A brief but important editorial - because it moves the MSM toward the legitimate story of McChrystal's troubling proximity to some of the worst prisoner abuses in the war on terror. Money quote:
At least 34 Special Operations soldiers were eventually disciplined by the Pentagon for these abusive interrogations. Many more cases had to be dropped because the specific interrogator could not be conclusively identified or because crucial computer records were lost. While there is no suggestion that General McChrystal was personally involved in any misconduct, he has a clear responsibility to illuminate what went wrong, what if anything was done to stop these horrors, and what he intends to do to ensure that they are not repeated under his command in Afghanistan.
There is, in fact, a suggestion that McChrystal was involved, although it is only a suggestion and should remain so until McChrystal has a chance to respond:
"Was the colonel ever actually there to observe this?" "Oh, yeah. He worked there. He had his desk there. They were working in a big room where the analysts, the report writers, the sergeant major, the colonel, some technical guys--they're all in that room."
To Garlasco, this is significant. This means that a full-bird colonel and all his support staff knew exactly what was going on at Camp Nama. "Do you know where the colonel was getting his orders from?" he asks. Jeff answers quickly, perhaps a little defiantly. "I believe it was a two-star general. I believe his name was General McChrystal. I saw him there a couple of times." Back when he was an intelligence analyst, Garlasco had briefed Stanley McChrystal once. He remembers him as a tall Irishman with a gentle manner. He was head of the Joint Special Operations Command, the logical person to oversee Task Force 121, and vice-director for operations for the Joint Chiefs.
And the odd loss of the computer records is disturbing. It correlates with the destruction of evidence of abuse and torture in the waterboarding cases where the tapes were destroyed and the Padilla trial where the DVD of the final interrogation also went "missing." At the very least, McChrystal needs to be asked these questions and his own views of what happened at Camp Nama, and why he apparently did nothing to stop it.
(Photo: Stefan Zaklin/Getty.)
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