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May 04, 2004

Gee, it just gets better.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two Iraqi prisoners were murdered by Americans and 23 other deaths are being investigated in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States revealed on Tuesday as the Bush administration tried to contain growing outrage over the abuse of Iraqi detainees.

"The actions of the soldiers in those photographs are totally unacceptable and un-American," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said of humiliating images in the media of Iraqi prisoners. "Any who engaged in such action let down their comrades who serve honorably each day and they let down their country."

Army officials said the military had investigated the deaths of 25 prisoners held by American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and determined that an Army soldier and a CIA contractor murdered two prisoners. Most of the deaths occurred in Iraq.

An official said a soldier was convicted in the U.S. military justice system of killing a prisoner by hitting him with a rock, and was reduced in rank to private and thrown out of the service but did not serve any jail time.

"...and was reduced in rank to private and thrown out of the service but did not serve any jail time."

C'mon, guys, yer killin' me!

Anybody got any idea of what the 'extenuating and mitigating' circumstances were in this case? At best it's manslaughter, at worst it's premeditated murder. Manslaughter gets you busted and fired? That's it? Geez, this must be one hell of a story we aren't hearing about.

The whole depressing story is here.

Note to President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld. You might as well dump whatever information you legally can. This story is not getting better with age. Regardless if it represents a lesser level of violence than in previous conflicts (and I don't know that) this is now - and you guys are losing the media battle.

Anybody who has better info - please pass it along. I want to see heads on pikes, not privates on the streets. And I don't think I'm outta line.