Thursday, May 06, 2004

A Value Study

First read this New York Times article, specifically these paragraphs:

WASHINGTON, May 3 — More than two months after a classified Army report found that two contract workers were implicated in the abuse of Iraqis at a prison outside Baghdad, the companies that employ them say that they have heard nothing from the Pentagon, and that they have not removed any employees from Iraq.

For one of the employees, the Army report recommended "termination of employment" and revocation of his security clearance. For the other, it urged an official reprimand and review of his security clearance.

But J. P. London, chief executive of CACI, one of the companies involved, said in an interview on Monday that "we have not received any information or direction from the client regarding our work in country — no charges, no communications, no citations, no calls to appear at the Pentagon."

Then recall this Washington Post story from April 23, especially this:

The sudden spread yesterday of the Dover photos of flag-draped caskets returning from Iraq came a day after Tami Silicio and her husband and co-worker, David Landry, were fired for the photo she took at Kuwait International Airport of caskets in an aircraft. The photo was published Sunday on the front page of the Seattle Times.

"We have terminated two employees in Kuwait who violated Department of Defense and company policy by working together to photograph and publish the flag-draped caskets of our servicemen and women being returned to the United States," said William Silva, president of Maytag Aircraft, the Colorado Springs-based military contractor that employed Silicio and her husband.

To recap:

Taking photos of flag-draped coffins being respectfully treated: BAD

Taking photos of US military personnel abusing and humiliating people to the further detriment of an already shaky and inflammatory situation: NOT BAD.

Some reports link the contractors in the first story not only to 'abuse' (which many right-wing pundits are now likening to 'frat hazings' !?!?!?), but to 'stressing' prisoners to the point that they 'passed away' - this is the latest euphemism for 'torturing the prisoner to death', I guess.

I keep thinking we'll eventually see the end of this up-is-down-ism, but each day just brings another shining example.


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