Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A bit of redemption for Richard Myers?

I have never been a fan of Richard "GodBoy" Myers. I have a problem with all the GodBoys evengelizing in the Air Force, and have had since about 1983 and a run-in in the desert with a creepy then-Captain derisively called "Airman Skippy Llewen" by his men. That set the tone for me for all the events and times that have followed. But it isn't just me. Myers has embarrassed a lot of folks who have served in the Air Force and would like to be proud of that fact again.

But at least he wasn't complicit in torturing detainees.

Myers, who was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2001 to 2005, believed that the Geneva Conventions applied to detainees and protected them from abuse and torture. And the administration deliberately and systematically duped him about what was really going on.

Myers believed that the techniques being employed were taken from the Army Field Manual, and now he believes that he was a "victim of intrigue" perpetuated by top attorneys at the Justice Department, acting in accordance with the office of the Vice President and staffers loyal to then-SecDef Donald Rumsfeld.

Behind Myers' back, these civilians, who were for the most part political appointees (Feith, Gonzales, Addington) were pushing through authorization for previously outlawed techniques, and manipulating inexperienced military personnel who found themselves in totally uncharted waters.

And the guys at the Administration level, making the decisions to torture and abuse, were literally taking their cues from the fictional television series "24."

Larry Wilkerson, a former Army officer who served as Chief of Staff to then Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Guardian that Myers was manipulated, and had the job because he was weak and ineffectual and at could be manipulated by Rumsfeld. "I do know that Rumsfeld had neutralized the chairman [Myers] in many significant ways," Wilkerson told the Guardian in an interview. "The secretary did this by cutting [Myers] out of important communications, meetings, deliberations and plans," he said. "At the end of the day, however, Dick Myers was not a very powerful chairman in the first place, one reason Rumsfeld recommended him for the job".

Go read the entire article in this months Vanity Fair. But brace yourself first. You will tremble with rage at what has become of our country. And when you finish reading you will agree with Wilkerson who says "Haynes, Feith, Yoo, Bybee, Gonzalez and - at the apex - Addington, should never travel outside the US, except perhaps to Saudi Arabia and Israel. They broke the law; they violated their professional ethical code. In future, some government may build the case necessary to prosecute them in a foreign court, or in an international court."

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