Sunday, May 9, 2004

(Hat tip to Richard B in this thread) WorldNetDaily: Hackworth exposed abuse scandal

Ret. Col. David Hackworth, one of the most decorated living U.S. soldiers and a WorldNetDaily columnist, helped expose the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal after learning about it from U.S. troops on the ground.

Hackworth pledges to discuss his role in the international controversy in his next column, scheduled for publication Tuesday.

"The Pentagon hoped it would go away or at least that the responsible high brass would escape untarnished," Hackworth told WND this weekend.

The story began to unravel earlier this year with the actions of Ivan Frederick, father of an Army reservist turned prison guard in Iraq, Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick, who became the target of an investigation for mistreating prisoners. Photographs of the abuse were beginning to circulate among soldiers and military investigators.

Frederick turned to his brother-in-law, William Lawson, for help. Both feared the younger Frederick would end up taking the fall for what they considered command lapses. So, Lawson sent an e-mail message in March to Hackworth, who is known for challenging the military establishment...

Within minutes, Lawson got a call back from one of Hackworth's associates. The author and commentator put Lawson in touch with the CBS News program "60 Minutes II" and helped set in motion events that led to the public disclosure and apologies by President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Though general reports of the scandal have appeared in the media since January, it was the broadcasting of photographs of prisoner humiliation on 60 Minutes II that brought the story to center stage worldwide.

One irony of the way the story came to light: Lawson first tried to bring attention to the scandal by writing to 17 members of Congress, but, he told the New York Times, he got virtually no response. Now, members of the House and Senate are calling for Rumsfeld's resignation for not bringing the matter to their attention.

Before contacting Hackworth, Lawson said he also went to the Red Cross, members of Congress in both parties and Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly.

One major figure in the scandal, a two-star general, has already been reassigned with a new post – running Fort Huachuca in Arizona.

Maj. Gen. Barbara G. Fast, who is now the fort's deputy commander and is serving overseas in Baghdad, will take over as head of the post and its military intelligence school in late summer or early fall. In a recent Army report on the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal, disgraced Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the commander of several military police officers facing criminal charges, identified Fast as the person largely responsible for causing prison overcrowding in Iraq.

Fast has been serving since last summer as intelligence chief for the U.S. military command in Baghdad. In that role, she was the person responsible for approving the release of prisoners who "are of no intelligence value and no longer pose a significant threat" to American forces and allies.

Karpinski told Army investigators looking at prison abuse that Fast "routinely" refused to approve the release of such prisoners even after a military review panel in Iraq had recommended that they be released.

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


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