Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Senators seek Iraq torture investigation
Tacoma News Tribune ^ | May 04, 2004 | Les Blumenthal

Posted on 05/04/2004 11:51:01 PM PDT by beaversmom

WASHINGTON - Republican and Democratic lawmakers were appalled Tuesday over reports that Iraqi prisoners had been abused by U.S. soldiers, with one leading senator calling it an "unacceptable breach of military conduct" that could undermine the war on terror.

After a closed-door briefing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said the problems may involve more than just Abu Ghraib prison.

"This does not appear to be an isolated incident," Kennedy said, adding there might be additional abuses not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan.

Other senators were highly critical of the administration's failure to notify the appropriate congressional committees of a probe begun in late January into allegations that U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib had humiliated and sadistically abused Iraqi prisoners.

Still other senators said Congress needed to launch its own independent investigation and suggested Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld be called to testify as soon as possible.

"The rules for the treatment of prisoners of war are very clear," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who was a prisoner of war for five and a half years in Vietnam. "There is no justification for this kind of treatment."

At a Pentagon news conference, Rumsfeld said he was "stunned" by the allegations of prisoner mistreatment and promised they would be thoroughly investigated.

Despite Rumsfeld's assurances, lawmakers were clearly upset. Tuesday was the first day back for Congress after a weekend break and the first opportunity for many to comment on the reports of prisoner abuse that began circulating last week.

The chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, Sen. John Warner, R-Va. said he has never seen a more serious breakdown in military discipline.

Warner said the allegations, "if proven, represent an appalling and totally unacceptable breach of military conduct that could undermine much of the courageous work and sacrifice by our forces in the war on terror."

As for the possibility that U.S. military forces may have abused other prisoners, Warner said a "small number" of similar incidents may have occurred in other Iraqi facilities and in Afghanistan.

"We did not get the full details but were left with the impression that they were relatively isolated and certainly small in numbers," Warner said after he and other committee members were briefed by Gen. George Casey, the Army's vice chief of staff.

Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle said he was concerned that President Bush had not been kept informed of the ongoing investigation at the Abu Ghraib prison and that Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Meyer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, may not yet have read the two-month-old report.

Daschle said he wasn't prepared to say whether the Pentagon had sought to cover up the allegations of prisoner abuse.

"I want the answers before we come to any final conclusion as to what happened, why it happened," Daschle said.

Democrats were not alone in calling for a congressional investigation.

Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who earned two Purple Hearts while serving in Vietnam, said Congress was going to have to take a "hard look" at what happened.

"Was there an environment, a culture, that not only condoned this but encouraged this kind of behavior?" Hagel said on NBC's "Today" show. "Yes, we need to look well beyond just the soldier. Who was in charge? Was there a breakdown in command here?"

On the House side, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Congress needed to investigate the "shameful treatment" of prisoners in Iraq to learn whether there have been other similar incidents, determine when senior leadership at the Pentagon learned of the allegations and whether they took them seriously.

"We must have a full investigation to get to the bottom of this outrage," Pelosi said.


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: hurtfeelings; iraq; iraqipow; nakedprisoners; prisoners
Just what we need--another investigation.
1 posted on 05/04/2004 11:51:02 PM PDT by beaversmom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: beaversmom
Yeah, let's form a "commission" headed by somebody who knows all about war atrocities, because he admitted committing them - - John F'n Kerry.
2 posted on 05/04/2004 11:53:10 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: beaversmom
""We must have a full investigation to get to the bottom of this outrage," Pelosi said."

Her plastic surgeon?

3 posted on 05/04/2004 11:53:35 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lancey Howard
Has Kerry said anything about the Iraq Atrocities? Guess he can't because it doesn't rise to the level of ears cut off, or throwing prisoners out of helicopters.
4 posted on 05/04/2004 11:58:09 PM PDT by agincourt1415 (Hillary wants to be President so BAD.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: beaversmom
Lets have Nuremburg part 2 over this already! These prisoners lived. American prisoners weren't so fortunate. The Americans who abused the Iraqis will be punished by us. The thugs who executed American POWs will not be punished by Arabs.
5 posted on 05/05/2004 12:12:30 AM PDT by jaykay (Don't expect reasonable conduct from human beings; most are candidates for protective restraint.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: beaversmom
"Was there an environment, a culture, that not only condoned this but encouraged this kind of behavior?" Hagel said on NBC's "Today" show. "Yes, we need to look well beyond just the soldier. Who was in charge? Was there a breakdown in command here?"

What do these assholes think goes on day and night in the US prison system ??

6 posted on 05/05/2004 12:27:45 AM PDT by kimosabe31
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: beaversmom
"We must have a full investigation to get to the bottom of this outrage," Pelosi said.

Is she referring to herself being named House Democratic leader? Or maybe to Kerry's botox treatments? Or finally to Kennedy's underwater dereliction of duty?
7 posted on 05/05/2004 12:32:32 AM PDT by taxesareforever
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: beaversmom
Just what we need--another investigation.

Yea, another well placed investigation to boot.

Nothing ever is placed in the forefront of concern in Washington without a political twist to it.

When the hell are we going to get an honest investigation for our country's sake, as to how we can rid ourselves of this beatable threat that we have facing us, forget the "treacherous and anti-American" political business and show these inhuman murderers that we mean it when we show our patriotism and resolve to maintain our personal freedoms by sticking together and promoting, with the same resolve, the same opportunity for freedom to other country's outside of ours?

8 posted on 05/05/2004 12:48:22 AM PDT by EGPWS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: agincourt1415
Has Kerry said anything about the Iraq Atrocities? Guess he can't because it doesn't rise to the level of ears cut off, or throwing prisoners out of helicopters.

The silence from Kerry is deafening.

9 posted on 05/05/2004 12:49:53 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: beaversmom
I'm a bit suspicious that some of our own soldiers may have purposely done things to make the war effort look bad. There were some soldiers interviewed by reporters that were obviously against the war they were sent to. So, how will we know if the "this war is wrong militia" aren't trying to turn more Americans against the war.

10 posted on 05/05/2004 2:35:57 AM PDT by Susannah (any vote against Bush is a vote for the Traitor Kerry and his heiness heiress wife)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Susannah
I totally agree with you. Military Families Speak Out crowd? Good old propaganda war. Images and words can do more damage than bullets. It worked well during Vietnam. Have some reservist sabatoge the whole war effort and get US out like Vietnam. Same old playbook. If we have people purposely doing this...charge them with treason.
11 posted on 05/05/2004 6:07:33 AM PDT by Milligan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: beaversmom
This can be handled in a miltary court. Is there any proof
that the photo's are not fake?
12 posted on 05/05/2004 7:28:34 AM PDT by upcountryhorseman (An old fashioned conservative)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: upcountryhorseman
Nope, sure doesn't look like it. Frankly, the Army is taking the right way here : full inquiry and harsh punishment for those who thought that they could disgrace their uniform and their brothers in arms.

Not only it was plain wrong, but it was also downright dangerous. These guys were prisoners. It does imply they've got rights, sure, but it also implies they're believed to be dangerous, people to be closely watched. Turning away from duty to "enjoy" these stupid pranks did put the entire unit in danger.
13 posted on 05/05/2004 8:44:30 AM PDT by Atlantic Friend (Cursum Perficio)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: kimosabe31
Hagel is a useful idiot for the democrats.
14 posted on 05/05/2004 8:46:03 AM PDT by MamaLucci (Libs, want answers on 911? Ask Clinton why he met with Monica more than with his CIA director.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: MamaLucci; All
FAX DeLay and Frist: NO more commissions, NO more investigations (Iraqi Torture commission)
15 posted on 05/05/2004 8:48:17 AM PDT by jmstein7 (Real Men Don't Need Chunks of Government Metal on Their Chests to be Heroes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: jmstein7
Bump!
16 posted on 05/05/2004 8:49:16 AM PDT by MamaLucci (Libs, want answers on 911? Ask Clinton why he met with Monica more than with his CIA director.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson