When the Abu Ghraib scandal first broke there was an almost immediate effort to position the abuses there as the wanton behavior of a few rogue soldiers. Even back then that argument never made sense. Those involved in the abuse clearly had the training and the equipment to carry out their acts.
So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the more information we get, the more we find out that the detainee abuse was systemic and widespread, stretching from holding cells and prisons in Afghanistan and Iraq to the base at Guantanamo.
There is no way to explain a pattern of behavior that stretches across that kind of time and space without coming to the conclusion that the green light came from a centralized place way up the chain of command.
Now that the nonsensical argument that Abu Ghraib was a random exception has been outed, the administration is moving towards a new response: They didn’t know about any of this behavior until now. They are learning about it along with us.
Here is White House spokesman Scott McClellan on the abuse: “In terms of specifics, this information is becoming public, so we’re becoming aware of more information as it becomes public, as you are.”
Is this adminstration so secretive that they managed to keep information from themselves? Come on.