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Monday, October 18, 2004

The Shadow of Abu Ghraib Will Not Stand in Their Way

All bureaucratic structures are known to have a "downward ripple effect". What this means is that behaviour encouraged from the top spreads to the lower levels of the organization; and, converesely, behaviour discouraged or even penalized by the top management is likely to be penalized ever harsher lest it be found in the lower ranks.

In light of this, it is particularly disturbing to know that high-level military and civilian players implicated in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal are due to be promoted.

Instead of reprimands or dismissals, one general tied to the torture and abuses at Abu Ghraib prison will probably receive a promotion and another has been recommended for a new command position. At the same time, both U.S. corporations with direct ties to the abuse scandal have been rewarded with lucrative contracts valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, want to promote Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the former commanding general of U.S. troops in Iraq, according to "senior defense officials" who spoke to the Los Angeles Times. Investigators have cited Sanchez for creating an environment that contributed to the torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib.

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