POLITICO: Five members of the U.S. military stationed in Colombia violated curfew and may have been involved in inappropriate conduct.— Stefan Becket (@stefanjbecket) April 14, 2012
Some breaking news from Colombia, where the President is attending the Summit Of The Americas. Politico quotes General Douglas Fraser as saying he’s “disappointed by the entire incident and that this behavior is not in keeping with the professional standards expected of members of the United States military.” This ties in uncomfortably with yesterday’s news regarding prostitution use by some members of the Secret Service – it all took place in the same hotel, which also happens to be where President Obama himself is staying. All in all, this is becoming a major black eye for the United States.
This is not the first of those events, and it probably won’t be the last. But we cannot allow these events to undermine our strategy or the mission that we’re involved in.Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta • While discussing the recent shooting of 16 Afghan citizens, by a member of the U.S. military, with reporters on flight to Kyrgyzstan. During his remarks, the Secretary of Defense also mentioned that the government’s goal was to see the suspect tried in the U.S. military justice system. Panetta’s comments come amid increasingly loud calls for the soldier in question to face trial in Afghanistan, and for the United States to re-evaluate its long-term plans for operating inside the country. The calls have grown louder in recent weeks after a series of incidents including Sunday’s shooting, and the mass-burning of Korans at Bagram Air Base last month. source (via • follow)
So far, the documents released by the government raise more questions than they answer, but they do confirm one troubling fact: that no senior officials have been held to account for the widespread abuse of detainees. Without real accountability for these abuses, we risk inviting more abuse in the future.A statement from the ACLU • Regarding a series of documents they released detailing the deaths of 190 US detainees, some of which have been reported by the media, but others are new. A handful – around 25 to 30 – are what the ACLU describes as “unjustified homicide.” One disturbing finding – over 25 percent of the deaths listed were due to cardiac problems, which leads to questions over how detainees are being confined. For its part, the Department of Defense, uh, defends itself. ”Although there have been cases of individuals involved in misconduct,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Tanya Bradsher, ”there is no evidence of systematic abuse by the United States military.” Food for thought? source (via • follow)