Rumsfeld Must Go!
By Sylvie Babadjide
Edited by Megan Maloy
In an effort to qualm the scandal at Abu Ghraib and other Iraqi prisons, the Bush Administration arrested and charged a number of soldiers who were involved in the abuses. But, are these people really the only ones to blame-or were they simply following orders?
"The Commander of the military Police Company assigned to the Abu Ghraib Prison near Baghdad has said he will testify that the Top US General in Iraq was present during some interrogations at the prison and witnessed some of the abuse..."1. If top military officers were present during these abuses and silently approved such actions, the defense secretary must have been aware of this situation.
Over a year ago, the Red Cross notified the Bush Administration of the abuse and no action was taken to protect the Iraqi prisoners. In "a Nov. 6 report by the International Committee of the Red Cross gave the US Army a detailed catalog of sexual and physical abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and said the military had promised to correct the problems."2
These prisoners, of which 70 to 90% are innocents, have been kept in Abu Ghraib and other prisons for 6 months to 3 years with no representation, no charges and no visitation from family members. This is a clear violation of the Geneva Convention on the treatment of POWs. The Bush administration is stepping on human rights that so many have fought to acquire. (genevaconventions.org)
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld may not have witnessed these interrogations, but he was unquestionably aware of the abuses months before the media, and most importantly, he took no action to stop or prevent the degradation, rape and murder of Iraqi Prisoners.
And yet, on May 29th, President Bush commended Rumsfeld on a "superb Job" in Iraq. "You are courageously leading our nation in the war against terror," he said to Rumsfeld. "You are doing a superb job. You are a strong secretary of defense, and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude."3 What message does this send to the Iraqis we "saved"? Does Rumsfeld represent the freedom and values America is so proud of?
Here's what we know: Top military officers were present during the abuses and condoned such scandalous treatments as integral part of "questioning".
It is apparent to any half way intelligent person who can connect the dots that either the Bush Administration encouraged and condoned these abuses or our leaders were simply too busy looking after other interests.
Either way, Rumsfeld did a terrible job. He chose to reject the values that make America a great nation. There should be consequences.
Donald Rumsfeld does not represent the values and morality of America, he must go.
1 From Wire Reports "Lawyer: Witness Says Top officer in Iraq saw abuse"; Star Telegram May 23, 2004
2 Richard A. Serrano "Report by Red Cross detailed prison abuse", Los Angeles Times, May 30, 2004
3 Richard W. Stevenson "Bush Firmly Backs Rumsfeld Erasing Resignation Rumors" The New York Times, May 11, 2004
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