Sunday, December 17, 2006

US Whistleblowers Imprisoned in Iraq

Monday's New York Times has the story of two American contractors turned FBI whistleblowers who ended up being wrongly imprisoned at Camp Cropper in Iraq.

American guards arrived at the man’s cell periodically over the next several days, shackled his hands and feet, blindfolded him and took him to a padded room for interrogation, the detainee said. After an hour or two, he was returned to his cell, fatigued but unable to sleep.

The fluorescent lights in his cell were never turned off, he said. At most hours, heavy metal or country music blared in the corridor. He said he was rousted at random times without explanation and made to stand in his cell. Even lying down, he said, he was kept from covering his face to block out the light, noise and cold. And when he was released after 97 days he was exhausted, depressed and scared.
Nathan Ertel, the American held with Mr. Vance, brought away military records that shed further light on the detention camp and its secretive tribunals. Those records include a legal memorandum explicitly denying detainees the right to a lawyer at detention hearings to determine whether they should be released or held indefinitely, perhaps for prosecution.

The story told through those records and interviews illuminates the haphazard system of detention and prosecution that has evolved in Iraq, where detainees are often held for long periods without charges or legal representation, and where the authorities struggle to sort through the endless stream of detainees to identify those who pose real threats.


I have several reactions when I read stories like these. The first is outrage about the treatment of people in US custody and that is quickly followed by an ongoing sense of disbelief at those (right-wingers) who still think their government and military actually tells them the truth. Their unyielding dedication to a regime that has proven time and time again that they should never be trusted is beyond any rationality. And not only that, when they actually do learn the truth, they minimize it in order to absolve their consciences that any wrongdoing has really taken place. or they simply attack the so-called 'liberal media' for reporting it.

Well, these are Americans, Malkins and Limbaughs of the world. Just how do you explain away what they've been through? We know how easy it is for you to do so when stories like these are about the people you fear the most and whose inhumane treatment you cheer on: Arabs and Muslims. But these men are neither. Let's see you rationalize that.

Update: Speaking of Bushco suppressing the truth, read this.

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