By now you’ve probably heard or read about the criminal behavior of at least six members of the 800th Military Police Brigade. All are
allegedly guilty of misconduct which, if proven, would qualify them for a long, long period in prison, preferably under conditions comparable to the ones they inflicted on their prisoners in Abu Ghraib. Such criminality, in and of itself, does not a warrant a ‘Hat, as this conduct proves the person is evil, not stupid. However, one of these alleged criminals, Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Chip Frederick, has told 60 Minutes something so asstastically stupid as to earn himself a ‘Hat whether he is guilty of any crimes or not. Per the BBC:
The station spoke to one of the six soldiers charged, Sergeant Chip Frederick – a reservist whose full-time job is as a prison officer in the US state of Virginia.
Sgt Frederick said he and his fellow reservists had never been told how to deal with prisoners, or what lines should not be crossed. “We had no training whatsoever,” he said. “I kept asking my chain of command for certain things… like rules and regulations. And it just wasn’t happening,” he said. He said he never saw a copy of the Geneva Conventions – which govern the treatment of prisoners – until after he was charged.
[Paragraphs reformatted, emphasis added.]
Time for an informal reader poll.
- Have you read the Geneva Conventions and/or any Army regulations that supplement them aso POWs or other detainees held by the U.S. military?
- If your asnwer to #1 was “yes,” skip this question. If it was no, do you believe that Army regulations and/or the Geneva Conventions permit a POW’s captors to:
- Attach wires to his genitals and tell him he’ll be electrocuted if he steps down?
- Force him to simulate with other inmates?
- Sic a dog on him?
- Strike him, or order another inmate to do so?
- Write something obscene (or, for that matter, anything at all) on his skin?
- Take photos of him naked, with a snickering soldier of the opposite sex pointing at his privates?/li>
- of how you answerd #1 and/or #2, fill in the blank. Ignorance of the law is _______________________.
If convicted, these soldiers should imprisoned by the U.S. military for a long time, and should then be handed over to the Iraqis for any further punishments the Iraqi government may find appropriate. If the eventual Iraqi state happens to be a stable democracy that will treat them with any modicum of decency, great. If not, too bad; perhaps their own outrageous conduct is part of the reason. Either way, and regardless of whether he is convicted at all, Chip Frederick’s incredible stupidity should cost him both of his jobs, and should be permanently enjoined to eschew the handling of any sharp objects without adult supervision.
UPDATE: Roger Stanson, a commenter to Citizen Smash’s entry thinks there has been a “noticable [sic] silence” on this topic in the Blogosphere. I don’t know which blogs Roger read this morning, but I think it is safe to assume that he did not read any of these.