The Case of Donald Rumsfeld and Prisoner Abuse at Abu Ghraib

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Scheron Overton
December 09, 2010
Public Administration

The Case of Donald Rumsfeld and Prisoner Abuse at Abu Ghraib Introduction
The report on the case of Donald Rumsfeld starts off with Rumsfeld’s hearing (May 7, 2004) with the Senate Armed Services Committees. His response to the question of whether he should resign or not; is “If I felt I could not be effective, I’d resign in a minute.” The report also gives an account of General Antonio Taguba’s investigation results of Abu Ghraib. He gives a report on the following: Conditions, training, Standard Operating procedures, prison crowding, culture and accountability. In Federalist 41 Madison notes in the Constitution two specific concerns about government power: total power of government over the people and the allocation of power among the entities of government. He states that he does not want unnecessary or improper power given to government be it state or federal. In the case of Donald Rumsfeld and the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib; the soldiers believe they have the power to inflict harsh techniques on the detainees in order to get them to talk.

This article will analyze General Taguba’s report. I will examine the problems in this case through the use of theories. CBS’s Sixty Minutes II releases a video with images of torture and abuse; the prisoners endure at the hands of the American soldiers. The video displays naked prisoners crawling on the floor. Some forced into sexual positions; while others are naked and blooded. The media brings this to public awareness worldwide through internet, television and radio shows. Bush and his administration allege that they have no knowledge of the problems or the allegations prior to the CBS airing to television audiences. The Americans and the Arab people express their concern with questions. Who should be accountable for the guards’ actions? Are they instructed to abide by the Geneva Convention? What signals are they receiving from superiors that this behavior is tolerable? DeVreese suggest that how the media frames issues affects how the public perceive the issues. This involves looking at an issue from different perspectives (DeVreese 2004, 36-52).

The Taguba Report
Major Antonio Taguba is given a directive to investigate the allegations of abuse, the failure in accountability and the escapes. In March 2004, Major Taguba reports that there is a problem in leadership. He confirms the allegations of abuse and disorder in the prison. The Geneva Convention

The United States and Iraq is in agreement to the Geneva Convention. Therefore they have obligations to: (a) Treat everyone humanely, regardless of sex, beliefs, race, or status (b) Take no hostages

(c) Not engage in treatment of humiliating or degrading
(d) Impose executions without court approval
While Military officials and most members of Congress, the public and Secretary Rumsfeld are in agreement that the United States Army is in violation of the Geneva Convention at Abu Ghraib, what is uncertain is the question what encourage the actions? Conditions at Abu Ghraib

Although (BK) Janis Karpinski is commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade; Taguba’s reports that the brigade is lacking leadership and operational integrity. Taguba findings suggest that top military brass, officials in the Department of Defense or the Bush Administration is closing their eyes or encourage the soldiers’ behavior. Mosher believes that the public sector must maintain a higher standard of integrity and professionalism. (Mosher 1938, 332-342).

Taguba learns that from the MP personnel to the 320th MP Battalion and the 372nd MP Company has very little to no training or instruction in neither detention/internee operation nor the rules of the Geneva Convention. Although the soldiers say they are trained regularly, there is no documentation to support their...
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