21. September 2004 · Comments Off on What really bugs me about Abu Gharib · Categories: General, Military

“I was just following orders.” Hmm. Now, I don’t claim to have some special insight into Army training being an Air Force vet, but the “just following orders” claim just does not sit well with me. I remember well in Basic Training being taught the difference between a lawful and unlawful order. The My Lai massacre was the primary example used to teach us that you don’t just blindly follow any order your given because “I was just following orders” does not exempt you from morality and you will be held just as accountable as the person who gave the order. I also think it was brought up during the annual UCMJ refresher training. My husband is an Army vet and said he was given pretty much the same general military training as I did in the Air Force regarding UCMJ and Law of Armed Conflict. LOAC being the Geneva Conventions training, and for us it was annual just like UCMJ. Having said all that, I just don’t buy those people saying that what they did to those Iraqi prisoners at Abu Gharib was justified because they were “following orders.” Whether they were ordered to do what they did is irrelevant to me, although if they were ordered to do it, whoever gave the order needs to rot in Ft. Leavenworth. In my opinion, the treatment of those prisoners showed a lack of moral courage from those who committed and/or participated in it. Why else would they have taken pictures if they didn’t think it was ok? Is it just me?

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