Conservative-Except-When-It-Comes-To-Gay-Issues, Brit-American, and Bush-Excusing pundit Andrew Sullivan is getting more ornery these days . . . and about Iraq. Here’s what he recently wrote:
Take the case of Specialist Sean Baker. He was permanently wounded by other U.S. soldiers in a simulated exercize [sic] where his fellow soldiers assumed he was an Iraqi or a terrorist. Here’s what happened:
"They grabbed my arms, my legs, twisted me up and unfortunately one of the individuals got up on my back from behind and put pressure down on me while I was face down. Then he — the same individual — reached around and began to choke me and press my head down against the steel floor. After several seconds, 20 to 30 seconds, it seemed like an eternity because I couldn’t breathe. When I couldn’t breathe, I began to panic and I gave the code word I was supposed to give to stop the exercise, which was ‘red.’ … That individual slammed my head against the floor and continued to choke me. Somehow I got enough air. I muttered out: ‘I’m a U.S. soldier. I’m a U.S. soldier.’"
Baker went on to have seizures and permanent brain injury. The military, after lying, now concedes that his injuries were a result of intentional physical violence. Now ask yourself: what if he were not a U.S. soldier? Would he be dead like several other prisoners under U.S. supervision? The evidence of American-sanctioned torture and abuse of prisoners is mounting. It seems to me that those of us who support this war should be most outraged. This administration has violated the Geneva Conventions – not just in a few cases, but across the board. It has erased some of the distinction between who we are and what the enemy is, a distinction central to the moral case for this war. It has done so secretly and with no public debate, resting on the notion that presidents are somehow above the law (or can get legal advice from a pliant Justice Department telling them that the law doesn’t count). Ashcroft still won’t release unclassified documents pertinent to the matter. Why not? What is he hiding?