Seymour Hershs Buch über den Irak-Krieg und Abu Ghraib
--- Die New York Times veröffentlicht aus dem neuen Buch von Seymour Hersh, das den Titel "Die Befehlskette" trägt, online einen Ausschnitt aus dem ersten Kapitel und bringt eine Rezension von Michael Ignatieff: "CHAIN OF COMMAND'' is the best book we are likely to have, this close to events, about why the United States went from leading an international coalition, united in horror at the attacks of 9/11, to fighting alone in Iraq and, in Abu Ghraib, to violating the very human rights it said it had come to restore. According to Seymour M. Hersh, whose revelations this spring about the Abu Ghraib scandal have matched in impact his breaking of the My Lai story in 1969, this fatal declension was a direct consequence of presidential decisions taken long before combat in Iraq. The war on terror began as a defense of international law, giving America allies and friends. It soon became a war in defiance of law. In a secret order dated Feb. 7, 2002, President Bush declared, as Hersh puts it, that ''when it came to Al Qaeda the Geneva Conventions were applicable only at his discretion.'' Based on memorandums from the Defense and Justice Departments and the White House legal office that, in Anthony Lewis's apt words, ''read like the advice of a mob lawyer to a mafia don on how to . . . stay out of prison,'' Bush unilaterally withdrew the war on terror from the international legal regime that sets the standards for treatment and interrogation of prisoners. Abu Ghraib was not the work of a few bad apples, but the direct consequence, Hersh says, of ''the reliance of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld on secret operations and the use of coercion -- and eye-for-an-eye retribution -- in fighting terrorism.'' The resort to torture also flowed from the administration's fantasies of liberating Iraq and its failure to anticipate Iraqi resistance.