Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Torture? What torture?

Digby caught this amazing bit from press conference with Rummy and Peter Chase, chairman of the Joint Chiefs (CNN transcript):

QUESTION: Sir, taking on his question a bit -- and I can give you actual examples from coalition forces who talked to me when I was over there about excesses of the Interior Ministry, the Ministry of Defense; and that is in dealing with prisoners or in arresting people and how they're treated after they're arrested -- what are the obligations and what are the rights of U.S. military over there in dealing with that? Obviously, Iraq is a sovereign country now, but the United States is responsible for training and expects to turn over the security mission to them. So, what is the U.S. obligation in addressing that, preventing that, and what can we do? And what are we doing?

RUMSFELD: That's a fair question. I'll start and, Pete, you may want to finish. But we are working very hard to train and equip the Iraqi security forces. So is NATO. So are some neighboring countries. There are a lot of people involved in this, dozens of countries trying to help train these Iraqi forces. Any instance of inhumane behavior is obviously worrisome and harmful to them when that occurs. Iraq knows, of certain knowledge, that they need the support of the international community. And a good way to lose it is to make a practice of something that is inconsistent with the values of the international community.

RUMSFELD: And I think they know that.Now, you know, I can't go any farther in talking about it. Obviously, the United States does not have a responsibility when a sovereign country engages in something that they disapprove of. However, we do have a responsibility to say so and to make sure that the training is proper and to work with the sovereign officials so that they understand the damage that can be done to them in the event some of these allegations prove to be true.

QUESTION: And, General Pace, what guidance do you have for your military commanders over there as to what to do if -- like when General Horst found this Interior Ministry jail?

PACE: It is absolutely responsibility of every U.S. service member if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene, to stop it. As an example of how to do it if you don't see it happening, but you're told about it, is exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago. There was a report from an Iraqi to a U.S. commander that there was a possibility of inhumane treatment in a particular facility. That U.S. commander got together with his Iraqi counterparts. They went together to the facility, found what they found, reported it to the Iraqi government, and the Iraqi government has taken ownership of that problem and is investigating it. So they did exactly what they should have done.

RUMSFELD: I don't think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it, it's to report it.

PACE: If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it.

And there you have it, folks, giftwrapped and suitable for giving this holiday season. Another member of the military trying to play by the rules. And another example of the civilan leadership trying to lower those in uniform to the depths of depravity that the neocons call home.

I'll bet there was a helluva post-mortem discussion between those two.


Blogger <-<--esoder<---<----<----- said...

I think Pace is retiring soon.

11:36 PM  

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