Don't Ask, We Won't Tell


?We told everyone in the world? last January about the inquiry into the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Senate and House committees yesterday. The Los Angeles Times says, ?not quite.?

The Times is no doubt right that the information on the inquiry was anemic and that the statement: ?An investigation has been initiated into reported incidents of detainee abuse at a Coalition Forces detention facility?, was evasive. Rummy is at best guilty of startling carelessness in the Abu Ghraib affair (and even that is pretty unlikely); but 100 news organizations had the information about an internal investigation, and apparently none (or almost none) bothered to follow up on the revelation.

The Pentagon has behaved badly in the scandal (and no matter what George W. Bush says, neither Rumsfeld nor Paul Wolfowitz are out of the woods, by a long shot; wait till the real shocking stuff comes out), but the mainstream media outlets, too, have some pretty searing spotlights to shine?on themselves.