May 12, 2004
Top down, or bottom up?

As the days go by, we are hearing more and more about appalling human rights abuses by coalition troops in Iraq, both American and British. (Whether the Mirror pictures are genuine or not is pretty much irrelevant, so far as I'm concerned. The pictures themselves may well be fakes, but abuse certainly took place.)

Now, clearly, there is no excuse for the perpretrators of this kind of thing. They should feel at least partly responsible for the killing of Nick Berg. Nevertheless, I think it's important to establish whether this abuse is just the result of a rogue element being poorly managed as General Taguba claims, or whether it was encouraged from the top.

I suspect the latter. The US turned its back on the Geneva Convention some time ago, as their treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay shows. And Geoffrey Miller, the man who ran Guantanamo, now runs Abu Ghraib prison.

Update: Only following orders - I've heard that before. Probably true, but no defence.

Posted to The Big Room by Simon Brunning at May 12, 2004 12:53 PM
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