Friday, May 20, 2005

Koran Abuse at Gitmo and Prisoner Abuse at Afghanistan

The Daily News reports that at least one American interrogator at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba prison was punished for "disrespecting an inmate's Koran."

Link

Under White House pressure, Newsweek on Monday retracted a story that determined a Koran was flushed in a Gitmo toilet, which the Pentagon slammed as "demonstrably false."

But two reliable military sources confirmed the previously undisclosed reprimand at the Camp Delta prison - contradicting Bush administration denials of any "credible and specific allegations" about Koran desecration at Gitmo.

Meanwhile The New York Times reports that American treatment of prisoners at a detention facility in Bagram, Afghanistan was brutal, harsh, and deadly. At least two prisoners were murdered. Many were treated harshly for various reasons: to extract information during interrogations; to humiliate the prisoners; or just because military guards were bored and looking for something to do. The most egregious example of abuse:

Even as the young Afghan man was dying before them, his American jailers continued to torment him.

The prisoner, a slight, 22-year-old taxi driver known only as Dilawar, was hauled from his cell at the detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan, at around 2 a.m. to answer questions about a rocket attack on an American base. When he arrived in the interrogation room, an interpreter who was present said, his legs were bouncing uncontrollably in the plastic chair and his hands were numb. He had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days

Mr. Dilawar asked for a drink of water, and one of the two interrogators, Specialist Joshua R. Claus, 21, picked up a large plastic bottle. But first he punched a hole in the bottom, the interpreter said, so as the prisoner fumbled weakly with the cap, the water poured out over his orange prison scrubs. The soldier then grabbed the bottle back and began squirting the water forcefully into Mr. Dilawar's face.

"Come on, drink!" the interpreter said Specialist Claus had shouted, as the prisoner gagged on the spray. "Drink!"

At the interrogators' behest, a guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend. An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a doctor after they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, though, the guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling.

"Leave him up," one of the guards quoted Specialist Claus as saying.

Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen. It would be many months before Army investigators learned a final horrific detail: Most of the interrogators had believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time.

Interestingly enough, the LA Times had the Dilawar story back in March, but the rest of the American media was too busy searching for runaway brides back then to cover the Dilawar story.

And then came the Newsweek brouhaha. Now Chris Matthews and the rest of the media fatheads have been following Scottie Mac's lead and screaming all week about how the "Koran in toilet" article in Newsweek has permanently harmed America's reputation abroad.

Right. If Tweety-Bird and the rest of the press parrots would stop mimicking the Administration line that prisoner abuse incidents have been infrequent and isolated and start really investigating the abuse allegations, they would find that the United States has systematically tortured, abused, mutiliated, humiliated, and/or murdered thousands of "terror suspects" all in the name of "freedom." Occasionally the American authorities get squeamish with one or two of the cases and transfer the suspects to Egypt or some other country and let them do the torturing and murder for us. Nonetheless, the United States has been behaving like Nazi Germany in the way it runs its detainment camps and the way it has been fighting its "War on Terror."

If there was any justice in this world, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condi Rice would be tried for war crimes and sent to Gitmo or Afghanistan where the American military would give them a taste of their own torture medicine.

Unfortunately, these bastards are getting away with all of it.


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