Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 9, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

MORAL CLARITY WATCH....ABC News has reported that the United States is funneling money to Jundullah, a Sunni terrorist group based in western Pakistan. The New York Times has reported that the United States allows arms deliveries from North Korea to flow to Ethiopia. And now, via Ken Silverstein, CNN's Michael Ware is reporting that the U.S. military provides protection for the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), an Iraqi-based group listed as a terrorist organization by the State Department:

The U.S. State Department considers the MEK a terrorist organization — meaning no American can deal with it; U.S. banks must freeze its assets; and any American giving support to its members is committing a crime.

The U.S. military, though, regularly escorts MEK supply runs between Baghdad and its base, Camp Ashraf.

"The trips for procurement of logistical needs also take place under the control and protection of the MPs," said Mojgan Parsaii, vice president of MEK and leader of Camp Ashraf.

Well, the world is a complicated place. And one man's terrorist is another man's freedom figh....oh, wait. That's not right. Is it?

Kevin Drum 10:02 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (111)

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Comments

Stamp out terrorist supporters! I'll give you a 20% discount on the contract to bomb US bases.

Posted by: Milo Minderbinder on April 9, 2007 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

Am I supposed to be disgusted that they're doing this, or that they're doing this while accusing the Speaker of the House of being a terrorist sympathizer for wearing a headscarf in a mosque?

Posted by: Grumpy on April 9, 2007 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

You're either with us or you're with the terrorists.

Posted by: George W. Bush on April 9, 2007 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

so one thing not discussed, like, ever, is how many of the state dept.-named terrorist groups are actually just social service or religious organizations. i mean, if a constitutional law prof can get on the terror watch list, so can a bunch of arabs with a distaste for american foreign polivy, my guess is there are tons of groups who were doing good works in their communities--or at least totally innocuous work--whose assets have been frozen by western banks. blowback, anyone?

Posted by: joe on April 9, 2007 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

Of course we're funding the terrorists over there! So we don't have to fund them over here! And it would have worked, too, if that Polosi hadn't gone over there in a Burqua!

(Yes, I'm kidding.)

Posted by: Jeff S. on April 9, 2007 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

Moral clarity: so long as God understands our foreign policy, it doesn't matter what the rest of y'all think.

Posted by: lampwick on April 9, 2007 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

You're either with us AND you're with the terrorists"

- George W. Bush

There. Fixed.

Posted by: Jay C on April 9, 2007 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

MORAL CLAIRTY! EVILDOERS! We don't talk to these crooked regimes! The Democrats collude with the terrorists when they do diplomacy with Syria!

Just go back to the talking points.

Posted by: anonymous on April 9, 2007 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Republican credibility is in the toilet. Everything they want (power) is being frittered away. REJOICE!

Posted by: Detroit Dan on April 9, 2007 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever Dear Leader says is right, right now and right here or there or wherever, is right... until Dear Leader says differ'nt.

That's what deciderating Prezdenin' is all about, and that's all you need to know.

And you better remember that, otherwise Gover's gonna come and git you down in the bathtub fer good.

Ain't you on a no-fly watch, evil-axis-lovin' fifth columnist list someplace? I'm gonna go check.

Posted by: Dear Leader minion on April 9, 2007 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

Moral clarity? Absolutely.

There is one and only one question you need to answer. Should you answer this correctly you are by definition of the moral class and free to deride and sneer at all others. Any moral contradictions mere piffle next to this overpowering stance.

The question to be asked is...

Posted by: Are you a Republican? (AYAR?) on April 9, 2007 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

You guys just don't get it.

This may very well be true. But you know the old saying: the enemy of my friend is my enemy? Same dynamic at play here. That's the way the world works. It's not for the squeamish.

The other alternative is we get OUR boys to do this dirty work. Then the death toll goes up a whole bunch, and you hippies just cry foul over that. You guys are determined to cry foul no matter what Bush does.

Posted by: egbert on April 9, 2007 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

George W. Bush on April 9, 2007 at 10:49 PM:

You're either with us or you're with the terrorists.

And if you are a member of the Bush administration, apparently you don't have to choose.

Detroit Dan on April 9, 2007 at 11:02 PM:

REJOICE!

Nah...These people disgust me too much to be very happy...Plus, they've dragged us into the shitter with them, however unwilling we were to go...

Posted by: grape_crush on April 9, 2007 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

Just a quick note to Kevin, however: The ABC Blotter article you are citing makes no mention that the US is 'funneling money to the Jundullah'...at least on an official basis...but we are acting in an advisory capacity.

Again, it would be interesting to find out who the Iranian exiles financing the Jundullah are, and where they are getting their money from.

Posted by: grape_crush on April 9, 2007 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

grape_crush wrote: "Again, it would be interesting to find out who the Iranian exiles financing the Jundullah are, and where they are getting their money from."

That Blotter article pretty clearly implies, in a wink-wink-nudge-nudge fashion, where the money comes from. I can't believe that that was not intentional.

In any case, given past history and the oh-so-many horrific consequences that resulted from these kinds of arrangements in the past, why on earth are we still engaging in this kind of idiotic behavior?

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2007 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

The other alternative is we get OUR boys to do this dirty work."

LOL... Ah, poor egbert. Is this the best he can do?

Dear heart, I know it's difficult to think when your head is so firmly lodged in someone else's posterior, but it might have occurred to you, had you spent, say, 2 seconds on it, that there are more than two alternatives.

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2007 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

In the years to come, a veritable salad bar of blowback.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on April 9, 2007 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

The world is a complicated place, but I know that George W Bush is a terrorist and a dangerous moron, and nothing on earth will ever change that.

Posted by: craigie on April 9, 2007 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin

You guys...blah, blah, blah...

squeamish...blah, blah, blah...

no matter what Bush does.

Posted by: egbert on April 9, 2007 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Gosh. They've got all the simple things wrong as well as everything else. They shown no ability to face facts before them. They've shown no flexibility in their thinking, or recognition of any mistakes. They've shown no understanding of the real world and how it actually works. They have a track record of unmitigated failure.

And you want to trust them with what amounts to intelligence operations.

No thanks!

Posted by: notthere on April 9, 2007 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you very much for this thread. I came for the trolld'ourves, I stayed for the liberal second course. A++++++. Would visit this blogstaurant again!

Posted by: anonymous on April 9, 2007 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

This is a continuation of the brilliant policy we had of funding and training the proto-Al Qaeda groups in Afghanistan during the Soviet years. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, until he's flying planes into my buildings. Or something like that.

Posted by: Martin Gale on April 9, 2007 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

If moral clarity wasn't an oxymoron, it sure would make things a lot easier.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O/F in 08! on April 9, 2007 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

For 6 years and with 2 to go I have said that I only need 2 comments when replying to anything these people say or do,"Jesus Wept" and "Whoopie We're all going to die". Those 2 pretty much cover it all,don't you think?

Posted by: R.L. on April 10, 2007 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

The enemy of my enemy is my friend, until he's flying planes into my buildings. Or something like that.

Hey, but at least only we can build jet airplanes! Capitalism wins again!

Posted by: craigie on April 10, 2007 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

"with 2 to go"

Gotta ask....

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O/F in 08! on April 10, 2007 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

Aiyeee! Blogger Fifth Columns! Questioning National Strategy in a Time of War! Treason and subversion!

What's next? Publishing secret war plans online, so terrorists can murder our troops?

You and your kind should be shut down and silenced! We need to stem the rot and cut out the cancer before it's too late!

Aiyeeee!

Posted by: bleh on April 10, 2007 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin elides the most important parts of the article:

1. "The U.S. considers the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or MEK, a source of valuable intelligence on Iran." Ah, at least now we know where the exaggerated intel on Iran's nukes is coming from.

2. While the US continues to support the MEK (in violation of its own laws), the Iraq gvmt views them as terrorists and has given the MEK 6 months to leave Iraq, and there appears to be some uncertainty as to whether the US will accept this.

Posted by: Disputo on April 10, 2007 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

Well put, Kevin.

Now, please remind us where you similarly criticized the Speaker of the House for getting all chummy with the terrorist-supporting Government of Syria. I'm sure it's here somewhere, but I can't quite find it.

Posted by: a on April 10, 2007 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

Look, if we don't support the terrorists over there we'll have to support them over here....no, wait, that's not it...um...we support the terrorists we have, not the terrorists we wish we had...

Hey, how long is it before we can restore honor and integrity to the White House again?

Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter a: Look! Over there! A Democrat! Pay no attention to the incompetent fuck-up behind the curtain whose job she has to do!

Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 1:36 AM | PERMALINK

Can we impeach these mother fuckers already?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 10, 2007 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

Post was truncated. Here's the whole, I hope.

"...remind us where you similarly criticized the Speaker of the House..."

You know, a, if you want to play this game you actually have to have some familiarity with what's been covered here. Besides, it's hard to forget that your hallowed leader has failed to express the same criticism for senate members of his own party making precisely the same trip.

Most lately we discussed this and this

Posted by: notthere on April 10, 2007 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

...because Kevin posted this: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2007_04/011098.php

And there are other prior threads where you trolls have had an opportunity to raise any valid criticisms.

It's so disappointing when trolls only make unfounded remarks and offer no arguments of substance, but that is because it's hard to offer any substantive defence of an administration so corrupt and ineffective.

Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner.

[I took out the HTML in case that has been getting in the way.]

Posted by: notthere on April 10, 2007 at 2:01 AM | PERMALINK

Excuse me, I'm having trouble keeping track. Is Political Realism a bad thing again?

Posted by: fgsnap on April 10, 2007 at 2:17 AM | PERMALINK

Now, please remind us where you similarly criticized the Speaker of the House for getting all chummy with the terrorist-supporting Government of Syria."

Dear heart, since Nancy Pelosi did not, in fact, get "all chummy" with anyone in the Syrian government, I'm afraid that your contribution to this thread is as idiotic as dear little egbert's. Moreover, since Speaker Pelosi simply did what House Speakers, including such notables as Hastert and Gingrich, have done for more than 50 years, I'm afraid that your point is even less relevant.

But thank you so much for playing; we have some lovely consolation prizes for you.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2007 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

You're either with us or against us. Unless you're against us and also with us.

Posted by: moonbatmom on April 10, 2007 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

There is no "political realism" where MEK is concerned. Those guys are nuts. Certifiable cultist lunatic nutjobs.

They've sure played the US (and Saddam) good.

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on April 10, 2007 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

We had similar confusing situations before the current Administration and we are bound to have them after 20 Jan 09. That's particularly true in Africa where unobjectionable governments are awfully thin on the ground. Often, the next alternative is to take direct action ourselves, which raises entirely different, but no less contradictory, problems.

Posted by: trashhauler on April 10, 2007 at 4:15 AM | PERMALINK

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend." - The fool's guide to foreign policy (used primarily by conservatives).

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 10, 2007 at 5:33 AM | PERMALINK

This story has the stench of an unfulfilled Iran-Contra wet dream rubbed all over it. Elliot Abrams and ADM John Poindexter must be lurking somewhere nearby. I just know it -- egbert, you vast right-wing conspiracy wannabe, are you hiding them in your mother's basement again?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 10, 2007 at 5:39 AM | PERMALINK

Moral clarity- we now support one of the only terrorist groups that was "operating" in Iraq during Saddam's rule - the same group which oddly enough provided one of the many slippery justifications to overthrow Saddam. Maybe moral continuity.

Posted by: Neal on April 10, 2007 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

We are sowing confusion among our enemies. Soon they won't know who is their friend, and who their enemy, and will begin fighting each other.

Posted by: Al on April 10, 2007 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

Al, they already *are* fighting each other. That's the point. It's a point that's easy to miss if you imagine that all the brown people are allied together against the West.

If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, shouldn't we be friends with Iran against Al Qaeda affiliates, and not just the other way around??

Posted by: Grumpy on April 10, 2007 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

Putting the really bad guys to one side, don't we have a lot of people at Gitmo who didn't do anything different than the folks we are now supporting?

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 10, 2007 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Al: "Soon they won't know who is their friend, and who their enemy, and will begin fighting each other."

Yes, the plan is already working perfectly at the Justice Department.

Posted by: Kenji on April 10, 2007 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

So, what is the big deal about giving money to them. The MEK representative said that they believed Roe v. Wade should be overturned and that Lawrence v. Texas was the worst decision in the last 20 years.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 10, 2007 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

In this case, it's "one country's terrorist is the same country's freedom fighter."

Posted by: anandine on April 10, 2007 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

George W. Bush: You're either with us or you're with the terrorists.

Or, in this case, both.

Posted by: anandine on April 10, 2007 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

We had similar confusing situations before the current Administration

Yes, and thank the Creator for the fact that Clinton wasn't able to outright kill bin Laden; otherwise, we wouldn't have our new allies to attack Iran.

This is one example of how Clinton's demonstrated incompetence actually HELPS the country.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 10, 2007 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

"Putting the really bad guys to one side, don't we have a lot of people at Gitmo who didn't do anything different than the folks we are now supporting?"
____________________

If you believe their lawyers, yes. If you believe the folks who sent them there, no.

Posted by: Trashhauler on April 10, 2007 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

If you believe their lawyers, yes. If you believe the folks who sent them there, no.

As I recall some of the folks who turned in some of the detainees were their neighbors down the road. The neighbors were just trying to make a few bucks from the Americans while stealing the detainees land. Things might have been reversed if our people had gone to the detainees houses first. Capitalism at work.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 10, 2007 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

It's all organized crime and public spectacle. Always has been--and will be until the sleeping masses awake, and realize the extent to which they have been bamboozled...

Posted by: c4logic on April 10, 2007 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

"If you believe the folks who sent them there..."

Excellent, Trashhauler - since we know this administration lies reflexively and continuously about dam' near everything, I'm glad to see you are siding with the lawyers.

Posted by: butch on April 10, 2007 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Supposedly the poet Robert Browning said this about his poem "Sordello." When I wrote that, God and I knew what it meant, but now God alone knows.

Bush would have to say the same about his foreign policy. It's a pulsating mass of disgusting tactics, rapidly mutating goals and lazy assumptions. Trying to make sense of it is like trying to organize a bucket of pond scum.

Posted by: cowalker on April 10, 2007 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

We are sowing confusion....among....our ... enemies.

Not just your enemies, I'm afraid.

Posted by: Guy Banister on April 10, 2007 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

We had similar confusing situations before the current Administration

Rather dishonest of you trashy - but what's new? It is particularly galling with this administration's mantra of attacking any state sponsor of terrorism in this glorious "War on TerrorTM". As I recall, this was a primary excuse to try to legitimize the Iraq War. Hmmm, we seem to be exactly that - a state sponsor of terrorists. And these "confusing situations" you allude to of the past haven't really worked out too well now have they? But you knew that.

Posted by: ckelly on April 10, 2007 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

If you believe their lawyers, yes.

Or all kinds of reports from inside our military and elsewhere. The reports of large numbers of the Guatanamo detainees being kidnapped and delivered in response to US-offered bounties with little verification as to whether the people so produced were either "enemy" or "combatants", much less "unlawful" ones, were not from lawyers for any of the detainees.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 10, 2007 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK
We had similar confusing situations before the current Administration

"But, Mom, all the other kids do it."

Posted by: cmdicely on April 10, 2007 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

I tend to agree on the first two, but you are off base with the MEK. They surrendered to the US as a group, several thousand strong. We have spent the last 4 years trying to figure out how to complete their demobilization and determining where they can go. In the mean time, they are detainees under US custody, which means protection. We still have to feed them and it is cheaper to allow them to manage their own affairs and buy supplies under guard then if we had to create another large detainment camp.

As for why it is taking so long, most of themare from Iran, but would be killed if we sent them ther. The Iraqis don't like them because they worked for Saddam in the Iran-Iraq war and helped suppress the Shites after the Gulf war. Most other countries think they are a terrorist cult and don't want them either.

The MEK we are detaining are our "prisoners" and have not been conducting any terrorist actions that I am aware of.

Posted by: Donald Clarke on April 10, 2007 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

trashhauler: If you believe their lawyers, yes. If you believe the folks who sent them there, no.

Their lawyers are US military personnel.

Their captors are US military personnel.

Are you saying our troops are liars?

Posted by: anonymous on April 10, 2007 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

NYT: The list of things to investigate keeps growing. A federal agency that protects the rights of military employees is now investigating the firing of David Iglesias, the New Mexico United States attorney. Justice Department officials said he was fired in part because he was out of the office due to his commitments as a Navy military reservist. If so, the firing may have been illegal.

Bush motto: "Serve your country and get fired. Serve me and keep your job. Serve me by lying, obstructing justice, and undermining the rule of law and get rewarded with an even better job."

Posted by: anonymous on April 10, 2007 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the world is a complicated place. And one man's terrorist is another man's freedom figh....oh, wait. That's not right. Is it? —Kevin Drum

The more things change . . .

Posted by: JeffII on April 10, 2007 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

We had similar confusing situations before the current Administration and we are bound to have them after 20 Jan 09.

But I thought Bush's supporters claim that he won't do things as they were done in the past, that this is a new era of moral clarity, that it's now black or white, good or evil?

That's particularly true in Africa where unobjectionable governments are awfully thin on the ground.

We're not talking about Africa. Get on topic. Focus.

Often, the next alternative is to take direct action ourselves, which raises entirely different, but no less contradictory, problems.

So the next alternative is to commit terrorism ourselves rather than having our henchmen do it for us? How about the next alternative is to neither commit terrorism nor fund, arm and protect terrorist groups?

Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not even sure that it's wrong to be doing these things. In Iraq, for example ... almost any politician we support is going to be tied to a militia or an organization whose tactics border on terrorism.

The point is, it's really hard to say things like "you're either with us or against us" when some of the guys we're with use the same tactics as the guys we're against.

Posted by: mmy on April 10, 2007 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Rhut Rho George,

Now here come all the nuts screaming... "but the world is a complicated place! You can't pigeon-hole the actions required to keep Amurika safe!"

My how quickly we shift from
- "you are either with us or against us!"
- "You want the terrorists to win!"

Apparently the world is only viewed in black and white terms when it is politically expedient and sells well to the sheeple.

Posted by: Simp on April 10, 2007 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK
The MEK …have not been conducting any terrorist actions that I am aware of. Donald Clarke at 10:45 AM
Gotta love those weasel words: Rumsfeld Sends MEK Terrorists into Iran

…“One of the operational assets being used by the Defense Department is a right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq… which is being ‘run’ in two southern regional areas of Iran, both bordering Pakistan….

...Clinton's demonstrated incompetence actually HELPS the country... Norman Rogers at 10:07 AM

Your statement is, as usual, a lie, but we know for a fact that Bush refused to go after Zarqawi

But NBC News has learned that long before the war the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation and perhaps kill Zarqawi himself — but never pulled the trigger.
The Pentagon quickly drafted plans to attack the camp with cruise missiles and airstrikes and sent it to the White House, where, according to U.S. government sources, the plan was debated to death in the National Security Council….
Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi’s operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam….

Posted by: Mike on April 10, 2007 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Moral clarity:

We were for the terrorist
before we were against them
before we were for them...

for: (CIA funded Holy War against USSR in Afghan)
against: (9/11)
for: (MEK supply run)

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on April 10, 2007 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers wrote:

"As I recall some of the folks who turned in some of the detainees were their neighbors down the road. The neighbors were just trying to make a few bucks from the Americans while stealing the detainees land. Things might have been reversed if our people had gone to the detainees houses first. Capitalism at work."
_________________

I honestly don't know, Ron. That might have happened to some. However, I know that our people involved in detainee airlift described these men as very dangerous. Typically, or so we were told, the people sent to Guantanamo were either very high value targets or they had done something extremely hostile in one of the Afghanistan detainee camps to earn a spot at Gitmo. I do know we took extaordinary precautions while transporting them. I cannot go into full detail, as it is classified.

But I tend to believe that these few hundred had to do something to be separated from the thousands we held in Afghanistan. We try not to waste our time or airlift on Joe Bagadonuts.

Posted by: Trashhauler on April 10, 2007 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

The question to be asked is...

Posted by: Are you a Republican? (AYAR?)

Well, I would ask it this way:

Me (mit glower): Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Republican party?

Posted by: shortstop on April 10, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

ckelly wrote:

"[Quoting me] 'We had similar confusing situations before the current Administration'

Rather dishonest of you trashy"
___________________

I don't see why you think it's dishonest. It's a simple observation, not a defense. Do you guys think the world started when you first noticed things?

Posted by: Trashhauler on April 10, 2007 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Typically, or so we were told, the people sent to Guantanamo were either very high value targets or they had done something extremely hostile in one of the Afghanistan detainee camps to earn a spot at Gitmo. I do know we took extaordinary precautions while transporting them. I cannot go into full detail, as it is classified.
But I tend to believe that these few hundred had to do something to be separated from the thousands we held in Afghanistan. We try not to waste our time or airlift on Joe Bagadonuts.

Federal Defenders Win Release for Afghan Detainee
By Jeralyn, Section Terror Detainees
Posted on Thu Oct 12, 2006 at 09:17:13 PM EST
Tags: (all tags)
Via Southern District of Florida Blog: Taj Mohammad was a goat shepherd in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan. His tribe, the Gudjers, are nomads. He got in a fight with his cousin and hit him with a stick. His cousin's family, in retaliation, claimed he was a member of the Taliban. Unbeknownst to Taj, his cousin had been working laying pipe for the American military. They came to question Taj, arrested him and took him to the prison at Bagram AFB, and then shipped him to Guantanamo where he was held for four years.

http://www.talkleft.com/story/2006/10/12/109/73901

Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Typically, or so we were told, the people sent to Guantanamo were either very high value targets or they had done something extremely hostile in one of the Afghanistan detainee camps to earn a spot at Gitmo. I do know we took extaordinary precautions while transporting them. I cannot go into full detail, as it is classified.
But I tend to believe that these few hundred had to do something to be separated from the thousands we held in Afghanistan. We try not to waste our time or airlift on Joe Bagadonuts.

Published on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 by the Associated Press
AP: Gitmo Detainees Say They Were Sold

They fed them well. The Pakistani tribesmen slaughtered a sheep in honor of their guests, Arabs and Chinese Muslims famished from fleeing U.S. bombing in the Afghan mountains. But their hosts had ulterior motives: to sell them to the Americans, said the men who are now prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Bounties ranged from $3,000 to $25,000, the detainees testified during military tribunals, according to transcripts the U.S. government gave The Associated Press to comply with a Freedom of Information lawsuit.

....But a wide variety of detainees at the U.S. lockup at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, alleged they were sold into capture. Their names and other identifying information were blacked out in the transcripts from the tribunals, which were held to determine whether prisoners were correctly classified as enemy combatants.

One detainee who said he was an Afghan refugee in Pakistan accused the country's intelligence service of trumping up evidence against him to get bounty money from the U.S.

"When I was in jail, they said I needed to pay them money and if I didn't pay them, they'd make up wrong accusations about me and sell me to the Americans and I'd definitely go to Cuba," he told the tribunal. "After that I was held for two months and 20 days in their detention, so they could make wrong accusations about me and my (censored), so they could sell us to you."

Another prisoner said he was on his way to Germany in 2001 when he was captured and sold for "a briefcase full of money" then flown to Afghanistan before being sent to Guantanamo.

"It's obvious. They knew Americans were looking for Arabs, so they captured Arabs and sold them — just like someone catches a fish and sells it," he said. The detainee said he was seized by "mafia" operatives somewhere in Europe and sold to Americans because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time — an Arab in a foreign country.

A detainee who said he was a Saudi businessman claimed, "The Pakistani police sold me for money to the Americans."

"This was part of a roundup of all foreigners and Arabs in that area," of Pakistan near the Afghan border, he said, telling the tribunal he went to Pakistan in November 2001 to help Afghan refugees.

....Al-Nauimi said a consortium of wealthy Arabs, including Saudis, told him they also bought back fellow citizens who had been captured by Pakistanis.

Khalid al-Odha, who started a group fighting to free 12 Kuwaiti detainees, said his imprisoned son, Fawzi, wrote him a letter from Guantanamo Bay about Kuwaitis being sold to the Americans in Afghanistan.

One Kuwaiti who was released, 26-year-old Nasser al-Mutairi, told al-Odha that interrogators said Dostum's forces sold them to the Pakistanis for $5,000 each, and the Pakistanis in turn sold them to the Americans.

"I also heard that Saudis were sold to the Saudi government by the Pakistanis," al-Odha said. "If I had known that, I would have gone and bought my son back."


Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Typically, or so we were told, the people sent to Guantanamo were either very high value targets or they had done something extremely hostile in one of the Afghanistan detainee camps to earn a spot at Gitmo. I do know we took extaordinary precautions while transporting them. I cannot go into full detail, as it is classified.
But I tend to believe that these few hundred had to do something to be separated from the thousands we held in Afghanistan. We try not to waste our time or airlift on Joe Bagadonuts.

EXCLUSIVE: Guantanamo's Innocents: Newly Released Prisoners Struggle to Find a Home

By LARA SETRAKIAN and the ABC News Law & Justice Unit

May 23, 2006 -- Their story may be the strangest one you'll hear out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Even after being cleared of any wrongdoing, five innocent men were kept captive at the detention center at Guantanamo. Today, these men who started out in China and ended up in Cuba are now free and in the Eastern European country of Albania, the only country that would take them...

Many of Guantanamo's prisoners proclaim they're innocent. What's different about these men, Muslims from China's Uighur minority, is that even American authorities said they were innocent, referring to them as "no longer enemy combatants" or "NLEC." Nevertheless, they remained imprisoned more than a year after their names were cleared — after the U.S. government determined they did nothing wrong and posed no terrorist threat to America or Americans.

Why were they kept at Guantanamo so long after they were deemed innocent? Simply put, no country — including the United States — would accept them. They couldn't go back to China because they believed, as did the American government, that as Uighur Muslims they faced persecution by the Chinese government. With nowhere else to turn, they were taken in by Albania, a country with a Muslim majority.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=1997083&page=1

Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

And, of course, talkleft.com would never knowingly print a lie about that, would they, Stefan?

Posted by: Trashhauler on April 10, 2007 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Typically, or so we were told, the people sent to Guantanamo were either very high value targets or they had done something extremely hostile in one of the Afghanistan detainee camps to earn a spot at Gitmo. I do know we took extaordinary precautions while transporting them. I cannot go into full detail, as it is classified.
But I tend to believe that these few hundred had to do something to be separated from the thousands we held in Afghanistan. We try not to waste our time or airlift on Joe Bagadonuts.

AP: 'Vicious killers' from Guantanamo Bay routinely freed by other countries

By Andrew O. Selsky, The Associated Press

The Pentagon called them "among the most dangerous, best-trained, vicious killers on the face of the earth," sweeping them up after Sept. 11 and hauling them in chains to a U.S. military prison in southeastern Cuba. Since then, hundreds of the men have been transferred from Guantanamo Bay to other countries, many of them for "continued detention."

And then set free.

Decisions by more than a dozen countries in the Middle East, Europe and South Asia to release the former Guantanamo detainees raise questions about whether they were really as dangerous as the United States claimed, or whether some of America's staunchest allies have set terrorists and militants free....

•Once the detainees arrived in other countries, 205 of the 245 were either freed without being charged or were cleared of charges related to their detention at Guantanamo. Forty either stand charged with crimes or continue to be detained.....

•All 29 detainees who were repatriated to Britain, Spain, Germany, Russia, Australia, Turkey, Denmark, Bahrain and the Maldives were freed, some within hours after being sent home for "continued detention."

....Joshua Colangelo-Bryan, a lawyer representing several detainees, says the fact that hundreds of men have been released into freedom belies their characterization by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as "among the most dangerous, best-trained, vicious killers on the face of the earth."

"After all, it would simply be incredible to suggest that the United States has voluntarily released such 'vicious killers' or that such men had been miraculously reformed at Guantanamo," Colangelo-Bryan said.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2006-12-15-gitmo-freed_x.htm

Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

And, of course, talkleft.com would never knowingly print a lie about that, would they, Stefan?

No, they wouldn't. They're not a right-wing blog, after all. And what's the lie? After all, it was the US government itself that released Taj Muhammed, which it presumably wouldn't have done if he was such a dangerous terrorist instead of a stick-wielding shepherd. Are you calling the US government a liar?

Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Typically, or so we were told, the people sent to Guantanamo were either very high value targets or they had done something extremely hostile in one of the Afghanistan detainee camps to earn a spot at Gitmo. I do know we took extaordinary precautions while transporting them. I cannot go into full detail, as it is classified.
But I tend to believe that these few hundred had to do something to be separated from the thousands we held in Afghanistan. We try not to waste our time or airlift on Joe Bagadonuts.

How I entered the hellish world of Guantanamo Bay

Martin Mubanga went on holiday to Zambia, but ended up spending 33 months in Guantanamo Bay, some of the time in the feared Camp Echo. Free at last and still protesting his innocence, he tells the full story to David Rose

Sunday February 6, 2005
The Observer

For many months after Mubanga was seized in Zambia with the help of British intelligence and sent to Guantánamo, the American authorities maintained that he was a dangerous 'enemy combatant', an undercover al-Qaeda operative who had travelled from Afghanistan on a false passport and appeared to be on a mission to reconnoitre Jewish organisations in New York. But documents obtained by The Observer now reveal that by the end of last October the Pentagon's own legal staff had grave doubts about his status, and had overturned a ruling that he was a terrorist by Guantánamo's Combatant Status Review Tribunal.

....Like the other three men who were released last month, Moazzam Begg, Feroz Abbasi and Richard Belmar, Mubanga was held for one night at Paddington Green police station on his return to Britain and questioned. He was released unconditionally, the police having concluded within just a few hours that there was no evidence to sustain charges of terrorism .....

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1406987,00.html

Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

...I do know we took extaordinary precautions while transporting them. I cannot go into full detail, as it is classified....

Posted by: Trashhauler on April 10, 2007 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

You mean like hood them and shackle them down for the whole trip?

I know you don't like to hear the truth, but maybe you might like to remember all those "dangerous" people they've already released without charge from Gitmo and elsewhere after holding them for years.

This is all about window dressing, and holding conclusions without applying common sense or legal process, the inability and lack of will to apply legal remedies. About making up rules as we go along to impede any process.

Gitmo, prisoner mistreatment, kangaroo military justice and our association with sectarian conflict is how the world is framing our waronterra. That's the US they see and hear about. And they should.

Posted by: notthere on April 10, 2007 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

"That might have happened to some."

There is no "might" about it. That is precisely what happened, as the Bush administration admitted.

"However, I know that our people involved in detainee airlift described these men as very dangerous."

So? They lied. Why is this a surprise to you?

"Typically, or so we were told, the people sent to Guantanamo were either very high value targets or they had done something extremely hostile in one of the Afghanistan detainee camps to earn a spot at Gitmo."

And half of them, or thereabouts, were later acknowledged to be nothing of the kind.

This is silly. Do your homework before you comment again, because right now you have no basis for any argument.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Trashhauler, if they wanted to be given the benefit of the doubt, they should have been honest with the American public from the outset.

Don't blame the opposition for calling them on their mendacious bullshit. Call them on perpetrating it in the first place.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 10, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

trashhauler: However, I know that our people involved in detainee airlift described these men as very dangerous.

Hmmmmmmmm . . . the same type of men who described what happened to Jessica Lynch and Pat Tilley, perhaps?

It's not like we've never heard any self-serving lies from the military . . . oh, wait . . .

'no torture going on at Abu Ghraib'

'Abu Ghraib was an isolated incident . . . it's not happening at any other [concentration camps]'

'no secret CIA flights'

'massive stockpiles of WMDs'

'insurgents on their last legs'

'couldn't produce body armor fast enough'

'we've found the WMDs'

'war will last no longer than six months'

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Yeah, those folks NEVER lie, do they trashhauler!

Posted by: anonymous on April 10, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Daddy Bush was head of the CIA, and W.'s administration is overflowing with Papa's cronnies - what else would we expect??

Posted by: jlm on April 10, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK
I do know we took extaordinary precautions while transporting them.

Trashspewer, try to keep track. The point in question is not whether or not the US military treated the detainees in ways that were completely unjustified unless they were extraordinarily dangerous, and perhaps even if they were. The point in question is whether there is any credible reason to conclude that the detainees in Guatanamo were, when captured, in fact actually dangerous enemies of the United States waging war in an unlawful manner.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 10, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

The point in question is whether there is any credible reason to conclude that the detainees in Guatanamo were, when captured, in fact actually dangerous enemies of the United States waging war in an unlawful manner.

Well, one of them hit his cousin with a stick. If that's not waging war in an unlawful manner, I don't know what is.

Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

trashhauler: I do know we took extaordinary precautions while transporting them.

Were you present during transport?

If not, you don't know anything.

You may believe this because you have self-servingly decided to give credence to the descriptions of the persons from the military and administration that have commented on this, despite overwhelming evidence that they have repeatedly lied about many other things in a manner that serves their own interests in hiding their foul deeds, but you don't know anything.

For someone who has called a large number of individuals within our military liars, you sure are hell bent on believing them whenever it suits your partisan ends!

Posted by: anonymous on April 10, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

"Were you present during transport?"

I rather suspect that he's claiming he was. Obviously, we have no way to verify such a claim. In any case, it's entirely irrelevant since it has no bearing on their actual guilt or innocence, danger or harmlessness.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Well, if Michael Ware says it, it must be true!

Not like he's a propagandist for jihadists or anything.

Posted by: Michael's Where? on April 10, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

What I find interesting is Trashhauler's ignorance, either pretend or all too real, of the true situation at the various prisons we run. A side effect of sticking one's fingers in one's ears, I suppose.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

"Not like he's a propagandist for jihadists or anything"

LOL.... Don't you just love these morons who know absolutely nothing about Michael Ware, about his views, or about what he's said regarding the Iraq war? All they know is that he's debunked McCain's idiotic pronouncements and that Drudge has accused him of "heckling" McCain.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you just love these morons who know absolutely nothing about Michael Ware

The Mouthbreather Brigade never bothers their pretty heads with facts. I've come to believe that the primary cause of conservetardity is simply being unaware of the facts and adamantly unwilling to embrace them.

Michael Ware supports Bush's war but what confuses the conservetards is that he actually TELLS THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON IN IRAQ.

Mouthbreather: "Does not compute! Does not compute! Why does he not lie to support the cause?!?" [bzzrrtt! fizzle! pop!]

Posted by: trex on April 10, 2007 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Michael Ware supports Bush's war but what confuses the conservetards is that he actually TELLS THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON IN IRAQ.

A is A and B is B and everything is quite simple if you look at it the right way. And have Jesus on your side, of course.

Posted by: shortstop on April 10, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

And have Jesus on your side, of course.

What? Oh, I'm sorry I couldn't make it, I was busy walking the course at Augusta with Zach Johnson.

Posted by: Jesus on April 10, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Evidently very few really care about the truth... It is time Bush be sent to his off shore prison as an enemy combatant.

Posted by: Guy on April 10, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

I want to say, well, yeah--the people who brought us Iran-Contra are with the administration now.

I saw something painfully ironic juxtaposed in the paper--two headlines:

"Iraqis rally to protest US presence."//"US could extend tours for 15,000 troops."

16 troops wounded in battle in the center of the capital. this war must end.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 10, 2007 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely wrote:

"Trashspewer, try to keep track. The point in question is not whether or not the US military treated the detainees in ways that were completely unjustified unless they were extraordinarily dangerous, and perhaps even if they were. The point in question is whether there is any credible reason to conclude that the detainees in Guatanamo were, when captured, in fact actually dangerous enemies of the United States waging war in an unlawful manner."
____________________

cm, has anyone here considered the possibility that we might have reason to think that all these suddenly pacific souls are carefully following the enemy's disinformation strategy? Hence, Stefan can find news accounts from all sorts of places stating reports that each and every one was horribly tortured, despite the fact that they were all just simple shepherds caught up in petty vendettas and bad luck. Their lawyers might even believe it all.

Further, has anyone considered that we are most unlikely to have simply let these folks go off to tell their tales and that was that?

"Hey, sorry, man, no hard feelings, right? Now, be off with you now and stay out of trouble."

So, we just let them go to melt back into whatever country they came from and forgot them? Or were they tailed from the moment they left the place, the better to find their comrades? I don't know for a fact they were. None of us do.

Posted by: trashhauler on April 11, 2007 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

notthere wrote:

"I know you don't like to hear the truth...."
__________________

I always prefer to hear the truth, notthere. I'm just not always certain I've heard it, simply because I read something in the press.

Posted by: trashhauler on April 11, 2007 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl wrote:

"Don't blame the opposition for calling them on their mendacious bullshit. Call them on perpetrating it in the first place."
____________________

BG, contrary to what so many here have decided, I'm not blaming anyone for believing what they believe. It's a free country and they can believe and say anything they want.

My nephew in Bagdad just got his second Purple Heart and is still on duty. My sister is frantic to get him home. He's due to leave the Army soon and it looks like he's going to miss the start of fall semester because of events in Iraq. I want that man home safe. I want them all home safe.

But I also have to say what I know and what I believe. It is churlish of people to assume that I'm lying or stupid, just because I'm not in lockstep agreement with them.

Posted by: trashhauler on April 11, 2007 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

So, we just let them go to melt back into whatever country they came from and forgot them? Or were they tailed from the moment they left the place, the better to find their comrades? I don't know for a fact they were. None of us do.

Tailing them. Yeah, that's the ticket. Lord knows a surveillance team made up of Westerners won't stick out like a sore thumb in places like the Afghan or Pakistani hinterland.

Posted by: NSA Mole on April 11, 2007 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

But I also have to say what I know and what I believe. It is churlish of people to assume that I'm lying or stupid, just because I'm not in lockstep agreement with them.

No, that's not why. I assume you're lying AND stupid (no need for the "or") because you routinely lie and you routinely post stupid things, like your pathetic series of rationalizing posts above.

Posted by: Stefan on April 11, 2007 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

cm, has anyone here considered the possibility that we might have reason to think that all these suddenly pacific souls are carefully following the enemy's disinformation strategy? Hence, Stefan can find news accounts from all sorts of places stating reports that each and every one was horribly tortured, despite the fact that they were all just simple shepherds caught up in petty vendettas and bad luck.

Two words: Occam's Razor.

Two more words: Abu Ghraib.

Also, did the "enemy's disinformation strategy" include them persuading John Yoo, Donald "Duck" Rumsfeld and others in the Administration to develop a torture policy? Remember, it is the United States government itself which is stating that it is engaging in torture, including waterboarding and other horrific practices. There's no need for others to make up these charges when we ourselves admit that's what we're doing.

Their lawyers might even believe it all.

Their lawyers are American officers. Are you calling American military officers liars?

So, we just let them go to melt back into whatever country they came from and forgot them?

Yes, that's exactly what we've done.

Or were they tailed from the moment they left the place, the better to find their comrades? I don't know for a fact they were. None of us do.

Or mabye, maybe we put super-secret explosive chips in their heads which are tracking their location through a series of electromagnetic pulses and then when they all gather in their evil underground lair to plot their next crime we hit a button and BOOM! we blow all their heads off with the chip. I don't know for a fact that that's not our plan. None of us do....

Posted by: Stefan on April 11, 2007 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Trashhauler, my nephew at Nellis just got his orders. We are pretty frantic as well.

As to what you know and what you believe...Well, me too. I am not looking at any of this through the same lens as ordinary people, either. I'm sure you have a higher level of access than I do, but I am not just shouting down the well over here, and you know it.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 11, 2007 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure you have a higher level of access than I do, but I am not just shouting down the well over here, and you know it.

Well, we know he hints at having one...but let's remember that classic cartoon of the dog sitting at his keyboard with the caption "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog."

Posted by: Stefan on April 11, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, I wasn't referring to you, but to the host of inhospitable posts around yours. I try to make my points here without being personally insulting, but, Lord, Lord, it gets hard sometimes and I don't always succeed.

Insults, calumny, and nasty insinuations don't bolster anyone's arguments. But they sure are fun for some.

Posted by: trashhauler on April 11, 2007 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

I try to make my points here without being personally insulting, but, Lord, Lord, it gets hard sometimes and I don't always succeed.

Oh, man, the woeful put-upon act. Yes, how very hard life must be for you.

The fact that you're not personally insulting doesn't excuse the fact that you routinely lie, obfuscate and misrepresent what others said. A polite liar is still a liar.

Posted by: Stefan on April 11, 2007 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK
cm, has anyone here considered the possibility that we might have reason to think that all these suddenly pacific souls are carefully following the enemy's disinformation strategy?

You mean all the sources within the US military and elsewhere that were the sources of the stories about the bounties, etc. I find that somewhat unlikely, but if you think we have reason to believe that is the case, please present it.


Blue Girl, I wasn't referring to you, but to the host of inhospitable posts around yours. I try to make my points here without being personally insulting, but, Lord, Lord, it gets hard sometimes and I don't always succeed.

I think it would be better if you tried to make your posts with some kind of rationality, rather than merely without being personally insulting.

Insults, calumny, and nasty insinuations don't bolster anyone's arguments.

Neither does what you seem to prefer, not having any actual argument in the first place, just a bunch of unsupported assertions, vague speculations, and efforts to change the subject.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 11, 2007 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Their lawyers might even believe it all.

As a point of information, not only has the government admitted to coercive interrogation techniques as Stefan pointed out but FBI agents have independently corroborated this
and complained to the military that these techniques were counterproductive, to no avail.

Not to mention the prisoners in Afghanistan whom our guys beat to death with a bat while they were tied up.

No, no torture there, no sir.

Apparently Trashy doesn't follow the news closely as he's too busy sorting out the information coming at him in his high level clearance.

Understandable. I have the same problem coordinating space shuttle flights.

Posted by: trex on April 11, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Trex, perhaps you could answer a couple of questions:

What is the difference between coercive interrogation and torture?

How many prisoners were beaten to death by a bat and what happened to the the guilty parties?

Using the same isolated incidents over and over as proof that the US military is nothing more than a mindless torturing, killing machine might make war opponents feel good. But it isn't the same as reality.

Posted by: Trashhauler on April 11, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you have anything better to do, Trash, than to defend torturers and murderers? Have you no sense of honor and integrity left, man? Have you no shame?

Posted by: Stefan on April 11, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

How many prisoners were beaten to death by a bat and what happened to the the guilty parties?

We don't know how many prisoners were beaten with bats because the military has been engaged in a systematic coverup of their torture. People who've researched this believe that beatings are commonplace, particularly in the black prisons.

As to what happened to the guilty parties, you're missing the point: the only reason they were brought to justice is because the guy died, not because he was beaten, and the army still tried to cover it up.

Don't get me wrong, though, I don't completely blame the troops involved. It's clear from the damning memos that have surfaced that the orders to torture prisoners came down from the White House and the Pentagon. They are ultimately to blame.

Using the same isolated incidents over and over as proof that the US military is nothing more than a mindless torturing, killing machine might make war opponents feel good. But it isn't the same as reality.

False. First of all, your characterization of our position as the military as "nothing more than a mindless torturing, killing machine" is a strawman. No one has said that, and further, every day on these threads people express concern and sympathy for our troops well being and want them out of harm's way.

Secondly, these are not "isolated incidents." Torture was "the rule and not the exception" at the camp in Afghanistan. Torture was the rule and not the exception at Abu Ghraib, where literally thousands of photos surfaced of rape, humiliation, beating, and intimidation surfaced. Torture is the rule and not the exception at the black prisons where innocent people who were illegally kidnapped and have been released from these facilities talk of the torture they received there.

What is the difference between coercive interrogation and torture?

Let's be clear, there is no difference.

If it was your daughter who was shackled to the floor of a cell for days at a time, unable to stand up and forced to defecate and urinate on herself, deprived of sleep by blaring rock music and intimidated with vicious dogs until she began to experience a break with reality, you'd say that was torture. If she were beaten with hoses you'd say that was torture. If she were put in a box for weeks, unable to completely stand up or sit down, eventually experiencing nerve damage, you'd say that was torture. If she were raped, as happened in Abu Ghraid, you'd say that was torture.

And if her day care facility was the perpetrator of these atrocities you'd sue them for torture. Because the U.S. military is doing it and because it's happening to people you consider to be untermenschen you're pretending it's something else.

If your daughter were subject to all these treatements you wouldn't say, "oh, she was just coercively interrogated, it's no big deal." You'd say she was tortured, and it would be true. And it's compounded by the fact that a huge number of these people were innocent and RELEASED by our government because they were innocent and wrongly detained. Some of the Guantanamo prisoners were in their eighties and some were thirteen years old, for fuck's sake.

In what psychotic realm did you live in where all of this is just fine and dandy?!?

Posted by: trex on April 11, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

As to what happened to the guilty parties, you're missing the point: the only reason they were brought to justice is because the guy died, not because he was beaten, and the army still tried to cover it up.

And that's using "brought to justice" liberally: Pfc. William Brand, the soldier who beat the Afghan taxi driver named Dilawar to death with a bat, was charged only with manslaughter. You beat a man hanging from the ceiling by chains with a baseball bat over the course of several days and that's only manslaughter and not first or second degree murder?

Posted by: Stefan on April 11, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

To address the claim made upthread that the Guantanamo prisoners were captured by us "on the battlefield" (a nonsensical claim, because if they were captured on the battlefield they'd be combatants, not terrorists) remember that, as Colonel Ann Wright (Ret.) points out:

According to Amnesty International, in an analysis of 500 detainees, a remarkably low number, only 5 percent, or about 25 detainees, were captured by US forces. Eighty-six percent, or about 430 detainees, were arrested by Pakistani forces or the Afghan Northern Alliance and turned over to US custody - often for a reward of thousands of dollars. The other 9 percent are not discussed in the Amnesty report. Many were sold to the United States to even scores or just for the money. Anyone living in Afghanistan - young or old - was fair game for sale to US forces. The oldest detainee shipped to Guantanamo was 75 and the youngest 10....

As of December 18, 2006, almost half - about 379 of the 775 detainees - have been released after years in prison. They were sent home without being charged with a crime or being told why they had been detained....

Seventeen detainees were under 18 years old when they were taken to Guantanamo. The youngest were 10, 12, and 13 when they were "captured." At the end of 2006, four of these juveniles still are detained.

blog.pdamerica.org/?p=939 - 36k

(Colonel Wright, by the way, spent 29 years in the Army and Army Reserves and 16 years as a US diplomat serving in such lovely locales such as Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan, and Mongolia. She's spent her life in service to this country).


Posted by: Stefan on April 11, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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