Thursday, May 19, 2005

Newsweek Got It Right 

The thing that most amazed/appalled me in the whole Newsweek flap was that they were forced to retract and apologize -- and so quickly -- for printing accurate information. What's getting lost in the whole media frenzy over Newsweek's "lie" is, of course, the abuse of various prisoners at the hands of our intgerrogators.

I know a lot of red state loons will say, "But they're terrorists, so what?" I have two responses to that. First, no, they're possibly suspected of terrorism; a lot of the people we're talking about here are Iraqi civilians, swept up as we invaded their country. And, second, even if they are terrorists, we don't do things that way in this country, or on its behalf. Or, at least, we're not supposed to. See, the true patriots get it -- America was founded on the idea that the government derives its power from the people, and there are certain things that the government should not do, no matter what. This includes torturing detainees, no matter what they may be suspected of doing. The key word here, of course, is "suspected." We have a legal system in this country and, when it functions ideally and as designed, the punishment business doesn't happen until after a conviction based on evidence.

Yes; according to that criteria, even Osama bin Laden deserves a trial. And before the wingnuts start screaming that I love Osama, they can all shut up. See, if the US had captured Hitler before he killed himself, he would not have been locked in a small room and beaten by soldiers. He would have faced the music at Nuremberg. That was then, this is now, and I don't half doubt that if a group of American soldiers caught Osama (unlikely, because he's probably dead), they'd just as soon kick him to death and carry his head around on a pike. Yeah, that's satisfying to a certain neanderthal mentality, but it ain't the way we're supposed to do things here. This is the United States of America. We're supposed to be better than that. And when our government behaves otherwise, it just shits on everything upon which this country was founded.

So, put away the "Newsweek lied, (sixteen) people died" bullshit meme. Remind yourself instead that Bush lied, (lots and lots of) people died. And ask yourselves why the rightwingnuts are so concerned about dead Muslims now, when they couldn't have given a rat's ass about all the Muslims who died while in US custody. Perhaps the slogan, "Englund pried, people died."

Anyway, as a refresher, go read this letter to The Nation, which reiterates all of the Quran desecration charges that were known outside of the US long before Newsweek reported them.
And the Times reports: "A former interrogator at Guantanamo, in an interview with the [New York] Times, confirmed the accounts of the hunger strikes, including the public expression of regret over the treatment of the Korans." (Neil A. Lewis and Eric Schmitt, "Inquiry Finds Abuses at Guantanamo Bay," New York Times, May 1, 2005, p. 35.)
And there's a lot more. Follow the link.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?