Andrew Sullivan reports on how the courageous 82nd Airborne officer who came forward to testify regarding widespread torture within the 82nd Airborne is now being targeted for destruction by his military superiors, by Rumsfeld's Pentagon, and the Bush Administration:
quote:TARGETING FISHBACK: The torture end-game is approaching - and Rumsfeld and Cheney know it. What is now being done to the hero, Captain Ian Fishback, who braved 17 months of obstruction, threats and intimidation by military brass to keep quiet, is a national disgrace. Fishback has now been sequestered at Fort Bragg under orders restricting his contacts (the pretext is that he is a key witness in a criminal investigation and that he should not be in contact with outsiders while it continues). My sources tell me that he has been subjected to a series of long, arduous interrogations by CID investigators. Predictably, the CID guys are out to find just one thing: they want to know the identities of his two or three NCO corroborators. The CID folks are apparently indifferent to the accounts of wrongdoing - telling him repeatedly not to waste their time with his stories. Fishback knows if he gives their identities up, these folks will also be destroyed - so he's keeping his silence, so far. The investigators imply that he failed to report abuses, so he may be charged, or that he is peddling falsehoods and will be charged for that. They tell him his career in the Army is over. Meanwhile the peer pressure on him is enormous. I'm reliably told that he has been subjected to an unending stream of threats and acts of intimidation from fellow officers. He is accused of betraying the Army, and betraying his unit by bringing it into disrepute. His motives are challenged. He is accused of siding with the enemy and working for their cause. And it goes on and on. This is not surprising. My email in-tray tells me each day that I am a supporter of Islamo-fascism, a traitor, someone who should be deported and so on, for insisting that legalized torture in the U.S. is one of the most important issues we now face. But I'm a free man and they cannot silence this blog. Fishback, whose courage deserves a medal, is not. They are slowly smearing and breaking him. But I have a feeling we have finally found a man with the integrity, faith and patriotism to stand up to the culture of fear and brutality he is now enduring.
RUMSFELD WANTS HIM BROKEN: Another source informs that the word is around that Rumsfeld has taken a strong interest in this. He is quoted by some as saying "Either break him or destroy him, and do it quickly." And no doubt about it, that may be just what they are doing. Expect some trumped up charges against Fishback soon, similar to what they did to Muslim Chaplain Captain James Yee, whom they accused of treason with no solid evidence and then, when those charges evaporated, went on to accuse him of adultery. The bottom line, as the NYT reports today, is that the military and the Bush administration are determined to stop any real investigation about how torture and abuse came to be so widespread in the U.S. military. The scapegoating of retarded underlings like Lynndie England is an attempt to deflect real responsibility for the new pro-torture policies that go all the way to the White House. It's a disgusting cover-up and it rests on breaking the will and resolve of decent servicemen and women brave enough to expose wrong-doing.
To sum things up, if you are anti-torture, then you are an enemy of the Administration and deserve to be crushed like a little ant.