Sunday, May 16, 2004

Can someone find Stefanowicz ? 

Key words:


Seymour Hersh tells us a CACI employee and his colleagues conducted most of the interrogations at Abu Ghraib in what, apparently, were known by the soldiers as "Wood Building" and the "Steel Building".

Major-general Geoffrey General Miller - of Guantanamo fame - has confirmed that Stefanowicz has been got out the "Reassigned to administrative duties". So, will he too be sweating blood in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee? I jolly well hope so. He can tell us much about who said what to whom and who told who to do what. The poor patsies like ENGLAND and GRANER JR, could then be given short sentances for indiscipline, while the people who insigated and were responsible for the mess can have the book thrown at them.

Military Intelligence personnel assigned to Abu Ghraib apparently wore unmarked uniforms while on duty. "You couldn't tell them apart," a source familiar with the investigation said.

The Blurring of identities and organisations meant {..} it was impossible for the prisoners, or {..} military policemen {..} to know who was " doing what to whom", and who had the the authority to give orders.

Many of the prisoners in Abu Ghraib were classified as criminals.

It would seem obvious someone is going to have to own up to the details about whether the criminals and other categories of prisoners were held all together, and, if Coalition personnel knew who was who.

If we could please have the names of the detainees who have been released - if not those still inside - it would be possible for someone to work out more about what was going on. In particular, because of what we call in The British Isles "the monumental cock up" that was Abu Ghraib, whether some innocent men and women got the third degree by mistake. Despit,it is said, few released detainees having come forward to say they were innocent bystanders and abused as if they were deemed to be genuine suspects, it is important that all the facts come out and are pushed through the hostile media, especially in the Middle East to show that the U.S. recognises they have erred.

All these innocent parties have then to be well compensated.

some detail on Stefanowicz/Stephanowicz

American Forces Press Service, May 22, 2002

Laura Rozen in

quotes the Taguba Report, mentioning all four personnel:

...Pappas, Jordan, Stephanowicz, and Israel “were either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuse at Abu Ghraib,”

recommending that immediate disciplinary action be taken against them.

Rumsfeld's role



Seymour Hersch, The Grey Zone: How a secret Pentagon program came to Abu Ghraib, 24 May 2004 issue,

"...senior C.I.A. official, asked about Rumsfeld’s testimony and that of Stephen Cambone, his Under-Secretary for Intelligence, said, “Some people think you can bullshit anyone.”

In 2003 Rumsfeld approved application of secret operation - code name Copper Green, among other names - originally set up in for hunt for Al Qaeda and Taliban, to generate more intelligence about the insurgency in Iraq.

It seems Rumsfeld had a long standing ambition to take control of America’s clandestine and paramilitary operations from the C.I.A., which is now settling old scores with the Defence Department by leaking the facts.

The original SAP, or SPECIAL ACCESS PROGRAM (a way of saying very secret bespoke operation with "no traceability and no budget", which was totally hands-off), was set up to tackle Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, post- 9/11, had ".. across-the-board approval from Rumsfeld and from Condoleezza Rice, the national-security adviser. President Bush was informed of the existence of the program, the former intelligence official said." according to Hersh.

The now well-known rule of engagement under the SAP was:

"Grab whom you must. Do what you want."

Hersch gives all upper-eschalon participation, showing who knew what and when, right up to Bush the Younger. He agues that Cambone is the most vulnerable in the hierarchy.

Hersh's major point is the worry that the secret operations against Al Qaeda, other terrorists and the former Iraqi regime diehards will be jeopardised if there is a full investigation into Abu Ghraib as was done under Frank Church in 1975, which investigated C.I.A. activities in the preceeding 20 years.

Are we being anti-American here ? 

Probably, in some people's eyes. But let's face it, whereas there was no need to sanction, with SAPs, total emersion, way back in the 60s, in baths of shit, baptism-like, anyone suspected of being left-wing; or the dropping out of helicopters into the South Atlantic of sundry socialists (or Commies, as is your wont), down in the Pampas - where the buffalos roam and the Gauchos eat armadillo - for the sake of a bit of mouldy old salt petre and plentiful supplies of large T-bone steaks and crapulous burgers, here, now, with Al Qaeda we have a real problem that needs solving.

Bush the Younger, presumably aging by the minute, biting his mouth more and more in anxiety, no doubt praying more fervently, perhaps desperately sitting up at nights trying to find the right Biblical quote to go with his current predicament*, and, deep down, beginning to wish he'd stayed in the football business...propping up a bar somewhere in downtown Dallas pretending to be Frank Sinatra in some 50s film or other.

On the other hand, it might be worse as Brad Pitt's Character in "Fight Club says: "You could have your cock cut off and thrown out of a moving car." or had President Albert Gore - whichever is worst - still talking in a quasi-ecologese on interrelationships and so forth.

Looking on the bright side, if Gore had kept talking long enough, as was also Clinton's wont, Saddam might have died of bordedom, his two son's proving too incompetant to continue to run Iraq as the gangster state it was.

* What about this from the Andrew Davis adaptation of Trollope's "He knew he was right", recently aired on BBC TV ? Bella, the ugly sister, having wrested the effete cleric from her less ugly sister, asks him some innanity or other and he turns to her with:

" God will temper the winds to the shorn lamb."

I have no idea - don't ask. Well I think I might. It sounds so marvellous doesn't it? Don't even know if it is from the Bible. Must be, but I can't find it. Could be applied to almost any situation.

It could a way for Bush the Youger on his radio broadcast to say, perhaps in the dying days of his presidency : "I've learnt my lesson in hubris, in a Greeky folksy sort of way, and I promise to do the right thing in future." Or it could mean: "We'll stop being so nasty to all those Middle Easterners, and put and end to those unaccountable SAPs. We recognise our power and know we must not mishandle it." By that he wouldn't mean Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, Feith, Old Mother Reilly, Uncle Tom Cobbly 'n All, but covert ultra vires operations that besmirch the name of democracy and freedom.

It is all very well for armchair commentators to tell others how to do the job better, but it has been obvious from the start that it was going wrong. What is so amazing is for the Top Country to be unable to adapt to the situation in Iraq even with the resouces it has.

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memories of a childhood in Iraq in the 1950s * thoughts on events in the Middle East

Location: United Kingdom

expatriot in Middle East as child, retired teacher.

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