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After Abu Ghraib: Former Brigadier General Aims To Lift The Veil Of Secrecy

September 11, 2008

Memphis, TN – A coalition of local peace groups is calling for an end to what it believes has been a Bush Administration cover-up of abusive interrogation tactics at Abu Ghraib prison.

Former Brigadier General Janis Karpinski was the highest-ranking officer reprimanded for the abuses. Today, Karpinski says, what is important about the now-famous photographs of the prisoners - is their very existence.

"The existence of photographs started to unravel probably months, if not years, of work and planning on the Administration's part, in what they have termed the 'global war on terrorism.'"

In Karpinski's view, the military's role changes with the politics of each presidential administration - and this one, she believes, will be seen as leaving a legacy of failure. It has tinged everything, she says - from the economy and healthcare, to education and what she sees as the "demoralization" of the American people.

"Everything is connected to this failed, inappropriate and illegal war - this invasion and occupation in Iraq."

President Bush condemned the soldiers' behavior. Seven have been prosecuted, and Karpinski was demoted. She cites documents from people higher up in the chain of command, recently released to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other organizations, authorized the abusive interrogation techniques. President Bush continues to maintain that the United States does not torture prisoners.

Barbara Dab/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - TN