Walking back the cat:
    Who leaked the Taguba report?

Brad DeLong has some ideas about how the Taguba report became public:

It is also time to start walking back the cat: how did these pictures and this report become public? Two major theories: First, they get passed around electronically from staff computer to staff computer at CENTCOM or in the Pentagon because they are so outrageous until eventually they reach some foreign intelligence service, which then decides it is time to make them public. Second, somebody on Taguba’s staff or somebody who saw the report plus documentation decided that the Pentagon was sitting on it in an inappropriate way, and that something needed to be done to save the honor of the army and to goose command into significant and serious action. Remember: the prime movers–Colonel Pappas of the 205 MI Bde., Steve Stephanowicz of CACI–appear to still be in Iraq. It’s only General Karpinski who has been sent home.

I don’t know which of these is true.

Billmon of Whiskey Bar suspects that Gen. Taguba might have leaked his own report.

All this is clever, but probably not right. Lost in the midst of a brilliant and underappreciated essay on Abu Ghraib by a brilliant and underappreciated blogger, the attentive reader will find this brilliant and unappreciated observation, which surely holds the key to the puzzle:

The lawyer for Sgt. Frederick, the senior non-com charged in both rank and age, was a defense attorney for some of the My Lai accused. Any bets on who handed Hersh the Taguba report?

I don’t know how criminal procedure under the UCMJ differs from the civilian brand, but I’m willing to bet the defense gets to see the report on which the Article 36 proceeding (roughly, the grand jury) is based. I’m not sure Sgt. Frederick’s lawyer actually did his client a favor by making the case a worldwide cause celebre, but it probably seemed like a good idea at the time.

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: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com