Defense Secretary Rumsfeld can’t be bothered with a $30 Billion defense procurement scandal; nor will he respond to a Congressional inquiry into retaliation against an Abu Ghraib whistleblower.
That’s why he received a subpoena last week from the House Committee on Government Reform.
In March the Committee requested documents from Rumsfeld relating to the case of military intelligence soldier, Sgt. Samuel Provance. Rumsfeld never replied despite numerous follow-up phone calls and emails.
Provance spoke out in 2004 against the human rights violations and torture at the infamous prison – “including the use of prisoners’ children to break them.” And testifying before Congress in February, Provance described his frustration in trying to alert his superiors about the atrocities.
“They [the investigations] seemed to me to be designed to shut people up, not to reveal the truth about what happened and punish all the wrongdoers. In particular, they seemed focused on trying to shut off the responsibility of those who were higher up the chain of command.”
Provance cited Maj. Gen. George Fay as an example. Initially resistant to hearing the allegations, Fay then threatened to prosecute Provance for not coming forward sooner with his information.
According to Rep. Henry Waxman, “… rather than investigate Sergeant Provance’s claims, the military ignored him, told him he could be prosecuted for not coming forward sooner, and then demoted him and pulled his security clearance.”
Just as this administration has waged an undeclared war against on independent media providing a measure of oversight, so too has it cracked down on whistleblowers who fight back against its grip on information. The Provance case is typical modus operandi for the Bush White House: attack anyone acting in the public’s interest; and whitewash the truth.
With the administration’s condoning of torture; treatment of the Geneva Conventions as quaint; and fabricated justification for a War – let’s hope, this time, Secretary Rumsfeld is held accountable.