In a recent speech, George W. Bush said:
"A new Iraq will also need a humane, well-supervised prison system. Under
the dictator prisons like Abu Ghraib were symbols of death and torture. That same prison
became a symbol of disgraceful conduct by a few American troops who dishonored our country
and disregarded our values.
"America will fund the construction of a modern maximum security prison. When that prison
is completed detainees at Abu Ghraib will be relocated. Then with the approval of the
Iraqi government we will demolish the Abu Ghraib prison as a fitting symbol of Iraq's new
So, it wasn't Saddam and his sadists that made Abu Ghraib hell on Earth. It wasn't Rumsfeld or the generals who failed to control our troops stationed there. It was the building. Naughty, naughty prison!
Silly me. I thought a jail was as humane as its jailers. It turns out it's the brick and mortar. The French must agree with this. They leveled The Bastille.
The stupid Germans left the Nazi concentration camps standing as a reminder of what NOT to do ever again. How insensitive! Making people think about man's inhuman treatment of man. And I always thought having that reminder was a good idea. Stupid me.
It was also a shock for a Republican president to think that the solution to a problem is to build a new prison.
And the folks at Halliburton and Bechtel dance around, chanting "mo' money, mo' money..."
Consistency can be a comfort in troubling times. So it should be comforting that Bush continues to go to ridiculous lengths to ensure that blame cannot be placed on him or anyone he feels responsible for. Why, then, don't I feel comforted?
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