Matter/Anti-Matter

From Holden:

They cannot exist together.

The NY Times provides the matter:

[Pfc. Lyndie] England has said she and other guards were told to “soften up” prisoners for interrogations. But several witnesses denied any such orders were given. They testified instead that the abuse depicted in the photographs — men tethered to leashes, forced to simulate homosexual acts and piled in nude pyramids — was more for sport or revenge.

While WaPo provides the anti-matter:

Under pressure to extract more information from the prisoners — to “go beyond” what Army interrogation rules allowed, as an Army general later put it — the senior U.S. military commander in Iraq sent a secret cable to his boss at U.S. Central Command on Sept. 14, outlining more aggressive interrogation methods he planned to authorize immediately.

The cable signed by Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez listed several dozen strategies for extracting information, drawn partly from what officials now say was an outdated and improperly permissive Army field manual. But it added one not previously approved for use in Iraq, under the heading of Presence of Military Working Dogs: “Exploit Arab fear of dogs while maintaining security during interrogations.”

Sanchez’s order calling on police dog handlers to help intimidate detainees into talking — a practice later seen in searing photographs — was one of a handful of documents written by senior officials that Army officials now say helped sow the seeds of prison abuse in Iraq. They did so, according to an Army report released Wednesday, by lending credence to the idea that aggressive interrogation methods were sanctioned by officers going up the chain of command.

But the issue of using dogs is also an example of how the U.S. military’s ad hoc and informal decision-making in Iraq created confusion and allowed these harsh methods to infiltrate from Afghanistan to Guantanamo and finally to Iraq, despite Bush administration contentions that detainees in each theater of conflict were subject to different rules and that Iraqis would receive the most protections.

[snip]

Other such documents cited by officials who participated in the two probes include a December 2002 memo signed by Rumsfeld that authorized harsh interrogation methods for prisoners at Guantanamo, and a controversial Feb. 7, 2002, memo signed by President Bush that declared that fighters detained in Afghanistan were not entitled as a matter of law to the protections afforded by the Geneva Conventions.

The Rumsfeld memo included authorization for the use of dogs; the Bush memo was cited by legal advisers to Sanchez as the basis for their determination that some Iraqi detainees were not entitled to the full legal protections provided by the Geneva Conventions, according to the independent panel.

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