Dover Bitch

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Absolutely Unforgivable

Another thing that was so poignant in Lawrence Wilkerson's speech was his admonition for the Bush administration regarding the inhumane treatment of prisoners by some of our soldiers.

And I’ll finish just by bringing it down screechingly to the ground and tell you that the detainee abuse issue is just such a concrete example of what I’ve just described to you, that 10 years from now or so when it’s really, really put to the acid test, ironed out and people have looked at it from every angle, we are going to be ashamed of what we allowed to happen.


And we knew that things weren’t the way they should be, and as former soldiers, we knew that you don’t have this kind of pervasive attitude out there unless you’ve condoned it – unless you’ve condoned it. And whether you did it explicitly or not is irrelevant. If you did it at all, indirectly, implicitly, tacitly – you pick the word – you’re in trouble because that slippery slope is truly slippery, and it will take years to reverse the situation, and we’ll probably have to grow a new military.

It really is unforgivable. Not only should all of our leaders be aware that it is human nature to follow orders even when they may be immoral (see Stanley Milgram's "The Perils of Obedience" and also here), but it was demonstrated quite clearly in the Stanford Prison Experiment that abuse would almost automatically take place if there were no constraints against it. In other words, it was our leadership's responsibility not to let this happen and, to the contrary, we hear now, from an insider, that they actually condoned it.

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