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Hullabaloo


Thursday, December 01, 2005

 
Friends With Benefits

by digby

This Lincoln Group story is amazing. I have nothing to add to the substance that Laura Rozen and Billmon haven't already covered with great insight. Psyops is one of Rummy's favorite little hobbies. It's no surprise that he's been using it in every way he can get away with.

But I am interested in the fact that General Pace is on the record being against it saying "I would be concerned about anything that would be detrimental to the proper growth of democracy." This is the second time in two days that Pace is playing the straight arrow to Rummy's sleaze. Bob Fertik sent me an e-mail pointing out something interesting that I overlooked in that Pace-Rummy public disagreement the other day.


Here's the whole passage
(and the video at C&L):

QUESTION: Sir, taking on his question a bit -- and I can give you actual examples from coalition forces who talked to me when I was over there about excesses of the Interior Ministry, the Ministry of Defense; and that is in dealing with prisoners or in arresting people and how they're treated after they're arrested -- what are the obligations and what are the rights of U.S. military over there in dealing with that?

Obviously, Iraq is a sovereign country now, but the United States is responsible for training and expects to turn over the security mission to them.

So, what is the U.S. obligation in addressing that, preventing that, and what can we do? And what are we doing?

RUMSFELD: That's a fair question. I'll start and, Pete, you may want to finish. But we are working very hard to train and equip the Iraqi security forces. So is NATO. So are some neighboring countries.

There are a lot of people involved in this, dozens of countries trying to help train these Iraqi forces. Any instance of inhumane behavior is obviously worrisome and harmful to them when that occurs. Iraq knows, of certain knowledge, that they need the support of the international community. And a good way to lose it is to make a practice of something that is inconsistent with the values of the international community.

RUMSFELD: And I think they know that.



He doesn't even know what he's saying, does he?


Now, you know, I can't go any farther in talking about it. Obviously, the United States does not have a responsibility when a sovereign country engages in something that they disapprove of. However, we do have a responsibility to say so and to make sure that the training is proper and to work with the sovereign officials so that they understand the damage that can be done to them in the event some of these allegations prove to be true.

QUESTION: And, General Pace, what guidance do you have for your military commanders over there as to what to do if -- like when General Horst found this Interior Ministry jail?

PACE: It is absolutely responsibility of every U.S. service member if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene, to stop it. As an example of how to do it if you don't see it happening, but you're told about it, is exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago. There was a report from an Iraqi to a U.S. commander that there was a possibility of inhumane treatment in a particular facility. That U.S. commander got together with his Iraqi counterparts. They went together to the facility, found what they found, reported it to the Iraqi government, and the Iraqi government has taken ownership of that problem and is investigating it.

So they did exactly what they should have done.

RUMSFELD: I don't think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it, it's to report it.

PACE: If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it.

QUESTION: Let me follow up. To what extent do you think these allegations of abuses by the Iraqi security forces, particularly some of the complaints and allegations from Sunni Iraqis that the largely Shia security forces are engaged in abuses, to what extent do you think that's an indicator that the Iraqi military, Iraqi security forces are not yet ready to assume control of the country?

RUMSFELD: Oh, I don't think it is. I mean, you're going to have allegations back and forth.

We were deeply concerned that there could be conflict among the various elements in that country after the end of major combat operations, and there hasn't been, and that's a good thing.

RUMSFELD: First of all, what we're doing is we're prejudging these remarks and allegations and reports. And I just can't do that. And what's going to happen is the Iraqi government is going to be formed after the December 15th election -- two weeks, whatever -- and it will be seated by the 31st of December...

QUESTION: So your sense is that these abuses are not a widespread problem that threaten the...

RUMSFELD: My sense is I don't know. And it's obviously something that one has to be attentive to. It's obviously something that General Casey and his troops are attentive to and have to be concerned about.

I am not going to be judging it from 4,000 miles away -- how many miles away?


Rummy quite clearly wants to deal with "reports" of "allegations back and forth" that can be "investigated" and then "more reports" can be issued saying that it was a bunch of "bad apples." Why mess with success?

He doesn't want American forces doing anything to stop abuses --- because he wants the Iraqis to do this dirty work. Why, if we play our cards right, we will have another friendly country willing to accept our illegal renditions and torture them for us! Maybe they'll even house a secret CIA prison or two. This nation building makes friends with benefits.

But, unlike that drooling sycophant Richard Myers, who slobbered all over Rummy like he was Elvis, Pace doesn't seem to be following the script. What's up with that?


Update: One other thing about the "blowback" aspect of the planted stories business. It's quite obvious that it's a Republican PR job because it's the same M.O. they used in the Clinton scandals. They planted lies or rumors in the much looser foreign tabloid press, who would then print it so that Drudge could link it and Cokie would report it because "it's out there." This "blowback" is just standard GOP psyops.



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