"What sets us apart from our enemies in this fight ... is how we behave. In everything we do, we must observe the standards and values that dictate that we treat noncombatants and detainees with dignity and respect. While we are warriors, we are also all human beings. "- General David Petraeus, May 10, 2007
It runs 263 pages and it makes for chilling if mystifying reading on a hotter than hell San Francisco night. Formally its title is An Inquiry Into The Treatment of Detainees in US Custody (pdf.) and it is the result of an 18-month inquiry by Senate Armed Services Committee chaired by Carl Levin of Michigan.
The Levin Report documents how some of the techniques -- stripping detainees, placing them in "stress positions" or depriving them of sleep - used by the American military at prisons in Afghanistan, in Iraq and at the naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba originated in a series of high-level meetings in 2002, without a single dissent from Cabinet members or lawmakers even though several branches of the US military cited "serious concerns regarding the legality of many of the proposed techniques" and stated that "techniques described may be subject to challenge as failing to meet the requirements outlined in the military order to treat detainees humanely..."
The Levin Report shows that largely at the request of then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that the United States for the first time officially embraced the brutal methods of interrogation it had always condemned and had long felt to hold no intelligence value.
Ask Army Major General Antonio Taguba (Ret.) what he thinks of Donald Rumsfeld. (Gen. Taguba is one of 28 flag officers -- including, today, General Henry Hugh Shelton (two-term Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) -- who have endorsed Hillary Clinton. Gen. Taguba endorsed Sen. Clinton because of her "unequivocal opposition to the use of torture under any circumstances" [NoQuarter story].)
Let Sy Hersh tell the story of how Gen. Taguba told the the truth in the report he was assigned to write about Abu Ghraib and, for that, was ridiculed by then Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. Gen. Taguba's career was "shunted," says Hersh, and he was "forced out" of the military. Now hear what Barack Obama thinks of Donald Rumsfeld:
Most Americans are eager to turn the page on the Bush years. Yet even as we elect a new president we're still coming to terms with an era that has both tarnished America's reputation and diminished its influence.
Fred Kaplan chronicles the folly of the Bush years in his new book, Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power (John Wiley & Sons).
Kaplan writes that,
"Nearly all of America's blunders in war and peace these past few years stem from a single grand misconception: that the world changed after 9/11, when in fact it didn't.
Certainly, things about the world changed, not least Americans' sudden awareness that they were vulnerable. But the way the world works - the nature of power, warfare, and politics among nations - remained essentially the same."
In case you missed it there has been some breaking notable news, regarding how GWOT was conducted, here you go.
Daily Mail UK
by DAVID GARDNER -- Nov 1, 2007
The notes underlined Rumsfeld's determinationto 'keep elevating the threat' linking Iran to Iraq and of his interest in developing 'bumper sticker statements' to rally support for an increasingly unpopular war.
Rumsfeld wrote as many as 20 to 60 memos a day during his controversial tenure.