Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/05/30

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Subject: [Leica] Susan Sontag on Iraq Photos
From: msmall at (Marc James Small)
Date: Sun May 30 19:09:54 2004
References: <>

At 12:53 PM 5/25/04 -0400, B. D. Colen wrote:
>Say WHAT Marc?
>The U.S. military is doing its damndest to limit the investigation, and
>prosecutions, to the poor reservists from the hills who would no more
>have thought to engage in this kind of activity on their own than they
>would have thought to start speaking Arabic. Yes, the investigation - or
>at least investigations - will probably move up the food chain, but not
>because that's what the military wants to have happen. And none of this
>would have been more than little inside stories in newspapers, whining
>by the Red Cross, Amnesty, and other "leftist pinko" groups, were it not
>for the photographs getting out.


The US Army began its investigation long before the pictures hit the media.
 There are currentl;y six separate investigations being conducted, two by
Congress, one by the Justice Department, and the rest by the Department of
Defense and its subordinate agencies.  The only Reservists being harmed are
those who directly knew about the abuses or who participated in them or,
such as BG Karpinski, who should have known about them -- she was the
direct commander of the facility, after all.  Above this point, it is
exceedingly difficult to assign blame so long as appropriate command
emphasis was placed on the proper treatment of prisoners.

In the end, no one was physically harmed or injured at the prison.  This is
quite a different tale from My Lai, where there was an official cover-up
which was only broken because Creighton Abrams, then the US Commander in
Viet-Nam, brought it out and reported the situation to Washington.  At My
Lai, dozens if not hundreds died, and hundreds were wounded.  In this
incident, prisoners were subjected to humiliating conditions but the abuse
did not go beyond this.  (And this is why the issue, while a Big One with
the media, is a non-starter with the US electorate, who seem to view this
as a case of "no harm, no foul" or the like.)

Note that the Tagabu (sp?) report praised a number of units which refused
to co?operate with the abuse;  one of these units was the 229th MP Company,
which I used to support when I commanded a Virginia National Guard
Maintenance Company.

And, if there is a central lesson to this, it is that the CIA should be
abolished immediately (a call I have made repeatedly for almost 40 years)
and all Federal law enforcement placed under the Department of the
Interior, where it properly belongs -- note, for instance, that Scotland
Yard reports to the Home Secretary and not to the Lord Chancellor, and such
is the case in almost all foreign nations, even Russia.

Marc  FAX:  +540/343-7315
Cha robh b?s fir gun ghr?s fir!

Replies: Reply from raikorho at (Raimo K) ([Leica] Susan Sontag on Iraq Photos)
Reply from tim at (Tim Atherton) ([Leica] Susan Sontag on Iraq Photos)
In reply to: Message from msmall at (Marc James Small) ([Leica] Susan Sontag on Iraq Photos)
Message from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) ([Leica] Susan Sontag on Iraq Photos)