Morning Report 9/27/05 Win Some, Lose Many


Flood of news: Lynndie convicted, St. Patrick’s Four acquitted, Sheehan arrested, soldiers still dying



Two victories yesterday for human rights, but both were partial. And Cindy Sheehan was arrested at the White House — she didn’t have a permit to protest.

Will any of that slow down the Bush regime’s march toward a Pyrrhic victory in Iraq? The number of dead Americans just from the inaptly named Operation Iraqi Freedom now tops 1,900, not to mention tens of thousands of Iraqis.

Abu Ghraib poster child Lynndie England, the former chicken plucker who put the nation on orange alert about torture of prisoners, was convicted of abuse and indecent acts at a court-martial in Texas.

At the same time, the St. Patrick’s Four, the activists who decorated an Army recruiting center in upstate New York with their own blood, were acquitted of criminal conspiracy.

England’s court-martial was the last one scheduled in the Abu Ghraib case, meaning the Pentagon has successfully swept that scandal mostly under the rug. But as I reported over the weekend, thanks to Human Rights Watch’s excellent journalistic work, there are plenty more pyramid schemes to deconstruct. As HRW revealed, other soldiers have admitted using Arab flesh to build pyramids at Camp Mercury, outside Fallujah.

The Pentagon, trying to sell the public on the idea that torture of prisoners is the sole fault of a few “rogue” soldiers, instead of a systemic problem aggravated by the Bush neocons’ callous flouting of international law and human rights, didn’t even want England’s case to go to trial, but a military judge rejected her plea deal last May.

Meanwhile, the Bush regime charges on, as oblivious as its front man. This light-headed brigade seems to be following the same cronyism for reconstruction contracts in the Gulf of Mexico as it followed in the Persian Gulf.

The gap between the administration and other Americans continues to widen.