“In no other period in memory than this–even granted the exceptional political bitterness in the air–have we seen so persistent an effort to deflect blame from the individuals actually guilty of perpetrating reprehensible acts, to others. In our current moral accounting, apparently, the idea of individual guilt doesn’t appear to count for much, certainly when it comes to the military. Workaday privates are the salt of the earth, at the mercy of the amoral men wearing brass–so films and cartoons have instructed us for decades. That we are not, in the matter of Abu Ghraib, dealing with cartoons, seems to have been clear to at least one soldier of modest rank–Sgt. Joseph Darby of the 372nd–when he downloaded the pictures and turned them in.”
—Dorothy Rabinowitz in a piece on “the youngsters of Abu Ghraib,” as Senator John Warner called the abusers of Abu Ghraib, in today’s Wall Street Journal.