April 15, 2008

The Situation Room takes a look at the upcoming documentary Standard Operating Procedure by Errol Morris (The Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line) which examines the incidents of abuse and torture at the Abu Ghraib prison.

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More videos from the film via The New Yorker, in which Sy Hersh first broke the story of the US's gulag in Iraq.

I look forward to seeing how complete and honest an account of what went on this film is. It looks promising. I'm sure Janis Karpinski will do her part to make sure they set the record straight. Also, I'm pretty sure I know where the film's title comes from:

Army documents show. After the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in April 2003, U.S. soldiers and intelligence personnel began to use these techniques in Iraq, where they were informally "accepted as SOP [standard operating procedure] by newly arrived interrogators," according to an August 2004 report on Abu Ghraib abuses by Maj. Gen. George R. Fay. By September 2003, Gen. Geoffrey Miller had arrived at Abu Ghraib, allegedly with a mandate to "Gitmo-ize" interrogation procedures at the prison.

In light of the recent revelations that torture techniques were discussed and approved in meetings by the National Security Council’s Principals Committee, a group that included Vice President Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, John Ashcroft, and that President Bush admits he was fully aware of them, I think the Pentagon spokesman's statement at the end of the CNN report that there was never "any government policy that directed, encouraged, or condoned abuse" is not only demonstrably false, it shows what a sham the military's investigation into the matter was. Janis Karpinski was right all along.

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