Sunday, May 16, 2004
Uh, that would be a "no": Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked a very good question of the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin of Michigan.
Wallace: I guess what I'm asking you is, as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, this was announced to the world. I agree it wasn't a big story, but I remember reading about it. That there were allegations and investigations of abuse starting in January of 2004. Then they announced two months later that they were bringing charges against six people. As the ranking Democrat on the committee that oversees the Pentagon, what did you do about it? Did you call for hearings? Did you get in contact with the Pentagon?
Levin: The very tiny little press release that was issued by Central Command in January of '04 in no way signified the depth of the abuse. It just simply stated that there are allegations of abuses at a prison that are being investigated. That makes it sound very routine, not extensive -- and these were extensive abuses -- in many prisons, starting a year before, which we had no knowledge. And we do not know what actions the Central Command took, if any, during that year. But the first evidence of any kind that we had was that little press release issued by the Central Command in early '04. That is not a notification of extensive abuses at all to anybody.
So, Levin's short answer is: "No."
Just out of curiosity: What are we paying Levin and the others to do? They're supposed to be acting as a watchdog on the Pentagon, and Levin didn't seem to be even mildly curious about what was going on until these photos came out. Now he's blaming the Pentagon for not sensationalizing its press releases enough to get him interested in doing his job?