The Corner

The one and only.

Re: Sullivan


It appears Andrew Sullivan and I cannot even agree on what the term “evidence” means. He says he linked to several government reports. He did in an earlier post, which I addressed, i.e., that they deal almost exclusively with Abu Ghraib, which has nothing to do with the debate about allegations of systemic torture involving unlawful enemy combatants. Andrew wishes Abu Ghraib had relevance to this debate, but it does not. He threw up a flurry of news stories, including one reporting on secret prisons in Europe (which has nothing at all to do with torture). By looney links I meant not that the sources themselves were looney, but the use of them was looney since they are not evidence. Perhaps I should have been more clear.

Note to Andrew: This is neither research nor evidence. (Andrew also links to a book on Amazon, which I’ll have to put on my Christmas list; I’m sure it’s as compelling as all the other “evidence” of systemic torture Andrew has presented thus far.) In fact, it’s not serious at all. Ridiculous.

As for the migration of interrogation techniques from Guantanamo Bay to Abu Ghraib, Andrew now speaks of the migration of these techniques from Afghanistan to Abu Ghraib (since some of the same techniques were practiced at GITMO to support his claim of systemic torture; he also says that “General Geoffrey Miller, who was sent from Cuba to ‘Gitmoize’ Abu Ghraib, where he told Janis Karpinski to treat detainees ‘like dogs.’ Memos exist detailing commands to ‘break’ the prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Miller has never been disciplined.”

Well, here’s a starkly different take on General Miller, who doesn’t sound at all like the person Andrew uses to support his position: “Speaking through an interpreter to Arabic reporters, the new commander of US prisons in Iraq, Major-General Geoffrey Miller, apologised to the Iraqi people, vowing that those responsible would be punished and that such abuse would not happen again. ‘I would like to apologise for our nation and for our military for the small number of soldiers who committed illegal or unauthorised acts here at Abu Ghraib,’ said General Miller, adding that he was ‘appalled and chagrined’ by the abuse.”

( I link to that site, by the way, only to discuss Andrew’s attack on General Miller, not as evidence. )