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.
Overall, other than the telegenic Abu Ghreib defendants, the penalties meted out for killing Iraqi prisoners appear to have been very light.
This kind of blows my argument – that this isn’t an issue because we find the people who do Bad Stuff and punish them – out the window.And it implies a higher level of organizational responsibility than makes me happy. I’m not advocating closing Camp X-Ray, nor am I suddenly of the belief that reading terrorists their rights in the heat of battle before shooting them is a requirement. But there is a line, and it looks to me like we are on the wrong side of it.
I need to think about this a bit. But it’s clear that supporters of the war – folks like me – have a responsibility to take a stand on this.