Yes, Ted Rall, the man who decided to take the story of Pat Tillman and turn it into an anti-war manifesto, has officially lost all sense of reason and sanity. Not to say that this was unexpected, as Ted has continually slid closer and closer towards lunacy with each passing day of the Bush presidency (this seems to be a common theme among many liberals).
I don't get to fisk too often, but this latest bile spewed forth from Ted truly deserves a good nail-studded cluebat smack, as he seriously stepped over the line this time.
An Army of Scum
By Ted Rall
Or, We're Looking For a Few Good Homosexual Rapists
NEW YORK--Now it's official: American troops occupying Iraq (news - web sites) have become virtually indistinguishable from the SS. Like the Germans during World War II, they cordon off and bomb civilian villages to retaliate for guerilla attacks on their convoys. Like the blackshirts who terrorized Europe, America's victims disappear into hellish prisons ruled by sadists and murderers. The U.S. military is short just one item to achieve moral parity with the Nazis: gas chambers.
Ted opens with a paragraph comparing the US Army with the SS. Nay, he says they are "indistinguishable". This is indistinguishable from this. Is Ted even slightly aware of the atrocities commited by the SS during WWII? Is there anything functioning between his ears that would allow for some rational thought? Does he need someone to help him get dressed in the morning? I mean, how in the hell can he make that statement?
"Numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees" by soldiers, freelance mercenaries and professional torturers under the command of CIA (news - web sites) intelligence officers at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison, according to an internal government report. The detainees, about 60 percent of them assumed to be innocent by the Americans themselves, were routinely beaten, sodomized "with a chemical light or broomstick," urinated upon, tied to electrified wires and threatened with death, stripped and forced to perform homosexual sex acts on each other and U.S. troops. Don't be fooled by military apologists who insist that these American SS are nothing more than a few bad apples. Seymour Hersh, who has read the army's internal report, quotes Major General Antonio Taguba as saying that U.S.-committed atrocities are "systemic, endemic throughout the command structure...[The soldier-torturers] were being told what to do and told it was OK."
Yes, let's all ingnore the military ranks who have investigated the incidents who state openly that this is not systemic or endemic, let's forget the fact that these soldiers are on a battelfield getting shot at by a diverse range of individuals. Let's pretend this never happens at home in much more "systemic and endemic" ways in US prisons. Let's also ignore the fact that the military has not attempted to hide the evidence behind this, and has consistently stated they are prosecuting the accused individuals to the full extent of military law.
And Ted, don't forget that during WWII, when the SS was beating and torturing Jews before marching them en masse in to gas chambers, they were PROMOTED for their efforts by the higher ups. They were not prosecuted you fucking moron.
True, most soldiers probably don't condone torture. But all soldiers have been tarnished by it. George W. Bush's new gulag archipelago, a string of concentration camps, military and INS prisons that span the globe from North Carolina to Iraq to Afghanistan (news - web sites) to Guantánamo Bay to New York City, has been designed to give torturers the veil of secrecy they require to carry out their hideous acts as well as the tacit understanding that they won't be held accountable. The Red Cross, defense lawyers and relatives of the victims, few of whom are charged with a crime, are denied access to the detainees or even the simple confirmation that they're being held by our government.
Ted, Guantanamo IS NOT a concentration camp. These are concentration camps. This is what happens at concentration camps. I suppose attempting to explain the difference to you may be a waste of time due to your ignorance, but hey- I'm a giver.
Some soldiers, like Sergeant Ivan Frederick II, "questioned some of the things I saw," such as "leaving inmates in their cell with no clothes or in female underpants, handcuffing them to the door." But when he discussed these abuses with his superiors, he says they brushed him off: "This is how military intelligence wants it done."
Female Underpants!! THE HORROR!!!! Next you'll tell me they made them wear makeup too!!
As proven by the classic psychological experiments of the '50s, people put in a position of total power over another human being find it hard to resist abusing their charges. Prison guards mistreat inmates for a simple reason: they can. Wherever one controls another, sadism is inevitable. However, this tragic truism can be mitigated by creating mechanisms to ensure transparency behind bars. Granting prisoners access to attorneys, journalists and other members of the outside world, unannounced inspections by human rights agencies, recognizing their rights under the Geneva Conventions and rigorous prosecutions of criminal guards can never entirely eliminate abuse, but they're essential to prisons run by democratic societies.
Which is precisely what happened in this case. The mechanisms for exposing these circumstances worked, and the individuals responsible are being prosecuted. But once again, why let logic get in the way.
We know about Abu Ghraib only because the inbred psychos who forced nude Iraqi men to pile up in pyramids were dumb enough to snap photographs as mementos of their time liberating the nation from Saddam. It's like the Rodney King video: cops beat up blacks every day, but there usually isn't a camera around.
Yes, there are daily abuses of the system in our country. Yes, sometimes the system doesn't work and guilty parties get away with things a'la Rodney King. But the reality is in Iraq, when Baathist policemen set up rape squads and torture chambers, they were promoted for their actions. Not prosecuted. Does this excuse our soldiers? Of course not. But to act as if this is somehow comparable to the SS is deplorable.
Abu Ghraib, you can bet your bottom dollar, is merely the tip of the iceberg. Our military is structurally corrupt. Beginning in Afghanistan during the weeks after 9/11, civilian command yielded to the amoral gangster mentality of the arrogant intelligence officers of Army Special Forces and the CIA, who stand accused of massacring thousands of captured Taliban prisoners yet have never faced a real investigation.
Hello? What? The Army stands accused of massacring thousands of prisoners? Don't you think Al-Jazeera would have been all over this by now? Does Ted give any specifics or accounts? Is there any corraboration of this accusation at all? Or does it serve to make his Nazi/US Army more believable?
The new tone of lawlessness comes all the way from the White House, directed by a commander-in-chief who starts illegal wars without justification, strips captured prisoners of their rights under the Geneva Convention and whose smirky fingers-crossed response to the prisoner abuse scandal--"I shared a deep disgust that those prisoners were treated the way they were treated...Their treatment does not reflect the nature of the American people"--sends a wink and a nudge to our uniformed torturers. Keep it up, boys. Keep those broomsticks busy.
"Their treatment does not reflect the nature of the American people" means "keep it up"? Does any one else who has military friends and family want to introduce Ted to the business end of a broomstick themselves yet? He has a right to an opinion, but he does not have a right to avoid the consequences of said opinions.
Even our coalition partners are getting the message. British soldiers running a coalition gulag in Basra reported smashing the jaw and teeth of an Iraqi accused of stealing, then dumping the broken body of the accused thief off the back of a moving truck. "They did not know whether he survived," writes The New York Times.
Nice Ted. Way to get that "gulag" rhetoric in. Why not include the Russian "Corrective Labor Camps" too? Never can compare our soldiers to enough atrocities now can we. And nice touch including the Brits too, they must be Nazis as well- right? Ted, you're just making ALL KINDS of friends today aren't you!
One more Iraqi, it seems, who won't be tossing roses at his liberators.
Hey Ted- by a conservative estimate, the Hussein regime was killing civilians at an average rate of at least 16,000 a year between 1979 and March 2003. . That's 16,000 more Iraqis who will be ALIVE period due to our Armed Forces.
Ted, I suggest you remain anonymous around military folks for a while. Because they would be absolutely justified in beating the living snot out of you after this latest ignorant missive.
And thanks for trivializing the actual suffering of those who were put in REAL concentration camps to serve your own misguided and hate-filled agenda. I'm sure they appreciate it.