The truth is finally starting to come out regarding the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison. We now learn that the abuses were personally authorized by Donald Rumsfeld.
According to former Army Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, who was in charge of Abu Ghraib prison when the abuses were discovered, Donald Rumsfeld had authorized the civilian contractors working there to use abusive techniques. General Karpinski said she had seen Rumsfeld's signature on documents instructing the contractors to use harsh interrogation methods.
General Karpinski said, "The handwritten signature was above his printed name and in the same handwriting in the margin was written: 'Make sure this is accomplished.' The methods consisted of making prisoners stand for long periods, sleep deprivation...playing music at full volume, having to sit in uncomfortably...Rumsfeld authorized these specific techniques."
General Karpinski said Rumsfeld also violated the Geneva Convention rules by ordering certain prisoners to not be registered [to be held in secret]. She said, "We received a message from the Pentagon, from the Defense Secretary, ordering us to hold the prisoner without registering him. I now know this happened on various occasions." General Karpinski said she is ready to testify against Rumsfeld in any court proceedings.
The rules of the Geneva Convention are clear. They say prisoners of war should suffer "no physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion...Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind."
It is now clear that Donald Rumsfeld is a war criminal. Those may seem like harsh words, but they are true. Sadly, these techniques were not only unnecessary, but also probably ineffective. Most interrogation experts agree that torture is a poor way to get at the truth. A tortured man may tell you what you want to hear, but it likely has little relation to the truth.
Even worse, Rumsfeld has now exposed our own soldiers to abuse and torture by other countries. The world now knows that the United States is not only willing to violate the Geneva Convention, but has already done it. Why would they abide by the rules when they know that we will not?
Only one question remains. Did Rumsfeld act on his own, or did he have authorization from his boss, President Bush? I personally think history will show that the latter is true.