This Post story on Rumsfeld's appearance before the House Armed Services Committee (full transcript) is one of the funnier things I've read lately. It's entertaining when the Bush administration sends Rumsfeld over to the hill to remind the congresspeople exactly where they stand. Aside from Rumsfeld's stubborn refusals and amusing one-liners, I found this question interesting in light of our recent discussions:
REYES: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And, Mr. Secretary and General, thank you for being here with us this morning.
I have a question for each one of you, but the first one, Mr. Secretary, deals with what I think fits under the category of where the system does not work. And it concerns the U.S. pilots that filed a lawsuit -- as this was reported in the L.A. Times on the 15th of this month, where they filed a lawsuit against Iraq for compensation.
REYES: They won their case, were awarded and now the administration is taking a position that this should be dismissed.
The irony -- there are a couple of ironies. One of them is that some of these pilots were tortured in the same Abu Ghraib prison where prisoners were abused by our troops.
And the article quotes that, Mr. Secretary, you're in favor of awarding compensation to Iraqi prisoners who were abused by U.S. military at this prison and at the same time our own pilots that have won a court case are now being denied the same kind of compensation.
I was wondering, do you have any comment on that?
RUMSFELD: Congressman, I don't. It's a matter that the Department of Justice handles for the United States government, not something the Department of Defense does.