Tuesday, December 21, 2004

E-Mails and ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) got hold of some e-mails and memoranda which suggest that torture has been the name of the game for a long time in Guantanamo:

Detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were shackled to the floor in fetal positions for more than 24 hours at a time, left without food and water, and allowed to defecate on themselves, an FBI agent who said he witnessed such abuse reported in a memo to supervisors, according to documents released yesterday.
In memos over a two-year period that ended in August, FBI agents and officials also said that they witnessed the use of growling dogs at Guantanamo Bay to intimidate detainees -- contrary to previous statements by senior Defense Department officials -- and that one detainee was wrapped in an Israeli flag and bombarded with loud music in an apparent attempt to soften his resistance to interrogation.
In addition, several agents contended that military interrogators impersonated FBI agents, suggesting that the ruse was aimed in part at avoiding blame for any subsequent public allegations of abuse, according to memos between FBI officials.

The lesson? This might depend on who you are. The administration might find the moral of the story to be that one should never write e-mails or memoranda on torture. Much better to wink and nudge in person. Some others might be upset about this, but most Americans will not even know that this happened. That's how well the societal indoctrination into the "Know-Nothing" party has worked!

The message would be heard if it was rewritten to be positive, I've been told. If it started with how the United States is the greatest country on earth a couple of people might perk their ears for the rest of it. This should be an explanation as to how none of this is any worse than the ordinary frat house capers (you know, gang-rapes and stuff) or if it is, well, war is war and so on. But I'm the goddess of gloom-and-doom, so you won't get the golden lining here. Just clouds.

If these pieces of evidence are real, who is to be blamed? Not the president, of course, that goes without saying. But Donald Rumsfeld could be a good scapegoat:

Instead, FBI and Pentagon officials said, the order in question was signed by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in December 2002 and then revised four months later after complaints from military lawyers that he had authorized methods that violated international and domestic law.
In a Jan. 21, 2004, e-mail, an FBI agent wrote that "this technique [of impersonating an FBI agent], and all of those used in these scenarios, was approved by the DepSecDef," referring to Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz.

Deck the walls with Paul and Rummie...