torture down the memory hole, crime is down with exceptions, taxes were higher in the good old days

No Blood, No Foul

In the period immediately following the publication in 2004 of photographs from Abu Ghraib, the Department of Defense pledged to fully investigate every allegation of prisoner mistreatment. By 2006, the department was asserting that it had opened some 842 inquiries or investigations. The reports it went on to produce were as thorough and professional as possible under the circumstances, but only a handful resulted in further action. Moreover, their existence obscured the relationship between the alleged abuses and Pentagon policymakers.

Joshua E.S. Phillips’s recent report for The Nation and PBS’s Need to Know suggests that the Rumsfeld Pentagon was keen to open a large number of investigative files on Abu Ghraib primarily to create the impression of diligence. President Obama furthered this illusion in 2009 …

[   ]…When I discussed the issue with Phillips, he highlighted this point: “One thing that shocked me was that the CID/DATF(U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command/Detainee Abuse Task Force ) agents that I interviewed said there could be hundreds, if not thousands, of allegations of detainee abuse and torture that likely didn’t reach them.” The quantum of claims that led to further action and the specific problems that frustrated the DATF investigation—particularly the sense that authorized practices could not be deemed “abuse” no matter how brutal or harmful they were to a prisoner, and the widespread use of security classifications to obstruct inquiries—point to prisoner abuse as a matter of official policy. Today, curiously, the Pentagon even denies the existence of DATF. But the Phillips report amounts to a strong case that “No Blood, No Foul” was more than just a sign on the wall at Camp Nama—it was Pentagon policy.


The investigation into abuses of captives in Iraq is destined for the memory hole as far as the American public goes. It is an unpleasant subject. While I tend to agree that the USA is special and even subscribe to some degree of exceptionalism, I do not use that to include pretending that the atrocities committed in our name can be justified by claims of a perverse kind of exceptionalism. The only people who will take an interests in these events as their urgency fades with time, are academics and those who take an avid interests in military intelligence history.That is not to say it will not haunt our foreign policy for years. As most of us know from personal arguments it is hard to take the moral high ground when you’re guilty of something equal or similar. Those countries and groups who do indeed have  worse human rights record than the USA will be using  Camp Nama in Iraq and at the Tor or “Black” prison in Bagram as rhetorical cannon fire. The worse of it will be those who use these abuses as justification for what they do to captive Americans.


WW II women history

airplane assemblers WW II

A good post here about the actual crime rate and the way Matt Drudge shapes the narrative, Matt Drudge’s imaginary race war. Though the overall rate of violent crime is down there are some specific areas of crime which are troubling, Domestic violence killings on rise

Across the country and in Portland, violent crime has been dropping, even through the current recession. But that isn’t true when it comes to domestic violence. And the rise has the people who help domestic violence victims worried that economic stress is pushing some abusive partners past the boiling point just when there are fewer options for their victimized partners who need to get out.

You mean taxes were actually higher under Saint Ronnie, Republicans Can’t Handle The Truth: Taxes Are Lower Under Obama Than Reagan. That grinding sound you hear is the overworked gears of denial turning inside the heads of millions of Conservatives, tea stains and Ayn Rand cultists.

Ford introduces it’s FX-Atmos for the Chicago auto show March 5, 1954. I have no idea what use the pointed cones in place of headhights were supposed to do.