Sunday, October 02, 2005

TalkLeft sums up the Ian Fishback story

TalkLeft has a good summary, with some quotes from Fishback, in It's Not a Game: Blame Rumsfeld:

When the military plays the blame game, the blame rolls downhill. Capt. Ian Fishback, the primary source of information about detainee abuse in a recent Human Rights Watch report, fears that military investigators are making no serious effort to trace knowledge of or participation in the abuse up the chain of command.
'I'm convinced this is going in a direction that's not consistent with why we came forward,' Captain Fishback said in a telephone interview from Fort Bragg, N.C., where he is going through Army Special Forces training. 'We came forward because of the larger issue that prisoner abuse is systemic in the Army. I'm concerned this will take a new twist, and they'll try to scapegoat some of the younger soldiers. This is a leadership problem.'
... Fishback was interrogated soon after the military learned that he was speaking to Senate aides, and he was interrogated repeatedly after it learned that HRW was going public with his complaints. The investigators want to know the names of the individuals who corroborated his reports, but Fishback has honored his promise not to divulge their identities.
'They're asking the same questions over and over again,' he said. 'They want the names of the sergeants, and they keep asking about my relationship with Human Rights Watch.'
Investigators have threatened Fishback with criminal prosecution if he doesn't nark on the soldiers he persuaded to talk to HRW.
Captain Fishback said the investigators who have questioned him in the past 10 days seemed to be less interested in individuals he identified in his chain of command who allegedly committed the abuses.
One might hope that investigators would be less obsessed with outing HRW's sources and more interested in the details of Fishback's observations. Fishback is right about the failure of leadership. Has Sen. McCain heard enough? Is he ready to investigate Rumsfeld's military mismanagement?
Really, is McCain an honourable soldier? Or has he fully made his bed with the corrupt status quo? Time for him to show his cards.

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