Tuesday, June 15, 2004

How Do You Force a Dog to Masturbate on Camera? 

Okay, we'll tell you later. But back to our story: Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, formerly in charge of Abu Ghraib, has adopted the Sgt. Schultz defense ("I didn't know in September, I didn't know in October, I didn't know ever" about any abuse, she said). Better yet -- after claiming that the Army has made her "a convenient scapegoat" -- she appears ready to roll over on her superiors:
In an interview with British Broadcasting Corp. radio broadcast Tuesday, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski said [her successor at Abu Ghraib, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey] Miller told her last autumn that prisoners "are like dogs, and if you allow them to believe at any point that they are more than a dog then you've lost control of them."

Miller was in charge of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and now oversees U.S. prisons in Iraq.

Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a spokesman for detention operations in Iraq, said Karpinski's allegations were "categorically false."

"Maj. Gen. Miller made no such comment to Brig. Gen. Karpinski or to anybody else," Johnson said. "This allegation flies in the face of the philosophy of humane treatment for all detainees, under all circumstances, that Maj. Gen. Miller adopted first at Guantanamo, and now at his position in Iraq. Brig. Gen. Karpinski's statement to the media is categorically false."
Elsewhere: John Yoo is the professor at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall who wrote several DoJ memos suggesting that President Bush might legitimately cast aside international law and American treaty obligations should he ver be possessed by a fleeting urge to do so. More than 240 Cal law students have since called for Yoo's resignation, on the grounds that his advice to the Bush administration was illegal and immoral. Yet it seems to us, based on Yoo's op/ed in this morning's S.F. Chronicle, that the best reason to ask him for his job back may be not immorality, not illegality, but -- may we be blunt? -- general doltishness. If there's any actual legal reasoning there beyond the usual cant ---- would someone kindly explain to us where exactly we might find it?

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