Friday, January 13, 2006

Working up to the real War Criminals 

Digby notes a WaPo article that says Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller is refusing to testify because he might incriminate himself.
Miller's decision came shortly after Col. Thomas M. Pappas, the commanding officer at Abu Ghraib, accepted immunity from prosecution this week and was ordered to testify at upcoming courts-martial. Pappas, a military intelligence officer, could be asked to detail high-level policies relating to the treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib.
As Digby points out
Miller was an artillery officer who replaced the original Gitmo Commandant who was accused of being too soft on the prisoners and not getting enough intelligence. Miller fixed that. He got reams and reams of "intelligence" with his methods. The only problem was that it was all bullshit. But they liked his bullshit so much they sent him to Iraq to torture even more bullshit out of the Iraqis.

This was during the period when Cambone, Rumsfeld and Rice were leaning heavily on the military to provide them with piles of paper to prove how well we were doing --- "in-box metrics." No bin Laden, no WMD. But lots and lots of reports.
This is what happens when we let chickenhawks start a war -- they find a sadistic cannon cocker to run their intelligence operations.

We are long overdue for the war crimes trials. But we may get there yet.


He's Back! 

Always good to have Billmon in the game. Go read.


Monday, January 09, 2006

Follow the Leader 

The AP reports:
WASHINGTON - The Army on Monday began moves to expel dozens of reserve soldiers who failed to report for duty months after being mobilized for the wars in
Iraq' and Afghanistan, in effect serving notice to hundreds of others that they could face penalties for ignoring or refusing orders to return to active duty.

[ . . . ]

The Army began mobilizing them in the summer of 2004, reflecting the enormous strain it felt in providing enough soldiers for Iraq at a time when it was becoming apparent that no early withdrawal was likely.

[ . . . ]

The Army announced that about 80 soldiers will face review panels, known as separation boards, although the number may grow. If it is determined that they intentionally failed to obey a mobilization order, they would face one of three levels of discharge from the service: honorable, general or other-than-honorable.

They do not face criminal charges.

"Because of these soldiers' disregard of their duty, the Army will initiate separation proceedings on all IRR soldiers who fail to obey mobilization orders," the Army said in a statement explaining its decision to act.
Disregard for duty? Seems like they were just following the glorious example set by our Dear Leader.


The straight poop from John Yoo 

Sister Nancy Beth has plenty of it. Go read.

And be sure to check out Nancy Beth's minimalist rapture thong panties.


Be thou not annoyed 

Legal notice: Nothing written on Rain Storm, an online journal of opinion and culture, was written with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person who visits this site.

Anyone who suspects they are becoming annoyed, abused, threatened, or harassed as a result of reading the postings on this site is mistaken. They may, in fact, be outright delusional. We recommend such persons seek professional help immediately. The same goes for anyone who believes that George W. Bush is keeping us safe, that Donald Rumsfeld isn't out of his fucking gourd, or that Rush Limbaugh really would have joined the military if he hadn't had that huge boil on his ass.

Thanks to Duncan for the heads up.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Too Perfect 

Susie notes:
The person who’s been teaching the House ethics course for new arrivals since 2001 is the ethics-impaired Representative #1 from the Abramoff indictments, Bob Ney.
Black is white, up is down, good is evil. Welcome to RepublicanLand.
Memories of The Matrix:
Morpheus: "This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.

You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes."


Iraq -- all options are bad ones 

Former CIA guy Larry Johnson has a post up at TPM Cafe that is worth reading.

Johnson is an experienced pragmatist, not especially driven by ideologies on the right or the left. His insights, and those of a former colleague just back from Iraq, are worth noting.

Johnson discusses the illusive "tipping point" at which the U.S.-led occupation forces begin to see an increase in winning hearts and minds and a decrease in body counts. As I recall, during the Vietnam War that's what they used to call the "light at the end of the tunnel."

Johnson and his old friend see little hope for a positive outcome any time soon. The choices they see for U.S. forces, given a new Shia-dominated Iraqi government, of either killing more Sunnis or pulling out altogether.

All the King's horses and all the King's men, and $2,000,000,000,000 (that's trillion - and that's cash!), can't put Iraq back together again.

UPDATE Sunday night: Duncan adds a little more along these lines, including this from Brzezinski's Op-Ed in the WaPo:
"Victory or defeat" is, in fact, a false strategic choice. In using this formulation, the president would have the American people believe that their only options are either "hang in and win" or "quit and lose." But the real, practical choice is this: "persist but not win" or "desist but not lose."

Victory, as defined by the administration and its supporters -- i.e., a stable and secular democracy in a unified Iraqi state, with the insurgency crushed by the American military assisted by a disciplined, U.S.-trained Iraqi national army -- is unlikely. The U.S. force required to achieve it would have to be significantly larger than the present one, and the Iraqi support for a U.S.-led counterinsurgency would have to be more motivated. The current U.S. forces (soon to be reduced) are not large enough to crush the anti-American insurgency or stop the sectarian Sunni-Shiite strife. Both problems continue to percolate under an inconclusive but increasingly hated foreign occupation.


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