Gary Farber and John Cole (also here) rightly characterize as “appalling” reports that Army soldiers tortured and abused Iraqi prisoners, possibly with the connivance of higher-ups. A special fisking is in order for the lawyer for one of the accused soldiers, as quoted by the New York Times:
“This case involves a monumental failure of leadership, where lower-level enlisted people are being scapegoated,” Mr. Myers said. “The real story is not in these six young enlisted people. The real story is the manner in which the intelligence community forced them into this position.”
No, the real story is that Mr. Myers’ client (allegedly) obeyed an illegal order, violated the Geneva Conventions, and deserves to spend every single minute he gets in Leavenworth—right along side the officers whose orders he obeyed. “I was only following orders” is a chickenshit excuse, especially for an E-6.
Update: More from Xrlq and Steven Taylor, who labels the soldiers “sadistic morons” and catches another soldier pleading “we didn’t know any better,” as well as news that British troops are also accused of abusing Iraqi prisoners.