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Friday, July 22, 2005

"Severed from its moral foundation" 

It's not just me.
Here's how Guantanamo is described by Washington State writer Mike Whitney in this Smirking Chimp article 'Guantanamo: The calculus of human misery':
Guantanamo was intentionally shoved in the world's face to announce the arrival of the New World Order; the neocon phantasm of autocratic rule and perpetual war. It has become the foremost icon of the Bush regime; an ominous stone monument to human cruelty. It is cleverly disguised as a prison facility but, in fact, Guantanamo is a state of the art laboratory where the parameters of human suffering are explored by a highly-trained staff of professionals. To be precise, it is a "Torture-lab" replete with all of the modern gadgetry required for enhancing pain . . . psychiatrists, psychologists and other medical professionals worked intimately with the military at Guantanamo "advising officials on how to conduct harsh interrogations of detainees". Their experimentation focuses on establishing the limits of human endurance; trying to gauge, through original and highly-controversial techniques, the maximum agony their subjects can withstand before they die or become unresponsive. This is not merely torture, but the science of sadism; a finely-tuned regimen of systematic abuse, the calculus of human misery. It has become a vital adjunct to the new American foreign policy . . . Guantanamo is the truest expression of Bush's America; a looming block monolith where the crimes of empire can be carried out with impunity. It has become the primary symbol of the global onslaught on international law, personal liberty and human decency. Languishing beneath the blood-striped standard, the gun-towers and concertina wire depict an America that has changed at its very core; a rogue nation severed from its moral foundation; executing the coercive policies of the state.

And today it was announced that the Pentagon is not going to follow a judicial order to release more Abu Ghraib photos and videos. In June they asked the judge for more time so they could redact the faces in the photos; now they are asking for an exemption not to release anything -- "to withhold law enforcement-related information in order to protect the physical safety of individuals."
This is a laugh -- NOW they're worried about people's physical safety?
These new photos and videos apparently show, in Rumsfeld's own testimony to congress as quoted in a 2004 news story "acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman". The news story quotes NBC news as saying that the unreleased images show American soldiers beating one prisoner almost to death, apparently raping a female prisoner, acting inappropriately with a dead body, and taping Iraqi guards raping young boys. It also quotes Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham "We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience; we're talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges.'' Seymour Hersch said last year that the videos cover "women who were arrested with young boys/children . . . The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking."
Its probably their own safety that Rumsfeld and the Pentagon staff are worried about.

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