Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Politics of Torture

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Massachusetts Senator Ted ("I'll have a Chivas") Kennedy saw fit to issue a press release on the subject. The infamous Senior Senator from the People's Republic (and estwhile driving instructor) has been conspiciously silent on our successes in Iraq, but misses no opportunity to bash our military, and sensationalize the actions of a few miscreants.

Let's put Abu Ghraib in perspective. This "scandal" has been investigated ad nauseum, and (so far) we've identified a handful of low-ranking guards as the culprits. There is no compelling evidence that senior officers or defense officials were aware of the activity, or condoned it. Results of a comprehensive Army investigation, released earlier this week, cleared a number of current commanders (including Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez) of any wrongdoing. The Army inquiry lasted almost a year, and included interviews with hundreds of soliders and prisoners.

But that isn't good enough for the left, who still insist on trying to sustain the scandal. Human Rights Watch is out with their own, predictable report, alleging that Abu Ghraib is "just the tip of the iceberg" in terms of U.S. torturing Muslim detainees.

Funny, but Human Rights Watch and Senator Kennedy had little to say when four American contractors were brutally tortured and executed in Fallujah one year ago. They were also silent when Nicholas Berg and other American hostages were beheaded on camera by Islamic terrorists. And, I don't recall either the Senator or Human Rights Watch decrying the recent, videotaped murder of a Bulgarian helicopter crew member in Iraq.

But the moral hypocrisy doesn't end there. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal by former U.S. POWs from the first Gulf War, who sued the Iraqi government for injuries suffered as a result of Saddam's torture. The POWs won their case initially, but the verdict was overturned by a federal appellate court. According to the court, U.S. POWs are not entitled to damages that would be paid from frozen Iraqi accounts in American banks.

I'm not a lawyer, but I'll predict that at least one Muslim detainee will eventually sue the U.S. for his suffering at the hands of U.S. military personnel. I'll also predict that liberal lawyers (perhaps from the ACLU) will gladly sign-on, to assist him with his court battle. Meanwhile, other Americans--mostly military members and defense contractors--will continue to be tortured and killed by terrorists and their supporters. And apparently, no one gives a damn.

No comments: