Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 13, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

ABU GHRAIB UPDATE....A few days ago I mentioned that the 2-star general investigating Abu Ghraib is being replaced with a 4-star general. This is being done because the 2-star apparently felt that the investigation was pointing toward higher ranking generals than him.

On that note, there are a couple of interesting stories today about Ricardo Sanchez, the 3-star who's in charge of Iraq. First, from the Washington Post:

Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the senior U.S. military officer in Iraq, borrowed heavily from a list of high-pressure interrogation tactics used at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and approved letting senior officials at a Baghdad jail use military dogs, temperature extremes, reversed sleep patterns, sensory deprivation, and diets of bread and water on detainees whenever they wished, according to newly obtained documents.

The U.S. policy, details of which have not been previously disclosed, was approved in early September, shortly after an Army general sent from Washington completed his inspection of the Abu Ghraib jail and then returned to brief Pentagon officials on his ideas for using military police there to help implement the new high-pressure methods.

And there's this from U.S. News & World Report:

The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, issued a classified order last November directing military guards to hide a prisoner, later dubbed "Triple X" by soldiers, from Red Cross inspectors and keep his name off official rosters. The disclosure, by military sources, is the first indication that Sanchez was directly involved in efforts to hide prisoners from the Red Cross, a practice that was sharply criticized by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba in a report describing abuses of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

....The disclosure of Sanchez's involvement may focus more attention on him.

I really don't know what this all means or if it's related to the change in the investigation. But it seems like it might be more than a coincidence that all this is happening at the same time.

UPDATE: And this from the Telegraph:

The Telegraph understands that four confidential Red Cross documents implicating senior Pentagon civilians in the Abu Ghraib scandal have been passed to an American television network, which is preparing to make them public shortly.

How senior? Sounds like even a 4-star general might not be enough.

Kevin Drum 2:06 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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