April 28, 2005

It Not My Fault, Blame The Grunts

On Abu Ghraib, the Big Shots Walk

When soldiers in war are not properly trained and supervised, atrocities are all but inevitable. This is one reason why the military command structure is so important. There was a time, not so long ago, when commanders were expected to be accountable for the behavior of their subordinates.

That's changed. Under Commander in Chief George W. Bush, the notion of command accountability has been discarded. In Mr. Bush's world of war, it's the grunts who take the heat. Punishment is reserved for the people at the bottom. The people who foul up at the top are promoted. [....]

If the president made it clear that men and women up and down the chain of command would be held responsible for the abuses that occur on their watch, the abuses would plummet. Instead, the message the administration has sent is that its demands for accountability will be limited to a few hapless, ill-trained grunts.

The big shots who presided over behavior that has shamed America in the eyes of the world can count on this president's embrace.
With President Bush, the buck stop everywhere but on this desk. There is no one accountable with in the Republican White House and Congress.


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