Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Female U.S. Soldiers Dying From Dehydration For Fear of Latrine Rape? Sure.

Humiliation, demotion and being the on-site officer responsible for one of the worst military embarassments in U.S. history is not, apparently, enough infamy for Col. & one-time Gen. Janis Karpinski. Karpinski, who oversaw the debacle at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq, has now added slander, false witness and lies to her resume. (Note that this story broke last February--I'm a bit slow to catch on!)

The story goes like this:
Last week, Col. Janis Karpinski told a panel of judges at the (mock-trial) Commission of Inquiry for Crimes against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration in New York that several women had died of dehydration because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being assaulted or even raped by male soldiers if they had to use the women's latrine after dark.

It was there that male soldiers assaulted and raped women soldiers. So the women took matters into their own hands. They didn't drink in the late afternoon so they wouldn't have to urinate at night. They didn't get raped. But some died of dehydration in the desert heat, Karpinski said.

Karpinski testified that a surgeon for the coalition's joint task force said in a briefing that "women in fear of getting up in the hours of darkness to go out to the port-a-lets or the latrines were not drinking liquids after 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and in 120 degree heat or warmer, because there was no air-conditioning at most of the facilities, they were dying from dehydration in their sleep."
Could such a thing actually be taking place in Iraq?

Well, actually, no.

It seems that, among other things, no soldier bearing the rank of Master Sergeant has yet died in Iraq at all.

Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette has the scoop and the response you need to read.

Question: Why are the "most credible" opponents to the Bush administration and the Iraq War so often discredited so quickly? Just wondering.

P.S. I wrote about Karpinski's demotion here.