Monday, August 23, 2004

Bust the Brass

dereliction (n.) - 1. Willful neglect, as of duty.

duty (n.) - 1. A course of action required by one's position.
I'm not simply distressed by the early reports about the military investigation of Abu Ghraib - I'm enraged.
...a combination of leadership failings, confounding policies, lack of discipline and absolute confusion at the prison led to the abuse. It widens the scope of culpability from seven MPs who have been charged with abuse to include nearly 20 low-ranking soldiers who could face criminal prosecution in military courts. No Army officers, however, are expected to face criminal charges.


The top command "shares responsibility for not ensuring proper leadership, proper discipline and proper resources," one defnse official said. "Command should have paid more attention to the issue. Signals, symptoms of abuse weren't fully vetted to the top."
As a former soldier, I believe that there are two essential compacts among soldiers. For the troops, the first duty is to do everything consistent with the mission to protect one another. For officers, the first duty is to do everything consistent with the mission to provide for and protect your troops.

A long string of officers in the Abu Ghraib chain of command, from the line officers on site to the general officers in the area command and the Pentagon, were clearly and criminally derelict in providing the training and supervision that might have kept their troops out of the jeopardy they now confront. Without excusing the behavior of any of the enlisted who are accused of crimes in the Iraqi prison camp, it's infuriating to see that the crimes are being compounded by yet another one - the failure to hold the chain of command accountable for their dereliction of duty.

Laying the entire affair on the shoulders of NCOs and lower enlisted is an intolerable cover up of military misbehavior.

This ain't over till they bust the brass.


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