May 07, 2004

What, the Dog Ate It?

Rumsfeld just told McCain he "didn't bring" the necessary materials to answer McCain's question.

Dude, you can't go to Congress and tell them you forgot your homework.

In fairness, McCain's sort of pulling a Geraldo on him, interrupting and repeating that what he's asking is a "simple question." Fine, but can we consider that it may not have simple answers?

I also jotted down a little of the exchange between Sen. Carl Levin (D - Michigan) and Rumsfeld, because it covered something that's been on my mind from the get-go. It's imperfect; I'm a lousy "live" transcriptionist. But I figure my six visitors per hour deserve my best efforts, however crappy, so that's in the extended entry if you like.

Right now I gotta go take an aspirin; yes, Teddy's on. I swear I just caught a hangover headache from him via the television, and I ain't even been drinking this week.

Levin noted to Rumsfeld that one of the photos, I believe the one in which naked prisoners were piled upon each other, showed in the background soldiers going about their regular duties, apparently unconcerned by what was going on in the foreground. This, said Levin, indicated that the activities in the picture were "not aberrant behavior" but part of efforts to "extract intelligence."

Rumsfeld responded that these "issues all being addressed in an investigation that was initiated last month," and punted to one of the military guys. Forgive me for not getting his name. This guy then talked about the Fay inquiry briefly, which didn't satisfy Levin at all. He hit back with:

"Would you agree that the people who authorized or suggested or prompted [the abuse of prisoners] must be held accountable," whether they were of the "intelligence community or otherwise."

Rumsfeld's response:

"The pictures i have seen depict conduct and behavior that is so brutal and so cruel and so inhumane that anyone engaged in it or involved in it would have to be brought to justice."

Levin asked him then, "How far up the chain of command are you willing to go?" regarding this whole bringing-to-justice thing. He had to restate the question: "Is anyone who suggested it violating our laws and standards?"

This was met with an affirmative from Rumsfeld: "Certainly anyone who recommended the behavior I saw in those photos needs to be brought to justice."

He'll be held to that, I imagine.

Posted by Ilyka at May 7, 2004 05:59 PM in news