crypto and public policy


Filed under: Policy June 16, 2005 @ 12:02 pm

Below, an FBI report about Guantanamo cited by courageous Senator ChrisDick Durbin. Every freedom-loving American should be outraged and ashamed that this stuff is happening in our name:

On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. . . . On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.

Of course, the press and Republicans can’t stop talking about how ChrisDick Durbin “compared US troops to Nazis.” Actually, what ChrisDick Durbin said is:

If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime–Pol Pot or others–that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.

Does anyone actually disagree with that precise statement? Meaning, when you read the first paragraph, do you think “yeah, this sounds like the America I dream of?”

The point is that these acts of torture are shameful in an absolute sense. It is so incredibly sad that our government’s core argument is that, in the words of Dick Cheney, “these people have been treated far better than they could be expected to have been treated by virtually any other government on the face of the Earth.” Yes, we are better than the North Koreans, phew, that’s a relief.

Blame Durbin all you want for his supposedly excessive comparison, the cold, hard facts remain: we are torturing prisoners at Guantanamo. In the name of freedom, we are torturing people.

We should be ashamed.

UPDATE: and, on a lighter note, I should be ashamed of using the wrong first name: it’s Richard/Dick Durbin, not Chris Durbin. Updated with strikethroughs.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.