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Read this at your own risk.

“From the moment a soldier enlists, we inculcate loyalty, duty, honor, integrity, and selfless service,” Taguba said. “And yet when we get to the senior-officer level we forget those values. I know that my peers in the Army will be mad at me for speaking out, but the fact is that we violated the laws of land warfare in Abu Ghraib. We violated the tenets of the Geneva Convention. We violated our own principles and we violated the core of our military values. The stress of combat is not an excuse, and I believe, even today, that those civilian and military leaders responsible should be held accountable.” ♦

Seymour Hersh has a long piece in the New Yorker that you should really read in several sittings. Centered around Major General Anthony Taguba who was assigned, by a spin of the wheel, to investigate the Abu Ghraib revelations of late 2003. Taguba did what he could, thoroughly and diligently. But he had been instructed by his superiors to investigate only the Military Police at the prison; not those higher in the chain of command and not those in O.G.A.s –other governmental agencies — such as the CIA or even the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade. Like early investigators of why maggots appear on meat without considering the flies that lay their eggs there, the answers could explain nothing, and Taguba knows it.

There is much to scream about reading Hersh’s report. The beaches should be filled this weekend with citizens demosthenizing at the waves. The torture itself was appalling. There was much more than has hit the popular press, including anal forcing and injury to female detainees. Is there any question why the insurgencies and furies have grown and metastasized in Iraq? The multiple sources and chains of (ir)responsibility with one interrogation group not knowing what another group was doing, or manipulating one another by innuendo and fear is a case study in how not to get actionable intelligence, all the while covered over with the cloak of super patriotism and aiding the boys in the field. The cover-your-ass cover-up by the highest command authority, the multi-starred generals, freezes us in our tracks. These are the guys entrusted with the national defense and they don’t want to know what is going on. Not one fucking man was brave enough to stand up and be one. When they saw what Taguba was reporting they turned their backs on him. Eventually he was forced to retire. Congress is its genial ineptness has done no better in getting to the top of this. Rumsfeld bald-facedly lied about what he knew before Congress and yet remained in his position for 2 1/2 years.

As a citizen, I feel filthy myself, splattered with the shit of these men cavorting in the cesspools of human behavior.

Of course it would be wrong to focus entirely on these gentlemen of the stars, bars and ribbons. Last week at the Republican Whorse Show the audience went wild in applauding candidates’ call for more torture of the captured. McCain alone, speaking against it, was greeted in stony silence. Perhaps these fine folks would like to start summer camps so their kids could experience what they so highly approve of.