April 23, 2009

I was saying that Chris Matthews should have read Janis Karpinski's book when he was trying to rebut Michael Smerconish the other day. Well it looks like someone else at MSNBC has. Keith Olbermann talks to former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski about how the torture at Abu Ghraib was a direct result of policies which were crafted by the higher ups in the Bush administration.

Olbermann: What does the Levin tell us about this prison and what happened there.

Karpinski: It basically says there's a direct line from these memorandum, the policies and the permissions and the directives included in those memorandum through Gen. Miller at Guantanamo Bay Cuba, migrated directly with Gen. Miller and his Tiger Team of about twenty four people who came to advise the military intelligence interrogators of these harsher interrogation techniques. Straight line.

She has a few words for Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and the rest of the Bush administration that let the soldiers take the fall for their decisions.

Karpinski: This is one of the most shameful aspects of these memos and the knowledge that people at the highest levels of our government had about these memos, actually sat together and wrote them and rewrote them and crafted them to meet the requirements of these techniques they wanted to use.

They were well aware, these people, Rumsfeld, Sanchez, all of them and were well aware of these policies and these memorandums while these soldiers were being accused....five years ago. And if it was okay Mr. Former Vice President, if you're saying that this was necessary today and that it produced good intelligence..where were you five years ago stepping up to the plate and saying hold on, we can't discuss this because this is classified information, but these soldiers did not design these techniques? Where were all of those heros then to step up to the plate and defend these soldiers and to defend me? These were soldiers that were serving in a combat zone that were good Americans and remain good Americans and that were so unfairly blamed. Five years this month to get these memos released, declassified and released and people still trying to say that what happened at Abu Ghraib was different than what these memorandums were directing. No! It is not!

The Republicans have been desperate to put distance between what happened at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo and are barking that all over the airways the last few days. Janis Karpinski is the best spokesperson to blow a hole in that argument since she was right in the middle of it and I was glad to see Keith have her on.

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