Friday, January 14, 2005

Forget Graner, Can We Try His Lawyer?

Guy Womack, attorney for Specialist Charles Graner, leaves me speechless. (See here for an earlier post on his incompetence.)
"Sometimes, when you make an omelet, you have to break some eggs," Mr. Womack told the jury, adding, "You had to use approaches that we would not want to do with our own children."
Because 'our children' are completely different from those heathen Iraqi kids dying from hunger and disease, right?
"They were just taking pictures of what they did at work all day," he said of Specialist Graner and his friends.
Yeah, this is just like taking pictures of a regular day at the office, isn't it? It gets better:
"The crime is that somebody leaked the photographs."
So that's what was wrong; torturing the detainees (many of whom weren't accused of any specific crime) was completely ok. But those criminal whistle-blowers deserve to be strung up.

Graner apparently even sent graphic photographs home to his young children, among others. In reply to a message about 'Take Your Children to Work Day', he said, "How about send a bastard to hell day?"

To be fair, Womack did make one good point: the mistreatment of prisoners was common knowledge.
Specialist Graner, he said, was taking the fall for higher-up officers who he said knew the harsh treatment was routine... "The tragedy here is that because of this embarrassment, now those pictures are orphans, and the United States government and the chain of command and the M.I.'s say, 'We didn't know about that,' " he said, referring to military Intelligence. "You know that was a lie."
I guess I have to agree... the 'few bad apples' theory isn't really tenable. Testimony from other witnesses indicates that even if abuse wasn't widespread, knowledge of it was. Several soldiers have said they witnessed treatment they weren't comfortable with, but they were reassured about these being interrogation techniques.

No comments: