Sunday, May 01, 2005


If you considered the allegations made by the swift boat veterans to be credible, then you ought to give credence to this:
Broken Chain Of Command
Perry Jefferies
April 28, 2005

Perry Jefferies, now retired, served as a First Sergeant in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He now volunteers as a veteran outreach coordinator for Operation Truth , the nation’s first and largest Iraq War veterans organization.

It has been a year now since the first photos of the abuses at Abu Ghraib were published. For some, this might be seen as a low point in the war in Iraq, but to me, it was an arbitrary point in a travesty that predated the publication of the photos and seems to have continued since. In the passing year, we’ve found the abuse was systematic, widespread and—if not authorized—then at least encouraged by official policies and statements from high-level military and civilian officials. We also find that the leaders who helped set up and continue the torture were rewarded, promoted or absolved, while some of the troops involved are headed for long jail sentences. [...]

What leads to the greatest frustration for me is the total abdication of responsibility and lack of accountability from the senior leaders and chain of command. I am accustomed to the public misunderstanding the circumstances and actions of soldiers, and their tendency to turn away when faced with difficult situations. Not so with the leaders of the military. This leaves a dirty smear on the honorable service of so many thousands of soldiers, Marines and others. It puts our men and women of the armed forces squarely in the sights of those who plan to exact revenge or exercise similar care, should they become the captors. The photos from Abu Ghraib insure that the depredations there will not be forgotten, but our government's actions since since seem designed to insure it will be neither prevented nor avoided in the future.