The circle widens

Ilana Mercer writes: Although many insist the crimes at Abu Ghraib are an aberration, others, including the Red Cross, Amnesty International, scores of detainees, and Maj. Gen. Taguba, tell a different story. Taguba underscores that although he found no evidence of specific directives from higher authorities, the abuses, nonetheless, were systematic and widespread, involving a “quarter of the military-intelligence officers and civilian contractors.” Our chastened lawmakers agree that the involvement of a wider circle of jerks than previously posited now seems likely.

While it is quite reasonable to argue in favor of using deprivation techniques to extract information that may save lives, it is quite another matter to use sexual crimes, practiced and chronicled with pride by mugging soldiers, as a form of interrogation. Ultimately, however you slice it, the photographs tell a tale, not of fleeting youthful indiscretion, but of abiding degeneracy.

It looks as if MI was involved after all, although it doesn’t sound like this fit the official and approved method of interrogation, since only a quarter of them got into it. I don’t believe there was any serious purpose behind most of the activity, it sounds to me more like a group of bored men and women getting their rocks off by taking advantage of a total absence of military discipline.

Although if conducting Late-Roman style bacchanalias is actually an MI duty, I expect they won’t have any problem finding recruits in the future.