Wednesday, March 21, 2012

24 Season Three

Season 3: Oct 2003—May 2004. Threat of a deadly virus released into LA. Virus is released inside a sealed fridge. Palmer decides against running for re-election.

Season 3 kicked off in October 2003. On 13 December, then-Major General Ray Odierno, commander of 4th Infantry Division, pulled Saddam Hussein out of his spider hole. In April 2004, Ranger Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan.

Beginning in 2004, accounts of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, including torture, rape, sodomy, and homicide of prisoners held in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq (also known as Baghdad Correctional Facility) came to public attention. These acts were committed by military police personnel of the United States Army together with additional US governmental agencies.

The Taguba Report (marked SECRET // NOFORN) was leaked in May 2004. The report was interesting for many reasons, not the least of which was the clear detailing of the multiple failings of a  feckless chain of command. Read more here:

BG Karpinski [commander of the MP Brigade in charge of Abu Ghraib] was extremely emotional during much of her testimony. What I found particularly disturbing in her testimony was her complete unwillingness to either understand or accept that many of the problems inherent in the 800th MP Brigade were caused or exacerbated by poor leadership and the refusal of her command to both establish and enforce basic standards and principles among its Soldiers.  

I was in London in June 2004 and saw the infamous poster. You know the one. The image was on the cover of Time magazine. However, in this instance, and on a major London thoroughfare, the poster was one of those image-shifting posters which started as the Statue of Liberty, but as you walked along, morphed to a hooded Iraqi detainee holding wires. I remember feeling so ashamed at how our allies, the Brits, were portraying us.

BG Karpinski avoided a court martial, was reduced in grade to COL and allowed to voluntarily retire. MG Taguba, author of the Taguba Report, was forced to retire in 2006. Why? Some say he was forced to retire because the truth hurts.

Real life makes 24 look tame.