Well, I came back early.
I’ve seen plenty of complaints about the Abu Ghraib punishments regarding rank: that only the lower ranks were feeling the heat, like Abu Ghraib poster girl Lyndie England (whose guilty plea has been thrown out). Well, it seems that those complaints were premature.
WASHINGTON — The Army said Thursday that only one general will be disciplined for failed leadership in connection with the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal and that more than a dozen lower-ranking officers have received a variety of punishments.It takes a presidential approval to demote a general. What this means, basically is that the now-colonel must retire in disgrace.
The Army said it demoted Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski [one star] whose Army Reserve unit was in charge of the prison compound when Iraqi detainees were physically abused and sexually humiliated by military police and intelligence soldiers in the fall of 2003.
Additionally, other officers are being punished for incidents regarding prisoners, though the article doesn’t specify whether those incidents occurring in Iraq were at Abu Ghraib or not.
Without providing their names, the Army also said Thursday that one colonel and two lieutenant colonels linked to detainee abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan were given unspecified administrative punishment. Also, two other lieutenant colonels were given letters of reprimand.If I’m not mistaken, any of the above punishments basically ruins an officer’s career.
More than a dozen other lower-ranking officers, whose names were not released, also received various punishments.
— Three majors were given letters of reprimand and one of the three also was given an unspecified administrative punishment.
— Three captains have been court-martialed, one captain was given an other-than-honorable discharge from the Army, five captains received letters of reprimand and one was given an unspecified administrative punishment.
— Two first lieutenants have been court-martialed, another got a letter of reprimand and one was given administrative punishment.
— One second lieutenant was given an other-than-honorable discharge and another was given a letter of reprimand.
— Two chief warrant officers have been court-martialed.
The Army said other cases involving officers linked to detainee abuse are still open, but it did not say how many. Among the open cases are those of Col. Thomas Pappas, commander of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade at Abu Ghraib, and Lt. Col. Stephen Jordan, who directed the prison's interrogation center. Both face possible criminal charges, Army officials have said.
Also imbedded in the article was this curious item.
A U.S. government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Karpinski was accused of shoplifting a cosmetic item from a shop at a domestic Air Force base while she held the rank of colonel.Saw then-General Karpinski on CSPAN a few weeks ago speaking before some left-wing organizational gathering. She disavowed all responsibility for Abu Ghraib, but her explanation sounded logical, though I can’t vouch for its plausibility (too far above my pay grade). Basically, she claims that the Army filled that command slot with a female Reserve general for PC purposes, but limited her mobility and authority in her command because she was a woman.
Did it happen that way? Maybe so, but the mere sight of a general passing the buck rather than taking responsibility for her men and women turned my stomach. Most people make fun of England, but to me that's like making fun of a juvenile delinquent (though England is an adult, of course). It's the newly-minted colonel who makes my blood boil.
Glad I don't have to salute her.