UPDATE: Bill Faith notes that the comments both here and at Winds of Change seem to provide some mitigating circumstances. I looked and still remain sad that zero jail time was involved. It does appear that many of the injuries suffered by he man came from the Iraqis prior to our interrogation, but the treatment he received at our hands was inexcusable. If he got a deal because he is rolling over on higher ups who authorized his actions, I will further revise my opinion. I just simply wish they had given him some time in jail to remind our troops, our country and the world that we are the good guys. We may waterboard you, but after you talk at least you get cake. Cake or death? (reference anyone?)
I've deflected the "we're torturing folks" meme by arguing that the people who did the bad things were being prosecuted and, where appropriate, convicted and punished.
Not so much, it appears.
A Chief Warrant officer who was brutally interrogating an Iraqi general - not a Geneva-convention-flaunting guerilla or terrorist - tied him up, stuffed him in a sleeping bag, sat on him, and killed him.
...instead of serving jail time and being forced from the military, Welshofer would receive a formal reprimand, forfeit $6,000 of his salary and spend 60 days restricted to his home, office and church.
I'm sorry, but that doesn't cut it.
AL is AC, Absolutely Correct. I have been vocal myself saying that we don't torture and any cases we unearth are dealt with appropriately. That should involve a trip to Ft. Leavenworth, and not for Staff college. I am unaware of any information about this case that mitigates his actions in any way that would justify the pathetic sentence he received. The military has taken far too much undeserved crap from partisans lying about what we have been up to, and we can't afford to cut any slack to bad operators. If anyone can school me as to why this guy should be chillin' at his hooch smokin' stogies and watching Desperate Housewives please do so. If not then sound off and let somebody hear that this is not what we want.
I don't know if there are appeal options for the prosecution, but we should let the Army and DOD overall know that this doesn't help anybody's cause except a convicted torturer. It would be a good bit of spin judo to take our convicted torturer and ship him off to Gitmo. That gave me a grin just thinking about it.
It's safe to say I have been foresquare in my support for the use of coercivce interrogation techniques, but I predicated that support on the belief that we do not sanction torture and it is punished when it happens. This yanks the rug right out from under many of the Army's advocates and feeds what was a disinformation machine a right stinking hypocrisy to pummel us with.
If you do the crime you gotta do the time. The G4 is fueled and ready, now boarding the bad apple rendition express non-stop to Gitmo, Chief Warrant Officer Lewis E. Welshofer Jr.
Step this way and get fitted for your orange jumpsuit, your choice of bible or Koran and an ocean view dog cage with a rock to lay down your little head. Don't worry we'll tie you up nice and snug in your sleeping bag and take proper care of you, remember do unto others jagoff.
- Uncle J