Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I was wrong

A few days ago, someone argued this about the case of Lewis Welshofer, on trial for tying an Iraqi prisoner in a sleeping bag and sitting on his chest until he suffocated (after having supervised him being beaten with rubber hoses and pouring water down his nose):

ABH, here is an article about one of the cases you cited. It appears we, as a nation, DO take these cases seriously, but I would have you note that the second half of the article emphasizes that this person took it into his OWN hands because there was no guidance from above. That would tend to disprove your theory that it was directed and ordered from the top.

To which I responded

I'd point out that a thirty-nine month maximum sentence does not count, to me, as taking very seriously the charge of deliberately killing someone.

Ooh. I was so, SO wrong.

An Army interrogator convicted of killing an Iraqi general by stuffing him face-first into a sleeping bag can remain in the military and does not have to go to jail, a court-martial jury ruled Monday night.
the jury ruled Monday night that the interrogator must forfeit $6,000 of his salary over the next four months, receive a formal reprimand and spend 60 days restricted to his home, office and church.

I mean, whoa. A fine and house arrest for two months? That's just harsh.
[Update: It occurs to me that the sentence does have the unquestionable benefit of establishing fairly precisely the value of an Iraqi life: roughly the same as a decent but not good used car, or about 10,000 Snickerses.]

The jury apparently agreed with defense arguments that Welshofer had believed he was following orders to use creative interrogation techniques when he put Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush face-first in a sleeping bag, wrapped him in electrical wire and sat on his chest in November 2003. The 57-year-old general died after 20 minutes in the bag.
the following morning Welshofer turned to what was dubbed "the sleeping bag technique." Invented by another interrogator who recalled how his older brother used to stuff him in a sleeping bag to induce claustrophobia, the technique had been approved by Welshofer's supervisor.

The day after the general's death, prosecutors said, Welshofer asked for another sleeping bag so he could continue using the technique on others.

Yep. Nothin' to see here. Just a sand nigger in a bag.


  • At 10:50 AM, Blogger Phoebe Evergreen said…

    What happened to "I Am Right"?


  • At 1:00 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    On rare occasions I may be wrong about some particular thing, but that should not obscure the fact that in the deepest, profoundest sense I remain Right.

  • At 9:18 PM, Blogger Phoebe Evergreen said…

    So, by "rare occasions" you meant, "just wait three posts"?

  • At 12:41 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    You obviously never studied Poisson distributions. Just because something happens right away, or even several times in succession, it doesn't mean it isn't statistically rare.


  • At 11:43 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    It doesn't mean it isn't statistically rare, but it sure makes its rareness unlikely.

  • At 4:28 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    Leave it to you to ruin a perfectly good point. How about this: I wasn't really wrong.

  • At 2:26 AM, Blogger Phoebe Evergreen said…

    Yeah I kinda figured you would come out with that in the end. Im an irony baiter! Thanks for the camel that broke the other camels back SG.


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