Where Are They, Damn It!

Following up my post below, in reading today's NY Times description of the disagreement between general Taguba and Stephen Cambone yesterday at the hearings, I was reminded of something. First, here's the relevant excerpt from the Times:

[Taguba] told the Senate Armed Services Committee that it had been against the Army's doctrine for another Army general to recommend last summer that military guards 'set the conditions' to help Army intelligence officers extract information from prisoners. He also said an order last November from the top American officer in Iraq effectively put the prison guards under the command of the intelligence unit there. But the civilian official, Stephen A. Cambone, the under secretary of defense for intelligence, contradicted the general. He said that the military police and the military intelligence unit at the prison needed to work closely to gain as much intelligence as possible from Iraqi prisoners to prevent attacks against American soldiers. Mr. Cambone also said that General Taguba misinterpreted the November order, which he said only put the intelligence unit in charge of the prison facility, not of the military police guards.

Many of you will recall the following passage from Time Magazine last July:

Meeting last month at a sweltering U.S. base outside Doha, Qatar, with his top Iraq commanders, President Bush skipped quickly past the niceties and went straight to his chief political obsession: Where are the weapons of mass destruction? Turning to his Baghdad proconsul, Paul Bremer, Bush asked, 'Are you in charge of finding WMD?' Bremer said no, he was not. Bush then put the same question to his military commander, General Tommy Franks. But Franks said it wasn't his job either. A little exasperated, Bush asked, So who is in charge of finding WMD? After aides conferred for a moment, someone volunteered the name of Stephen Cambone, a littleknown deputy to Donald Rumsfeld, back in Washington. Pause. 'Who?' Bush asked.

This is pure speculation, but it is worth looking into what those interrogators were after in Abu Ghraib. Cambone framed it yesterday as "trying to prevent attacks against American soldiers.," which, I supose, you could interpret in a number of ways. But, if the focus was finding the non-existent WMD, then you'd have to ask whether the man whose "chief political obsession" was finding them gave the order to take off the gloves.