May 11, 2004

Destroy Abu Ghraib George

George Will joins others conservatives in calling for Abu Ghraib to be destroyed.

Is Karl Rove listening?

I'm speaking to other Republicans (people who have raised money for this President) who are highly concerned about how this White House is handling the torture scandal to date.

Are we trying to save a little cash by not blowing up this jail with some C-4?

Christ, we've spent hundreds of billions of dollars on this Iraq effort.

For Pete's sake, blow up this prison and transfer the detainees elsewhere soonest.

Mr. President, tear down this jail!

Read all of Will's op-ed.

Don't miss these other key sections:

"The first axiom is: When there is no penalty for failure, failures proliferate. Leave aside the question of who or what failed before Sept. 11, 2001. But who lost his or her job because the president's 2003 State of the Union address gave currency to a fraud -- the story of Iraq's attempting to buy uranium in Niger? Or because the primary and only sufficient reason for waging preemptive war -- weapons of mass destruction -- was largely spurious? Or because postwar planning, from failure to anticipate the initial looting to today's insufficient force levels, has been botched? Failures are multiplying because of choices for which no one seems accountable."

And later:

"One question is: Are the nation's efforts in the deepening global war -- the world is more menacing than it was a year ago -- helped or hindered by Rumsfeld's continuation as the appointed American most conspicuously identified with the conduct of the war? This is not a simple call. But being experienced, he will know how to make the call. Being honorable, he will so do.

He knows his Macbeth and will recognize the framing of the second question: Were he to resign, would discerning people say that nothing in his public life became him like the leaving of it?

This nation has always needed an ethic about the resignation of public officials. Such an ethic cannot be codified. It must grow in controlling power from precedent to precedent, as an unwritten common law, distilled from the behavior of uncommonly honorable men and women who understand the stakes. A nation, especially one doing the business of empire, needs high officials to be highly attentive to what is done in their departments -- attentive far down the chain of command, as though their very jobs depended on it." [emphasis added]

George Will (like, much less importantly, B.D.) hasn't quite called for Rumsfeld to resign.

But I would join Will, even at this relatively early stage in this unfolding scandal(I fear it's going to get much worse), in asking Rumsfeld to think long and hard about whether he is currently more of an asset or more of a liability for this President.

George Will closes his column with this Charles de Gaulle quote: "the cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men."

Will doesn't tell us in his column--but this is one of Rumsfeld's Rules: "Don't think of yourself as indispensable or infallible. As Charles de Gaulle said, the cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men."

Here's another one of his rules for Rummy to chew over:

"Be able to resign. It will improve your value to the President and do wonders for your performance."

Also:

"The price of being close to the President is delivering bad news. You fail him if you don't tell him the truth. Others won't do it."

Maybe Rumsfeld did tell Dubya the truth, when and as he knew it, throughout.

But did he dig deeply enough, so as not to be fairly accused of negligence, into the extent of the horrors at Abu Ghraib so that he hasn't failed this President (given the massive public relations disaster and, indeed, greater strategic threat environment we face give the scale of this unfolding scandal)?

Yes, the pictures that Rummy didn't immediately see are jarring, haunting, despicable--a deep stain on America.

But the written descriptions of the acts depicted in the pics--that Rummy read many months back--they couldn't have made for cheery reading either, no?

Posted by Gregory Djerejian at May 11, 2004 09:20 AM
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