THE REAL TAGUBA REPORT….Back in January 2004, when the military first learned about the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison, it assigned Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba to investigate. He did, filing draft reports along the way and extensively briefing senior military leaders. But in May, when Donald Rumsfeld testified before Congress after Taguba’s report was leaked, he told them he hadn’t known anything was going on until a few hours before. Taguba, now safely retired, tells Seymour Hersh how he felt at the time:

Taguba, watching the hearings, was appalled. He believed that Rumsfeld’s testimony was simply not true. “The photographs were available to him — if he wanted to see them,” Taguba said. Rumsfeld’s lack of knowledge was hard to credit. Taguba later wondered if perhaps [Stephen] Cambone had the photographs and kept them from Rumsfeld because he was reluctant to give his notoriously difficult boss bad news. But Taguba also recalled thinking, “Rumsfeld is very perceptive and has a mind like a steel trap. There’s no way he’s suffering from C.R.S. — Can’t Remember Shit. He’s trying to acquit himself, and a lot of people are lying to protect themselves.” It distressed Taguba that Rumsfeld was accompanied in his Senate and House appearances by senior military officers who concurred with his denials.

“The whole idea that Rumsfeld projects — ‘We’re here to protect the nation from terrorism’ — is an oxymoron,” Taguba said. “He and his aides have abused their offices and have no idea of the values and high standards that are expected of them. And they’ve dragged a lot of officers with them.”

….Taguba came to believe that Lieutenant General Sanchez, the Army commander in Iraq, and some of the generals assigned to the military headquarters in Baghdad had extensive knowledge of the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib even before Joseph Darby came forward with the CD. Taguba was aware that in the fall of 2003 — when much of the abuse took place — Sanchez routinely visited the prison, and witnessed at least one interrogation. According to Taguba, “Sanchez knew exactly what was going on.”

I’ve only read half of Hersh’s story so far. I’m not really up for the rest of it just yet. But if you are, click the link.

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