A reader, C. M., has responded to Inkwell’s not-so-glowing observations (“Boo Hoo! I’m a Brig General but Nobody Listens to Me”) about today’s oh-so-glowing WaPo profile of General Jan Karpinski, who was in charge, loosely speaking, of the Abu Ghraib prison, and who is playing the sexism card in defending herself from her critics.

Noting that the ubiquitous Karpinski is quoted saying, “I guess they made the mistake of thinking that I was this pitiful dumb blonde that [sic] wouldn’t take them on,” C.M. observes:
“But no individuals are cited and there is no evidence that anyone felt that way. Quite the opposite — this is someone who was promoted to the rank of general and given vast responsibility in a combat theatre. And never mind the compelling evidence that Karpinski had little apparent control over what took place under her watch — and thus is being held accountable for perfectly valid reasons.

“The Taguba report [on alleged abuses in the prison] describes her as ‘extremely emotional during much of her testimony.’ [WaPo reporter Libby] Copeland then dutifully notes, ‘Karpinski takes exception to this. She says she wonders if a man would have been described this way.’ Well, um, yes. Wasn’t that exactly the rap against Wesley Clark? Isn’t Rumsfeld dissected regularly for his emotional outbursts? Haven’t any number of military officers been criticized for being too emotional, from Patton’s anger to Custer’s vanity?

“But Copeland finds room for only one contrary quote, from former NSA General Odom who advances the outlandish idea that commanders are responsible for troops they command. That suggestion, however, is immediately batted down by…Karpinski’s brother (!) who makes some absurd comparison to the Disney management structure. Huh?!

“You can pretty much count the days until NOW weighs in with another one of their ‘Bitch Hunt campaigns.'”