Discussion over at John Robinson's blog evolves from media coverage of war in Iraq to coverage of prisoner abuse scandal. "Jaycee" sees all the negative news as a "liberal media" conspiracy to undermine President Bush. On Iraq, I wonder what Jaycee thinks of the growing "Republican Rift" on the war -- ie, the longstanding opposition of Brent Scowcroft to it, the calls by GOP members of Congress such as Senator Chuck Hagel and Representative Walter Jones to set a deadline and leave Iraq?
I wonder what he thinks of the statement by Janis Karpinski, a general commanding troops in Iraq, that prisoner abuse were not isolated incidents under her command, but the "result of conflicting orders and confused standards extending from the military commanders in Iraq all the way to the summit of civilian leadership in Washington." I wonder what he thinks of the evidence that torturing suspected terrorists has been U.S. POLICY since 9/11? Frontline explored this issue in a fascinating documentary, which is available online.
I wonder what he thinks of the efforts by two leading Republicans, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), to forbid any member of the military or any other government agency to engage in "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment" of prisoners? The McCain-Graham amendment is supported by 28 distinguished retired military leaders. McCain is in a position to know something about torture of prisoners, is he not?
Senators McCain, Graham, and Warner (R-VA) are very concerned about abuse of prisoners. Senator Hagel and Rep. Jones are very concerned about American involvement in Iraq. As comforting as it might be to blame the media or partisan politics, it seems these are not partisan issues at all, nor are they issues invented or stirred up by "liberal media" -- which has become an all-too-easy scapegoat for those who don't want to address the substance of issues.