. He is going to continue doing what he has >>> been doing in Iraq. He's going to expand it, I think, if he can. I >>> 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 pay >>> 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 them >>> who are too cowardly anyway to do much. So, the day-to-day anxiety >>> that all of us have, and believe me, though he got 58 million votes, >>> 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 the >>> question is: How do you go to him? How do you get at him? What can >>> you do to maybe move him off the course that he sees as virtuous and >>> he sees as absolutely appropriate? All of us -- you have to -- I >>> can't begin to exaggerate how frightening the position is -- we're >>> 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 9/11 >>> 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 consolidates >>> 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 wanting >>> to do, and that is basically manhunting and killing them before they >>> 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 Iraq >>> and won the war and a group of disgruntled people began to operate >>> against us and we then had to do counter-action against them. That >>> 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 to >>> 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, we're >>> up against two and three-man teams. We estimated the cells operating >>> against us were two and three people, that we could not penetrate. >>> As of now, we still don't know what's coming next. There are 10, >>> 15-man groups. They have terrific communications. Somebody told me, >>> 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 somebody >>> 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 taken >>> over basically by a cult, eight or nine neo-conservatives have >>> somehow grabbed the government. Just how and why and how they did it >>> so efficiently, will have to wait for much later historians and >>> better documentation than we have now, but they managed to overcome >>> the bureaucracy and the Congress, and the press, with the greatest >>> of ease. It does say something about how fragile our Democracy is. >>> 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 by >>> White House, and Rumsfeld on a lot of issues, as somebody said, the >>> goal in the last month has been to separate the apostates from the >>> 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 in >>> the government. A concentration of power. >>> >>> On the other hand, the facts -- there are some facts. We can't win >>> this war. We can do what he's doing. We can bomb them into the stone >>> ages. Here's the other horrifying, sort of spectacular fact that we >>> don't really appreciate. Since we installed our puppet government, >>> this man, Allawi, who was a member of the Mukabarat, the secret >>> police of Saddam, long before he became a critic, and is basically >>> Saddam-lite. Before we installed him, since we have installed him on >>> 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 no >>> embedded journalists at Doha, the Air Force base I think we're >>> operating out of. No embedded journalists at the aircraft carrier, >>> Harry Truman. That's the aircraft carrier that I think is doing many >>> 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. We >>> 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 they're >>> going to succeed, bombing is going to be key to it, which means that >>> what happened in Fallujah, essentially Iraq -- some of you remember >>> Vietnam -- Iraq is being turn into a "free-fire zone" right in front >>> of us. Hit everything, kill everything. I have a friend in the Air >>> Force, a Colonel, who had the awful task of being an urban bombing >>> planner, planning urban bombing, to make urban bombing be as >>> unobtrusive as possible. I think it was three weeks ago today, three >>> weeks ago Sunday after Fallujah I called him at home. I'm one of the >>> people -- I don't call people at work. I call them at home, and he >>> 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 through >>> an answer and the President then gets up and says, "Yes, they should >>> all have good equipment and we're going to do it," as if somehow he >>> 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 what >>> happened. We know about Abu Ghraib. We know, we see anecdotally. We >>> all understand in some profound way because so much has come out in >>> the last few weeks, the I.C.R.C. The ACLU put out more papers, this >>> is not an isolated incident what's happened with the seven kids and >>> the horrible photographs, Lynndie England. That's into the not the >>> 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 when >>> we send our children to war is the officers become in loco parentis. >>> That means their job in the military is to protect these kids, not >>> 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 war >>> 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 you >>> all you need to know, how many officers knew. I can just give you a >>> 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. Although >>> 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 to >>> 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 a >>> bunch of kids who were taught on traffic control, sent to Iraq, put >>> 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 comes >>> from a Washington Post piece this week. A young boy, a Marine, >>> 25-year-old from somewhere in Maryland died. There was a funeral in >>> the Post, a funeral in Washington, and the Post did a little story >>> about it. They quoted -- his name was Hodak. His father was quoted. >>> 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 dog. >>> I ate breakfast. Somehow I'm still breathing and my heart is still >>> 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 of >>> the things that I discovered was that they had -- for some of you, >>> most of you remember, but basically a group of American soldiers -- >>> the analogy is so much like today. Then as now, our soldiers don't >>> 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 with >>> enormous success in Iraq. They're "rag-heads". They're less than >>> human. The casualty count -- as in Sudan, equally as bad. Staggering >>> numbers that we're killing. In any case, you know, it's -- in this >>> case, these -- a group of soldiers in 1968 went into a village. They >>> had been in Vietnam for three months and lost about 10% of their >>> people, maybe 10 or 15 to accidents, killings and bombings, and they >>> ended up >>> -- they thought they would meet the enemy and there were 550 women, >>> children and old men and they executed them all. It took a day. They >>> 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 of >>> them, there were about 90 men in the unit -- the Blacks and Hispanics >>> shot in the air. They wouldn't shoot into the ditch. They collected >>> people in three ditches and just began to shoot them. The Blacks and >>> 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 shooting. >>> The next day, there was a moment -- one of the things that everybody >>> remembered, the kids who were there, one of the mothers at the bottom >>> of a ditch had taken a child, a boy, about two, and got him under her >>> stomach in such a way that he wasn't killed. When they were sitting >>> having the K rations -- that's what they called them -- MRE's now -- >>> the kid somehow crawled up through the [inaudible] screaming louder >>> and he began -- and Calley, the famous Lieutenant Calley, the Lynndie >>> England of that tragedy, told Medlow: Kill him, "Plug him," he said. >>> And Medlow somehow, who had done an awful lot as I say, 200 bullets, >>> 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 the >>> back of the head. The next morning, Medlow stepped on a mine and he >>> had his foot blown off. He was being medevac'd out. As he was being >>> 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 about >>> Medlow. I called his mother up. He lived in New Goshen, Indiana. I >>> said, "I'm coming to see you. I don't remember where I was, I think >>> it was Washington State. I flew over there and to get there, you had >>> to go to - I think Indianapolis and then to Terre Haute, rent a car >>> 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 she >>> 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 in >>> 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, the >>> Abu Ghraib stories. I think I did three in three weeks. If some of >>> 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 coast, >>> 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 Abu >>> 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 sent >>> home. Nothing is public yet. The daughter is sent home. The whole >>> unit is sent home. She comes home a different person. She had been >>> married. She was young. She went into the Reserves, I think it was >>> the Army Reserves to get money, not for college or for -- you know, >>> these -- some of these people worked as night clerks in pizza shops >>> 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 of >>> 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 tattoo >>> 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. The >>> mother then goes -- the daughter had come home -- before she had >>> gone to Iraq, the mother had given her a portable computer. One of >>> 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 the >>> things, and the mother then said I went and looked at the computer. >>> 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 clean >>> 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 that >>> became -- one of them was published. We published one, just one in >>> 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 leaning >>> against bars, the prisoner naked, two dogs, two shepherds, remember, >>> on each side of him. The New Yorker published it, a pretty large >>> photograph. What we didn't publish was the sequence showed the dogs >>> did bite the man -- pretty hard. A lot of blood. So she saw that and >>> 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, we're >>> hopeless. We're nowhere. The press is nowhere. The congress is >>> nowhere. The military is nowhere. Every four-star General I know is >>> 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 the >>> casualties mount and these stories get around, and the mothers see >>> 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 catastrophic >>> injuries, but you don't know about the vegetables. There's ward >>> after ward of vegetables because the brain injuries are so enormous. >>> 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 and >>> 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 to >>> 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 going >>> to have mutinies, but I'm going to suggest you're going to see more >>> dissatisfaction being expressed. Maybe that will do it. Another >>> salvation may be the economy. It's going to go very bad, folks. You >>> know, if you have not sold your stocks and bought property in Italy, >>> you better do it quick. And the third thing is Europe -- Europe is >>> not going to tolerate us much longer. The rage there is enormous. >>> I'm talking about our old-fashioned allies. We could see something >>> there, collective action against us. Certainly, nobody -- it's going >>> to be an awful lot of dancing on our graves as the dollar goes bad >>> and everybody stops buying our bonds, our credit >>> -- our -- we're spending $2 billion a day to float the debt, and one >>> of these days, the Japanese and the Russians, everybody is going to >>> 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. >>> ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> Give underprivileged students the materials they need to learn. 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