Saturday, October 13, 2007

General Rick's Camp Victory

ARLINGTON, Va. - The U.S. mission in Iraq is a "nightmare with no end in sight" because of political misjudgments after the fall of Saddam Hussein that continue today, a former chief of U.S.-led forces said Friday.

Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who commanded coalition troops for a year beginning June 2003, cast a wide net of blame for both political and military shortcomings in Iraq that helped open the way for the insurgency — such as disbanding the Saddam-era military and failing to cement ties with tribal leaders and quickly establish civilian government after Saddam was toppled.

NEW YORK -- A memo signed by Lieutenant General Ricardo A. Sanchez authorizing 29 interrogation techniques, including 12 which far exceeded limits established by the Army's own Field Manual, was made public for the first time by the American Civil Liberties Union today.

"General Sanchez authorized interrogation techniques that were in clear violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Army's own standards," said ACLU attorney Amrit Singh. "He and other high-ranking officials who bear responsibility for the widespread abuse of detainees must be held accountable."

The Sanchez memo dated September 14, 2003, specifically allows for interrogation techniques involving the use of military dogs specifically to "Exploit(s) Arab fear of dogs?," isolation, and stress positions.

Sanchez orders torture in Iraq.

.... one military officer cited in a Washington Post article claimed that Sanchez was actually present at the prison and on several occasions witnessed the abuse as it was taking place. According to one report, the uncropped version of a widely circulated photo of a U.S. guard holding a dog on a crouching and naked Iraqi prisoner reveals Lt. General Sanchez off to the right observing the scene.

-------- KAB : Sanchez, cleared of any charges related to Abu Ghraib, has shifted blame for any actions under his watch and points to the administration that replaced him as top commander in the aftermath of the scandal, and declined giving him that fourth star, forcing his retirement. However, he will take that 33 year retirement (approx $75-80K a year) and other goodies such as speaking engagements to discuss the nightmare with no end in sight.

Tap dancing around strategy to end the "nightmare" Sanchez says : "Even now, the U.S. government has yet to launch a concerted effort to come up with a strategy to win in Iraq, Sanchez said. Such a strategy should involve political reconciliation among Iraqis, building up the Iraqi security forces and getting Iraq’s regional partners. Sanchez acknowledged that U.S. officials have adopted that idea, but added that they do not have the necessary nonmilitary resources to carry it out. “And it is not synchronized, and there is no enforcement of the strategy,” he said."

----Sanchez offers no concrete solutions to ending the nightmare (the draft and/or admitting and planning for eternal US presence in Iraq) because that would not play well with his new friends, the anti-BushCo progressives. As long as the US bickers about timetables and surges and generals betraying us, the Iraqi insurgents/fighters have no reason to reconcile themselves. And would someone explain to me what Sanchez means by "the necessary nonmilitary resources"?

Asked why he did not speak out about his concerns, Sanchez said general officers take an oath to carry out the orders of the president while in uniform. Sanchez said he felt he could not resign and go public with his reservations while he was in Iraq, because he feared that move could further jeopardize troops serving there.

Oh? And now going public doesn't jeopardize any troops serving there?

Damn, if only they had given him that fourth star Ricky would still be servicing the empire with statements like this one from 2003 : "When you fly over Baghdad on any given day, you see a city of 5.6 million people where markets are full, traffic jams everywhere,” he states. “Out in the countryside, in most places it’s peaceful. You see people just getting on with their life. Schools are up and running. They have a judicial system and police, at different levels of effectiveness, back on the streets. You look at just about every functional area of a country, and they have been reenergized. But the most important thing is—they have freedom."

But, that was when he was speaking from the other side of his mouth while getting his jollies off at Abu Ghraib and daydreaming of that fourth star.

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