May 5, 2004

WELL, NO SOONER DO I PRAISE KERRY, BELOW, than he shoots off his mouth and says something stupid. Or at least damaging and partisan.

Jonah Goldberg asks:

Why is he acting so surprised about these torture allegations? I mean isn’t this pretty trivial compared to the stuff he said he and his colleagues did in Vietnam?

It’s do as I say, not as we did, I guess. . . .

UPDATE: Michael Ubaldi emails:

Glenn, don’t be surprised that Kerry makes one statement in one place and another in another. That’s his thing, man.

Yeah. I like one of the Kerry versions. I just never know when he’ll show up.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Chuck Allen emails:

I like the bit where Kerry states “And the response of the administration, certainly the Pentagon, has been slow and inappropriate…”

Slow and inappropriate?!? It was the DoD that started investigating this before anyone else knew about it. CBS didn’t break this story, the DoD did, and they started conducting a proper investigation that could lead to criminal charges under the UCMJ, which is exactly what was called for.

What would would the good Senator consider to be a better “quick and appropriate response”? Summary punishment before all the facts are in? That would be a violation of the soldiers UCMJ and civil rights. But I guess it would be alright to violate their rights, just so long as we are not violating those of Saddam’s former thugs.

Kerry’s remarks were not Presidential. And the timing issue is absolutely right. CBS wants you to think that they broke this story, but actually they came around pretty late.

This timeline of events illustrates that the DoD was on this before the press. Here’s just a bit that makes this clear:

Dec/Jan timeframe (implied various sources): A soldier, recognizing the behavior at Abu Ghraib as criminal, reports it. Army CID investigates the allegations of abuse at Al Ghraib and apparently establishes the case against most of the currently accused, including Army Staff Sergeant Ivan L. Frederick II.

Late Dec/Early Jan: The three members of the 320th MP Battalion awaiting courts martial (scheduled for late Jan) elect non-judicial punishment in lieu of court martial. They are discharged from military service, two have their ranks lowered, and all three are ordered to forfeit pay for two months. (5 – see also here)

Jan: General Karpinski was formally admonished and quietly suspended, and a major investigation into the Army’s prison system, authorized by Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez, the senior commander in Iraq, was under way.

January. Over three months ago. Perhaps someone should tell Kerry.

MORE: Interesting coincidences.

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