Thursday, July 17, 2008

Torture at Guantanamo

It's now official and even up on You-Tube: being a prisoner at Guantanamo isn't fun. I'm not in the position to say anything new about its legality, but this week someone gave us a peek into the interrogations there, when lawyers of a Canadian-Afghan teenager received and broadcasted a tape from one of the interrogation cells. Suzanne Goldenberg and friends from the human rights' brigade will interpret the tape for you:

"The tapes do not show a dangerous terrorist, but instead a frightened, wounded Canadian boy pleading for help form Canadian officials," Whitling told reporters.

The video was condemned by human rights organizations and detainee lawyers. "Rather than seeking to ensure that a Canadian citizen - and a child into the bargain - is offered the opportunity to put forward his case in a proper way, Canadian officials are shown interrogating a boy who says he has been tortured," Amnesty International said.

Another prisoner told of the humiliating methods of interrogation he was subjected:

Salim Ahmed Hamdan, accused of being a driver for Osama bin Laden, told a military court that he was held in long and repeated periods of solitary confinement and subjected to humiliation, with a woman interrogator brushing up against his thigh.

Oh, the horror of it all.

Torture is when someone's body is torn and mangled. Torture is when someone refrains for years from allowing a mother or a wife to know what he knows, that their beloved is dead. It's keeping a son captive for years with never any contact with anyone from his world. Such things are standard in the Arab world, and the perpetrators or often celebrated and feted.

Torture is a horrendous thing, and should be used, if at all, only in those cases where using it will immediately save the lives of innocent people - and even then, if there are alternatives they should always be preferred. Our abhorrence of torture, however, must not blind us to the fact that there are people out there who need to be interrogated so that our way of life can survive, and also so that justice can be done.


Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Oh, the horror of it all.

But the post's title is "Torture at Guantánamo," and this case is not representative of the worst procedures put into practice there. As you may be aware, there are documented cases of waterboarding, genital squeezing, exposure to extreme temperatures, covering a prisoner's head with duct tape, etc.

Also, you're cherry-picking from the article. You forgot to quote the following passage:

"At the time the video was produced, February 2003, Khadr was 16. He had been subjected to what guards called the "frequent flyer" program, in which detainees are deprived of sleep. In Khadr's case, he was prevented from sleeping for more than three hours at a time for 21 days."

That sounds much more frightening than a woman rubbing herself against your thigh.

Torture is when someone refrains for years from allowing a mother or a wife to know what he knows, that their beloved is dead.

Well, no, that's not torture as per the definition used in Guantánamo: "treatment causing pain similar to death or major organ failure." Since Regev's and Goldwasser's moms suffered no organ failure or near-death, they were not tortured.

Now it may be that you don't like the way the US defines torture, joining me and the rest of the world. We'll be looking forward to seeing a post of yours on the subject.

Anonymous said...


What a tour-de-farce.

You want to know the real tragedy? Bush never got a handle on being PRESIDENTIAL. SO? Well, it matters when a creep is elected. And, then, YOU (and, here, I mean Israelis), have to deal with it.

Yes, Gore would have been worse.

And, John Kerry didn't get elected; so he lost, too.

And, Bush had an 8 year run. But he's a putz.

Basically, let me introduce you to CAPITALISM. Where the nature of business is such it's NOT run into the ground "top down" ... the way the soviet's worked. And, the way socialism screws everything up.

In other words?

Yes, you can have a stink-o president. Doesn't amount to a hill of beans in a world where business is done BEST without government interferences.

Oh, on a scale of 1 to 10, where do I rate Bush? Well, "less than 1). 1< KAPISH?

9/11 happened on Bush's watch. It was funded by the Saud's. And, Bush's reaction? Separate from his decision to "use the presidency" to find "ways of questioning the lowest levels of terrorists," while he was the best of pals to the saud's, should let you notice something went very askew.

Also, the FBI and the CIA don't get along. They don't share information with each other. And, they steal credit, even when marginal successes arise. (It was enough to teach the MOSSAD that the best way to cope with these dudes, and dudettes, was to ignore, as much as possible, the turf wars they were having.) And, then? To husband what they knew. Because the Americans had a goal to separate the MOSSAD from their own men in their various fields.

How so? By Bush telling the prime minister's office in Israel that no matter what the hint was, if Israel wasn't willing to give up its "source" ... then America wasn't going to use any information on a timely basis. And, the Americans would never even give Israel credit for a single good hint.

When things go along like this it's good to turn and fart in their general direction. Preferably, the silent kind. Let them guess from the smells, what's going on!

Bush pretty much went into a dive right after 9/11. Though he did get a lot of AMerican support, which he managed to dissapate. You can leave it to textbooks to someday catch up with this.

But you're free to figure these things out all by yourselves. Like being in a college classroom: You're responsible for the work, even when the lectures stink.

Just for the record: The Shin Bet and the MOSSAD don't depend on torture so much. Even when you look at times you see "information's been collected," it comes from knowing the enemy, better. And, a lot of the information is paid for with cash. And, comes "popping up out of the street." Quietly.

Of course, in Israel, there are many who can speak arabic. This is not true at either the FBI or the CIA, where Jews are not welcome. And, where the arabs tend to lie about what other arabs are saying.

Know what I'm saying?

Americans, with badges, can't figure out a talking tablecloth, from a talking head.

On the other hand, the Man Upstairs must have participated in this process. Because? Bush's Prayer Circles in the Oval Office has done the same to him, as the last one, Jimmuh Carter, got.

Yup. Silence. It's a Holy experience. Once you begin to figure it out.

Anonymous said...

And the point of that whole, long rant was....what?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Ms. Herman, have you thought about getting your own blog? Just that you comment every post Mr. Lozovick makes, and most of the time those comments are longer than the original posts. You can get it for free at, and if you link to this blog, backlinks will appear in the comment section.

ChuckL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ChuckL said...

From the linked article:
According to the human rights organisation Reprieve, the Pentagon's figures indicate there have been 21 teenage or child detainees at Guantánamo.

Well, yes, because they were attacking coalition forces with weapons and explosives of various types. Funny... rounds from weapons fired by teenagers somehow have the same results as those coming from adult-fired weapons.

Inhumane treatment? They're really grasping at straws in this video and article.

ChuckL said...

Notice that the Islamic militant terrorists do not have any Guantanmo/Abu Ghraib type of difficulties. They simply decapitate and otherwise mangle their captive POWs.

It's a shame that these international peace & justice organizations don't address the real source of the problem.