Saturday, June 16, 2007

General Taguba speaks...the truth

General Antonio Taguba investigated the Abu Ghraib scandal in Iraq, yet was all but ostracized and eventually forced to retire last January in spite of the truthful and honorable manner in which he carried out his investigation. Sy Hersh's latest article in The New Yorker does an exceptional job of detailing what transpired and recounting how it played out inside the Pentagon.

Perhaps the best statement in the article comes from General Taguba, himself, in the final paragraph:

“From the moment a soldier enlists, we inculcate loyalty, duty, honor, integrity, and selfless service,” Taguba said. “And yet when we get to the senior-officer level we forget those values. I know that my peers in the Army will be mad at me for speaking out, but the fact is that we violated the laws of land warfare in Abu Ghraib. We violated the tenets of the Geneva Convention. We violated our own principles and we violated the core of our military values. The stress of combat is not an excuse, and I believe, even today, that those civilian and military leaders responsible should be held accountable."

Spoken like a true American hero. Sadly, too many in the military establishment have forgotten what it means to serve with honor. As Americans, we all lose in the end when that happens. Here's hoping that we can have more people like General Taguba serving on our behalf. Forcing men like him to retire is a disgrace, plain and simple.