Saturday: 08.May.2004

Iraqi Prison Scandal, Congress & the Military

I watched some of the Rumsfeld testimony yesterday. Seems like Congress is now waiting for the American people to weigh in.

First & foremost, after the images themselves, I was struck by the fact that it was digital technology that precipitated this whole scandal. By that, I mean, digital photographs burned to CDs, leaked to the press. This wouldn't have happened 10 years ago.

Rumsfeld himself agreed that words alone can't convey the sense of shock the photos do. I can tell you all about how cool Heisler Park is, for example. But nothing can replace photos, which is why I use so may of them on my site. What's that old adage? A picture is worth...

On a similar note, I have a funny story about when I was in the military. My mother called her congressman and told him the military was mistreating me. It was embarrassing at the time to have all my bosses call me in and ask, "So, how ya doin'?"

But it illustrated to me how the military gets very excited when congress gets involved. Maybe I'll relate the entire story later, if I get the chance. Now, many years later, it's seems pretty humorous. Back then tho, it was rather humiliating to have your mommy call and complain that her boy was being mistreated.

continued

The congressman phoned an admiral (with a big, long title after his name), who in turn phoned a captain on the East Coast (another big, long title), who phoned another captain on the West Coast (where I was stationed), who phoned my boss's boss's boss, who phoned .. well, you get the idea. They sat me down in an office with 10 people surrounding me. All the brass was there. I was scared, then embarrassed when I found out why.

I was sick with mono (infectious mononucleosis, also known as the kissing disease, which can be serious, especially for older folks) but they didn't diagnose it, and wanted me to work anyway, when I could hardly walk. It can only be detected by taking a blood sample, I believe. Anyway, they finally sent me to see a real doctor, who took blood, diagnosed it as mono, and sent me to bed for 2 weeks.

I've never been so tired in my entire life. You just feel incredibly exhausted. I mean, walking to the bathroom takes a major effort.

Anyway, I don't think congress will allow the military to shoot the soldiers and let the brass plead ignorance and go free. When I was in the military, the words "I didn't know" were never a valid excuse. Rather, they were a reason for your boss to say, "Looks like we need to find someone else to this job."

Come to think of it, excuses in general were treated that way.So it's strange for me to watch military people stand up and tesify, "I didn't know." It's THEIR JOB to know. If they can't do their job, we can find someone who will. But I was in the nuclear Navy, and excuses don't mix well with reactors. Rickover didn't tolerate that. Maybe things have changed.





Posted by Rad at May 8, 2004 07:32 AM

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