I piped up yesterday in my outside voice about the light sentence given to a "convicted torturer" by my own words. While I was trying to be hyperbolic to drive home the point that hypocrisy in dealing with abuses greatly damages us in ways the trumped up cases only hint at, I feel I overstepped in calling him a torturer.
That is one of the words hijacked by the left and used to pummel the military and I tossed it out there same as they do. I have looked at most of the open source info and while it supports his conviction it does not support the claim I made of torturer. So I retract my previous BS statement and hereby state. What the Chief did was wrong and he should have known that, no matter which spineless pencil pushers may have approved it. I am not saying that rough techniques are always wrong, obviously, only that he had a responsibility to know the medical status of the prisoner.
Grim from Grim's Hall poked me back toward the path of righteousness
"I saw this case come out when it first hit the wires, and I had roughly the same reaction. But I remembered something important -- I remembered all the previous times that the media has gotten the details of these things flat wrong. So, rather than post an furious lashing of the Army, I decided to wait for a MilBlogger who knew the details to pony up.
You couldn't have asked for a better one. Captain Jason van Steenwyck of the COUNTERCOLUMN turns out to have known the CWO. He's posted about it here, here, and here."
I had read Jason's accounts and they did mitigate the circumstances somewhat, but this statement of his encapsulated the problem for me.
"Anyway, I knew and liked and respected Chief Welshofer, so I am saddened to see that this happened and that Chief Welshofer is responsible for this man's death.
I don't question Welshofer's motives. He wanted to win the war. He wanted to save American lives and Iraqi lives. He was willing to be the bad guy to make that happen.
But your prisoners aren't supposed to wind up dead. That's not how the U.S. does business. We cannot tolerate that in any facility, from any rank."
My concern was the lack of any jail time and the common sense rejection of that by many good people. Looking at the case, we have a prisoner beaten (although not by us) , roughly interrogated (by us) and then dead. That screams for responsibility, and in this case the individual most responsible for the man's life was the Chief. I have softened my view of his actions, but not my view that he should serve jail time for this. Thanks to all who commented and provided info.
- Uncle J