Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The ACLU's Gitmo Smoking Guns

I think I will be posting my blogburst early this week, as I will be on the road Wednesday through Friday or Saturday. I have some thoughts on the ACLU and its unceasing efforts to portray the Guantanamo "illegal enemy combatant detainees" as martyrs and victims. The ACLU would like to prove that our government and the members of the Bush administration have tortured these poor fellas who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In fact, I doubt the ACLU gives a hoot about these detainees, it would just like to see the Administration embarrassed, if not ousted. This is simply an extension of a time-honored credo of the ACLU, "conservative=bad; liberal= good."

If you go to the ACLU website, you will notice on the front page the caption "Torture Documents" in the left margin. This is sure to titillate the casual ACLU site reader, I am sure...then you navigate your way to a page captioned "Government Documents on Torture," which informs you that the ACLU has documents "the government did not want the public to see"!! Oh, the Humanity!! What could these foul miscreants of government have done to these poor boys! Everyone knows the Administration and its military-industrial complex are the lowest form of human life, what miry depths could they have sunk to now? The Rack? The Iron Maiden? Beds of Nails?

Well, not exactly...I started to go through these summaries and re-summarize them to make them more easily digestible, but it was a little too boring, tedious and pointless--they consist of a combination of whining and unsubstantiated allegations by detainees--you will either, like the ACLU, see a pattern of "torture" in them, or you will, like me, see very little of substance, punctuated by instances of possible violence. Let me suggest that it is likely that any prison in the US would have more instances of violence per capita than what are recounted in these "smoking gun" documents about Guantanamo.

In addition to the "torture," I would be remiss if I did not add that one detainee confessed that one uprising was caused by another detainee dropping a koran on the ground and blaming it on a guard. Moreover, to show you how mind-numbed these Islamic robots are, one confessed that, although he was engaged in a hunger strike because of poor treatment by the guards, he had never been abused, or seen any cruelty by the guards, nor had he heard any of the derogatory comments the guards supposedly made.

You can see for yourself what's actually in these so-called "Torture Documents" but here are some of the highlights of the "torture" (and keep in mind, these are interviews of detainees--this is the worst they could come up with):

Sometimes the guards push detainees around; sometimes, after emptying their waste buckets, they "throw" them back to the detainees, sometimes with waste
still in them. (slop bucket detail might make me a little testy at times, too--I don't imagine the crack troops were doing this.) The detainees are being forced to shower, dress and use the bathroom in front of others. (Such a shame).

One detainee complains he is not sleeping well. (Conscience?) He is diagnosed as having post-traumatic stress syndrome and depression. He dreams about being beaten (Justice?). One detainee says he was treated harshly by soldiers at Peshawar and Kandahar--no mention of Gitmo or the circumstances that provoked the "harsh treatment" elsewhere. One detainee confesses that uprising at Gitmo blamed on guards was caused by detainee dropping koran on ground and blaming a guard. One detainee says that guards' "behavior is bad." The specifics? Other than one claimed beating 5 months previously, the sum of the bad behavior is that guards "dance around" during detainees prayers. (I'm trying hard to picture American Military personnel dancing around to muslim prayers, not quite getting there.)

Several Detainees claim they were beaten in Bagram and Kandahar, but do not mention Guantanamo. Another detainee says he has not been abused while in American custody. One detainee claims his prayer cap was thrown in the trash by a guard (find that guard and shoot him).

Another detainee claims that, upon his capture, he was tortured for 2 days and wound was not mention of treatment at Guantanamo. Another
detainee recants his confession because he claims he confessed under threat of
Pakistani torture. Detainee claims he was kicked and "had cold water thrown on
him." One detainee thinks the other detainees believe he is a spy, which is causing him stress...He confesses having mental problems in the past...he has been moved to isolation at his request. Another detainee says he won't talk until his treatment gets better--(he had "comfort items" removed from his cell due to his bad behavior).

One detainee claims that detainees are beaten and treated worse than a dog, but is mysteriously unable to provide any details. One Detainee admits that he has never seen any cruelty by the guards or personally heard any derogatory comments by the guards, but is on a hunger strike anyway, because the guards are treating the detainees like animals.

This goes on and on. Now, let me be clear (not that it will do any good): I am not saying no prisoner was ever beaten at Guantanamo Bay, and I am not saying that no act of violence ever occurred at Guantanamo Bay, and I am not saying that the koran was never abused (although I find that a silly issue, since they admit to doing it themselves). What I am saying is that, when you look at all these "smoking gun" "documents the government never wanted you to see", what I see is a bunch of unrelated incidents, attested to only by people with an axe to grind--ACLU, for once let the government do its job and stay out of this issue. These are not Americans, so their Civil Liberties should be of no interest to you in any case.

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