No, we never torture prisoners …

The Washington Post has some ugly, ugly details.

…except the ones who get stuffed into sleeping bags and beaten to death.

The death came two months after a dispatch from Baghdad told troops in the field “the gloves are coming off.”

Naturally, lying went along with murder: the Army promptly put out a press release claiming that the victim had died of natural causes, and told reporters that he’d been captured when in fact he walked in to try to arrange for the release of his sons.

Three noncoms are on trial for the murder; as usual, the officers aren’t being charged. The CIA folks involved, both directly and through the Iraqi “Scorpion” units they recruited, are also being protected.

There’s no reason to weep for the victim, who simply made the error of assuming that an American flag meant that the people serving under it would be less brutal than he himself was. Save your tears for the flag, and the Republic for which it stands.

Update: Important background from the Salt Lake Tribune, via Amygdala.

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: