Here's A Book That Won't Compete With "American Soldier"
A few nights ago Mark Christopher a local radio talk show host interviewed Gen. Janis Karpinski who just published her new tell all book about Abu Ghraib. I can say one thing without doubt, this woman was promoted in the 90's because of her gender. That said, it was interesting to hear someone at that rank blame everyone while taking absolutely no responsibility herself. The interesting thing that she said was almost all of her time in "Iraq" was actually spent in "Kuwait"! Hmmm. Interesting how that works. When asked about Lynnde England participation, she responded that Lynnde had been instructed by higher ups to participate in the "torture". Course what never came up was why a suppy clerk was ever around the prisoners in the first place. She called England and the others along with herself as being scapegoats for the administration and Sanchez. See it was all Sanchez's fault. He and Rumsfeld and Bush planned the whole torture scenario at Abu Ghraib. The woman is a total and complete disgrace. I almost hate to promote her book by mentioning the title but it's "One Woman's Army : The Commanding General of Abu Ghraib Tells Her Story". It's worth going to Amazon just to read some of the reviews on the book. There's a review which says this is the absolute truth about torture and who is responsible.
Then there's this review:
Reviewer:Note-bolding is mine for emphasis.
(Arizona) - See all my reviews This is a story by a woman who, by her own admission, failed to perform even the basics of her job (to know what was going on, make effective protests up the chain of command where needed, provide requisite training to her troops, provide an outlet around the chain of command for complaints and special problems), was on some sort of power trip (seemed to especially like playing with "toy soldiers" - eg. parades, saluting), apparently was promoted only on the strength of the fact that she was female, and then spent 90% of her time complaining that she wasn't accepted because she was female. Early in the book Karpinski expressed her love of the Army - especially military courtesies, and the discipline of parade ground reviews - every regular soldier's nightmare. One very valid point that she did make was that the problems with prisoners were not limited to Abu Ghraib, though she then went on to blame her second in command - L. Col. Phillabaum, for her problems. Gen. Karpinski had been in command at Abu Ghraib for about 6 months before the scandal erupted, knew there was a problem with training at the start, was reminded of that fact by a superior - and still she didn't do it. Karpinski points out that Abu Ghraib was a mess when she got there, later states that it was in good condition after renovation, and still later claims it was again a mess. So, who knows. As I initially alluded, Karpinski's book is mostly a summary of slights against her as a woman in the Army - despite the fact that women had different physical standards and job limitations! I also got the strong impression that she was "patch happy" (wanted to get a combat patch), though do credit her for going through Airborne training. Other problems included her superiors not wanting to release anyone from Abu Ghraib because they would leak the Army's raid strategies), and the obvious fractured chain of command within the area that Military Intelligence was involved. (Karpinski reports that this has been repaired.) After reading "One Woman's Army" I am certain glad womens' roles were much more limited when I was in the Army!
Update: 10/30/05 Mudville Gazette reviews the drama and misinformation campaign surrounding Abu Ghraib in light of Karpinski's book.