Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I was right. Not that it makes me very happy in this case.

Remember when I said that it seemed to me statistically inevitable that at least one wholly innocent person has been tortured under our current system of extrajudicial torture?

A summary of an expose on Guantanamo in the National Journal:

# A high percentage, perhaps the majority, of the 500-odd men now held at Guantanamo were not captured on any battlefield, let alone on "the battlefield in Afghanistan" (as Bush asserted) while "trying to kill American forces" (as McClellan claimed).

# Fewer than 20 percent of the Guantanamo detainees, the best available evidence suggests, have ever been Qaeda members.

# Many scores, and perhaps hundreds, of the detainees were not even Taliban foot soldiers, let alone Qaeda terrorists. They were innocent, wrongly seized noncombatants with no intention of joining the Qaeda campaign to murder Americans.

# The majority were not captured by U.S. forces but rather handed over by reward-seeking Pakistanis and Afghan warlords and by villagers of highly doubtful reliability.

Okay, high percentage innocent, check. And torture?

...it appears that many other detainees who had no information -- because they had no involvement in or knowledge of terrorism -- have been put through "humiliating acts, solitary confinement, temperature extremes, use of forced positions" in a systematic effort to break their wills that is "tantamount to torture," the International Committee of the Red Cross complained in a confidential report to the government, excerpts of which The New York Times obtained in November 2004.

The Pentagon responded then that Guantanamo was an oasis of "humane" treatment.

Last July, the Pentagon elaborated in a report of an investigation into complaints by FBI agents of abusive interrogation methods. Many of these methods -- such as shackling detainees to the floor for hours in painful positions, keeping them shivering cold during interrogations, grilling them for 16 hours nonstop, waking them up by moving them every few hours, using loud music and strobe lights -- had been officially approved as "humane," the Pentagon report explained.

What. The. Fuck. Is. WRONG. With. Us?

I could rant and rant and rant about how illegal and immoral all of this is. I won't. My rants on the subject mean very little in the scheme of things, and whenever I get started I get depressed that I even have to make the argument "torture is immoral." This is an ugly time for our country. I hope that some future administration will at least have the courage to apologize to the innocents among our prisoners and make some kind of restitution.

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  • At 5:19 PM, Blogger brainhell said…

    What makes you think there will ever be a future addministration?

  • At 5:37 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    The number of Republican Senators who want to be President. No way they all roll over on their ambitions to suspend the Constitution, or whatever scenario you're imagining.

  • At 5:53 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Well, it's certainly the case that this "war" will never end.

  • At 7:10 PM, Blogger Neda Cole said…

    Not sure how this fits into this discussion but i feel like sharing: An old school friend of mine has a brother who's in Guantanamo and has lost his eye since he got there. She was on the channel 4 news a few months ago appealing for his release. Don't think it happened. I have no idea whether he's guilty or not. Could be, he was always slightly psycho, but damn.. taking their eyes out?!

  • At 5:13 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    How did she find out he was being held there?

  • At 7:29 PM, Blogger Neda Cole said…

    I have no idea.. what do you think? I kept in touch? Whole family is crazy...


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