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Home Columns San Diego Happenings San Diego’s Asian-American Community Honors General Taguba
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Columns - San Diego Happenings
Monday, 27 July 2009 11:42

The News UpFront: (TOP STORY) as of Monday, July 27, 2009

 

M ajor General Antonio M. Taguba would not be drawn into the politics of the prison scandal in Iraq that he helped to unravel. Forced into retirement in 2007 for sticking to the truth of what he found, the 58-year-old Manila-born US Army officer advocates for a war-crimes trial of top officials of the Bush administration for atrocities in Iraq. On a visit to San Diego during the weekend, he felt humbled when told that he has become the iconic role model of Filipinos across the United States for his honesty and strict adherence to the truth. Mr. Taguba was honored by the Asian Heritage Awards for his exemplary conduct that fits the "Profiles of Courage" institutionalized by President John F. Kennedy.

 

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Major General Antonio M. Taguba: Prober of Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal Wants 'War Crimes' Trial

 

By ROMEO P. MARQUEZ

 

The author is a member of the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and the National Press Club of the Philippines-USA

 

S AN DIEGO -  Five years and a new administration later, the specter of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq still haunts the national consciousness, refusing to die even as the man who had investigated it now shies away from aggressively pursuing the course of justice.

 

Manila-born Antonio M. Taguba, a major-general in the United States Army forced into retirement in 2007, is hopeful the "war crimes" being blamed on top officials of the (George W.) Bush administration would be prosecuted and the responsible officials held to account.

 

While he advocates a follow-through, the 58-year-old gentleman who minced no words in articulating what he found that incriminated high-level officials, said he was not pushing hard on a "war crimes" trial, preferring to leave the decision to the government of President Barack Obama.

 

"To do so," he explained in an interview on Saturday (July 25) evening aboard the USS Midway (now converted into a museum) anchored off San Diego Bay,  "would be political".

 

General Taguba stressed he's a professional soldier and even in retirement, he would not wade in politics.

 

Early this year, he proposed creating an independent commission to investigate "war crimes" committed in Iraq by senior officials of the Bush White House.

 

Asked to identify the people in the Bush administration whom he knew had been involved in committing atrocities against inmates in Abu Ghraib prison, Mr. Taguba responded: "They know who they are". He declined to name them.

 

G eneral Taguba had reported the results of his investigation in what has popularly become the "Taguba Report" detailing the harsh and cruel punishment inflicted by American servicemen on captured Iraqi soldiers.

 

In a preface to a report by the Physicians for Human Rights in June last year -- four years after his explosive account had leaked in 2004 – Mr. Taguba wrote: "There is no longer any doubt that the current (Bush) administration committed war crimes. The only question is whether those who ordered torture will be held to account".

 

Mr. Taguba disclosed that some people in the Obama government are "already looking into it" --  a move that may or may not lead to criminal prosecution of the guilty parties.

 

When he mentioned that latest development, the general had a smile on his face that seemed to say he was pleased.

 

General Taguba was in San Diego -- his fourth visit here -- as an honoree of this year's Asian Heritage Awards sponsored by the regional newspaper Asia, the Journal of Culture and Commerce.

 

Asia editor Leonard Novarro said Mr. Taguba exemplified the "profiles of courage" that the late President John F. Kennedy had institutionalized as a way of recognizing individuals for their moral uprightness.

 

"I'm trying to be low-key," he said, dodging suggestions that he has become an iconic role model, particularly in Filipino communities across the United States where he is looked up to. # # #

 

* This Breaking News was sent by Romeo P. Marquez, Editor, Philippine Village VoiceSan Diego, California. Mailing address: P.O. Box 2118, La Jolla, CA. 92038.

 

BREAKING NEWS -  Exclusive

Volume 3, Issue No. 12 / News Without Fear or Favor /

 

. . . A community service of San Diego's Philippine Village Voice (PhilVoiceNews@aol.com or at 619.265.0611) for the information and better understanding of the public . . .

 

   

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Last Updated on Monday, 27 July 2009 11:51
 
Comments (2)
1 Tuesday, 28 July 2009 06:56
Pareng Romy,

Thanks for letting us know. You are really one helluva investigative journalist.

I still have my unfinished draft of a letter I wrote sometime ago protesting then Major-Genral Antonio Taguba's forced retirement as a Two-Star General from the U.S. Army. And it's a good thing I didn't mail it. Not that I was expecting to influence anything, but I did it as Fil-Am citizen of the United States. And Taguba is of Philippine descent.

So former Major-General Antonio Taguba had forgotten the hell that those terrorist had wrought on the United States and thousands of its innocent civilian? So Taguba is more concerned about the welfare of those terrorists? So Taguba didn't care that the great President George W. Bush had overthrown those fanatical Talibans and the despotic and ruthless Saddam Hussein who found glory in killing their own people?

This I'll say to Taguba: "Tell that to the husbands, wives, parents, sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, relatives and friends of those who died during the 9/11 attacks and same for the relatives and friends of those gallant American soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of F-R-E-E-D-O-M!

Pareng Don
2 Tuesday, 28 July 2009 06:58
P.S.

Maybe the United States should set up a military tribunal to try Taguba for being a traitor to the United States.

Don Azarias
Chicago, Illinois

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