Sanchez & Conservatives Block Out Abu Ghraib
The wingnuts are in a
frothing display of DON’T BLAME BUSH – IT’S THE MEDIA today. Of course the
hack pack press has been complicit from the beginning of the war, being too
into their imbedded access status to question anything until it all started
unraveling, which was way too late. However, Lt. Gen. Sanchez’s ire for the press has
to do with the fact that they’re the ones who broke Abu Ghraib, led by Seymour
Hersh and The New Yorker, which destroyed Sanchez’s military career. But today
the conservative bloggers have really gotten
themselves in a twist, while ignoring the whole story, actually committing
a much worse crime than the hack packers led by the Post. They’re too
busy trying to bolster Bush, an impossible
task if ever there was one.
“There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end
in sight,” retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez told a convention of military
journalists on Friday. “The last thing that America wants, the last thing
that you want, is for currently serving general officers to stand up against
our political leadership. … .. “I think once you are retired, you
have a responsibility to the nation, to your oath, to the country, to state
your opinion.” – retired
Lt. Gen Ricardo Sanchez (h/t
Retired Lt. Gen.
Ricardo Sanchez has a lot to answer for that has gone unpunished. That is
unless you count retiring early in disgrace after Abu Ghraib suitable punishment.
But at least the man has decided that standing up and speaking out on Iraq is
important. But let’s make sure we tell the whole story, not just that he’s slamming
the Bush administration. To know Sanchez’s story and his motives you have to start off by reviewing the
torture question and the disgrace of Abu Ghraib, something that is still
an embarrassment to this man and a stain on his career in perpetuity; a talented soldier that was caught up in the nightmare
so deeply he couldn’t get out, who also must be separate from the rest of the gallant men and women who serve and want nothing to do with torture. But what Sanchez said in “Stars and Stripes”
and is now whipsawing through the blogosphere, with wingnuts freaking out on
all levels, didn’t start with his
recent military reporters and editors address.
“I think if we do the right things politically and economically with
the right Iraqi leadership we could still salvage at least a stalemate, if
you will Ã¢â‚¬” not a stalemate but at least stave off defeat,” Sanchez
told the San Antonio Express-News. “It’s also kind of important for us
to answer the question, ‘What is victory?’, and at this point I’m not sure
America really knows what victory is.”
Sanchez was in a fighting
mood on Friday.
Abu Ghraib was a sore subject Friday for Sanchez, who lambasted the media
for using phrases like “dictatorial and somewhat dense,” “liar”
and “torturer” to describe him.
“I also refused to talk to the European Stars and Stripes for the last
two years of my command in Germany, for their extreme bias and single-minded
focus on Abu Ghraib,” he said.
But Sanchez reserved most of his venom Friday for U.S. officials, saying
the U.S. government still has not brought all the resources needed to win
“From a catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan,
to the administration’s latest surge strategy, this administration has
failed to employ and synchronize the political, economic and military power,”
Continuing changes to military strategy alone will not achieve victory, rather
it will only “stave off defeat,” he said.
“The administration, Congress and the entire inter-agency, especially
the State Department, must shoulder the responsibility for this catastrophic
failure and the American people must hold them accountable.” … ..
Abu Ghraib should be a “sore subject” for Sanchez. It happened on
his watch. That he retired directly as a result of his abysmal “leadership,”
because he couldn’t have possibly withstood a congressional hearing for another
military assignment, should not go unnoticed. It’s clear conservative bloggers have no intention of reminding their audiences of the one moment that destroyed our credibility in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, making all of our efforts impossible from that point forward. So the speech Sanchez gave yesterday was from a defensive crouch. He blames the media for his early retirement,
something the wingnuts refuse to acknowledge, as clearly as they ignore today
Sanchez’s direct involvement in Abu Ghraib. It’s pathetic that a man as admired
as Sanchez once was and who had such a bright future could have allowed himself
to get mired in Abu Ghraib, choose to cover it up and cover for Gen. Miller, while simultaneously allowing
people like Janice
Karpinksi and a bunch of grunts to take the fall for him.
The first time Karpinski got any clarification about the photographs was
January 23, 2004. The criminal investigator, Colonel Marcelo, came into Karpinski’s
office and showed her the pictures. “When I saw the pictures I was floored,”
Karpinski said. “Really, the world was spinning out of control when I
saw those pictures, because it was so far beyond and outside of what I imagined.
I thought that maybe some soldiers had taken some pictures of prisoners behind
barbed wire or in their cell or something like that. I couldn’t imagine anything
like what I saw in those photographs.”
Marcelo told her, “Ma’am, I’m supposed to tell you after you see the
photographs that General Sanchez wants to see you in his office.” So
Karpinski went over to see Sanchez. She said that “before I even saw
the photographs, I was preparing words to say in a press conference – to be
up front, to be honest about this, that an investigation is ongoing and there
are some allegations of detainee abuse.”
But Sanchez told Karpinski, “‘No, absolutely not. You are not to discuss
this with anyone.’ And I should have known then,” she said, “and
I know that Sanchez was hopeful for a four-star promotion even then, in January
of 2004. And I thought it had probably most to do with the election coming
up in November 2004, and that this could really move the Administration out
of the White House if it was exploited. So naively, I just thought, you know,
they’re going to let this investigation go and they’re going to handle it
the way it should be handled.” … ..
Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez was allowed to retire. General Janice Karpinski was
hung out to dry then set aflame. Abu Ghraib was broken by Seymour Hersh, then
ricocheted through the media like an M-16 of full auto. That he goes gunning for
the men and women who blew the lid off of his scandalous tenure in Iraq is being
ignored by every single conservative blogger, most of whom have no problem with
the one main event that caused our Iraq policy and the reputation of this country
to fall into an abyss from which we will not recover until Mr. Bush, his administration
and the craven torturers are finally cut loose.
“There is such an over reaction to this torture business… It’s all being done because this is an election year.” – Rush Limbaugh (on air comment, 5.4.04)