Is the Abu Ghraib case about to really break?

A key witness flips, the investigating general asks for a higher-ranking replacement, and Sy Hersh says there’s videotape of the abuse of children.

Two huge developments today:

The New York Times reports that the two-star general in charge of the investigation, forbidden by Army regulations from investigating the behavior of anyone above himself in rank, has asked to be replaced for that reason, and that a four-start is expected to be appointed. This follows his previous request for an extension of time to complete the investigation, which apparently resulted from the change of heart by a witness who had previously refused to cooperate.

And Brad DeLong relays an email correspondent’s account of a talk by Sy Hersh at the University of Chicago:

He said that after he broke Abu Ghraib people are coming out of the woodwork to tell him this stuff. He said he had seen all the Abu Ghraib pictures. He said, “You haven’t begun to see evil…” then trailed off. He said, “horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run.”

Children? That tears it.

That’s going to be too strong even for the stomachs of the Bush-worshippers.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

2 thoughts on “Is the Abu Ghraib case about to really break?”

  1. Kleiman Is Optimistic

    I wish he were right, but I fear he's not. I've spent too much time reading that DoD Report, and the things that Sy Hersh describes are clearly contemplated in that Report's preemptive exculpation of the torturers and the command chain.

  2. Things we need and things we don't

    Kevin Drum and Mark Kleiman, in full schadenfreude mode, wonder "Is the Abu Ghraib scandal [is] about to break wide open?" (Drum.) Indeed, there has been a bit of a drumbeat of late, pounding away even as Reagan's body has

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