Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Christopher Hitchens thinks the Abu Ghraib scandal is about to get much much uglier. If you have been following Sy Hersh's oral commentary on the matter (which has not yet made it into print format), you'll know there is every reason to believe this is true.
In a recent public debate, so I was told, an American officer referred to the Abu Ghraib scandal as a "moral Chernobyl." You might think that this was overstating matters, even if in one important sense�because Chernobyl was morally an accident, albeit in some ways a "systemic" one�it is actually understating them.

But get ready. It is going to get much worse. The graphic videos and photographs that have so far been shown only to Congress are, I have been persuaded by someone who has seen them, not likely to remain secret for very long. And, if you wonder why formerly gung-ho rightist congressmen like James Inhofe ("I'm outraged more by the outrage") have gone so quiet, it is because they have seen the stuff and you have not. There will probably be a slight difficulty about showing these scenes in prime time, but they will emerge, never fear. We may have to start using blunt words like murder and rape to describe what we see.
I'm not sure that Inhofe and the other idiots went silent because they had 'seen too much,' but rather that they realized they had badly overplayed their hand. Even Rush Limbaugh has largely stopped trying to defend torture.

Who knows when the worst of this scandal -- which appears to be the raping of children in order to extract information from their parents -- will break fully. But when it does, it is hard to imagine Bush will be able to survive it.

UPDATE: Evidence that Senators have seen a lot more than we have so far:

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC): "We�re talking about rape and murder here, we�re not just talking abut giving people a humiliating experience, we�re talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges."


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