Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Faith at Abu Ghraib

From an National Review Online interview with Stephen Mansfeld, author of The Faith of the American Soldiers, comes this snippet. I include it here to point out that the abuse at Abu Ghraib did result in changes by the Bush administration, though some would disagree with that fact. The change below speaks volumes and is hopefully indicative of other changes.

NRO: Is Abu Ghraib a symptom of a non-faith-based warrior code?

Mansfield: The Abu Ghraib scandal has a faith backstory. The chaplain who was at Abu Ghraib during the scandals was told not to be in the way but to let the soldiers come to her. There was no moral presence and little spiritual influence during the time of the scandals. Chapel attendance was low and many soldiers later said they did not even know who the chaplain was. When that unit was replaced, the chaplains of the new unit were told to be present at prisoner interrogations, at shift changes and in the daily lives of the soldiers. The entire atmosphere changed. Chapel attendance reached into the hundreds and the prison became a model operation. This makes the case for continuous moral influence upon soldiers at war and for a faith based warrior code as a hedge against future abuses.

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