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Thursday, December 23, 2004

Courts to CIA: Cough 'Em Up

Since the Abu Graib prison scandal broke, Rummie and his hooligan pals have contended that the crimes committed there were little more than oversights, acts committed by a couple of unsupervised stressed-out soldiers on night shift who were simply "having a good time" and needed to "blow off some steam" (according to Rush, who subsequently earned Media Matters’ award for the stupidest thing said in 2004 for this pearl).

As noted earlier this week, the ACLU has forced various branches of the government to turn over documents related to the torture under the Freedom of Information Act. Thousands of pages of documents are now being examined, and they prove that Rummie and his band of evil henchmen are full of shit. The Washington Post is now referring to these events as "war crimes," and they state, "the new documents establish beyond any doubt that every part of this cover story is false":

...documents detail abuses by Marines in Iraq, including mock executions and the torture of detainees by burning and electric shock. Several dozen detainees have died in U.S. custody. In many cases, Army investigations of these crimes were shockingly shoddy: Officials lost records, failed to conduct autopsies after suspicious deaths and allowed evidence to be contaminated. Soldiers found to have committed war crimes were excused with noncriminal punishments. The summary of one suspicious death of a detainee at the Abu Ghraib prison reads: "No crime scene exam was conducted, no autopsy conducted, no copy of medical file obtained for investigation because copy machine broken in medical office."

The judge in the case seems to have shown remarkably little sympathy for the CIA's claims that it couldn't turn over internal documents until they conducted their own investigation, and on Tuesday the court ordered the CIA to hand 'em over. We will keep you posted.

And what is Congress doing, you ask? Well, it has been sitting on its collective fat ass on this one. The WaPo says it has "abdicated its responsibility under its Republican leadership: It has been nearly four months since the last hearing on prisoner abuse."

Mainstream media have turned a blind to this for way too long, too. After the initial thrill of it all, l guess they just got bored. The internet and the blogosphere kept the Ohio voting scandal in the zeitgeist when the mainstream media wouldn’t dirty their hands with it; now it looks like Kerry is jumping into the fray, and will file documents tomorrow to compel a recount in Ohio. We need to do the same thing until the crooks behind the Abu Ghraib scandal are in jail where they belong.

It is so completely absurd to remember how Washington came to a standstill and spent $72 million to impeach Bill Clinton for a frigging blow job and then think about the fact that nobody in Congress wants to touch this thing. I have no joke for this. The political cowards on all sides are beneath contempt. Email your friends. Please keep this alive!