May 17, 2004

Abuse Reporting Channels

In a longer post regarding Abu Ghraib, the following bothered me:

If a Colonel Flagg from MI wanders in wearing mirror sunglasses and orders the PFCs to help maltreat prisoners, who is going to disobey? Especially if the MP Company Commander is 20 miles away?

This, essentially, is an information systems problem. I can reasonably see a poorly trained low ranking enlisted giving an officer, even one from a different branch, the benefit of the doubt on issues that are grey. What I can't see is not having some sort of communication channel where said badly trained MP can't have access to good legal advice. These people were in rear areas. I find it highly unlikely that they didn't have a way to get ahold of higher ups to sort things out.

The tools are there. E-mail, FAQ lists, distance learning systems, all stuff that could be borrowed from corporate america just as IM actually was borrowed during this conflict. If there really weren't tools to communicate, this doesn't absolve the Army of guilt. It just shifts things around to command and to Army IS.

Posted by TMLutas at May 17, 2004 09:49 AM