Friday, May 11, 2007

Listen to the generals on the ground...

One thing Bush and Republicans always say is that they are "listening to the generals on the ground" in Iraq. Of course, as has been pointed out on here before, we have civilian leadership of the military in America, and indeed, Bush is the commander-in-chief. The generals, that he selects, carry out his war policies (but even if that weren't true, Bush has never listened to generals. Otherwise, we would have invaded Iraq with a larger force, we wouldn't have disbanded the Iraqi military, etc.). But let's assume this is true. Will Bush listen to General Petraeus on torture?

The U.S. military commander in Iraq told his troops to fight by the rules after a Pentagon survey found many soldiers and Marines back torture and would not report colleagues for killing or injuring civilians.

"This fight depends on securing the population, which must understand that we -- not our enemies -- occupy the moral high ground," General David Petraeus wrote in a letter dated May 10...

"Beyond the basic fact that such actions are illegal, history shows that they also are frequently neither useful or necessary," he said in the one-page letter, which was obtained by Reuters.

He goes on to make the point that many other intelligence and military experts have made that torture actually produces questionable intelligence.

This letter was written in response to a Pentagon survey of ethics, released last week, showed that only 40 percent of marines and 55 percent of U.S. Army soldiers deployed in Iraq said they would report a fellow serviceman for killing or injuring an innocent Iraqi. It also said well over one-third of soldiers and marines believe torture should be allowed to obtain information that could save the lives of U.S. troops or gain knowledge about Iraqi insurgents.

But how can you blame them? The Bush administration has produced a culture of torture, extraordinary rendition, bucking international law, indefinite internment, secret prisons, etc.

One hopes these troops listen to Petraeus. Something tells me that despite their rhetoric, Bush and his cronies won't.

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