Monday, October 18, 2004

Swinging at Guantanamo 

The torture at Guantanamo, too:
"David Sheffer, a senior State Department human rights official in the Clinton administration who teaches law at George Washington University, said the procedure of shackling prisoners to the floor in a state of undress while playing loud music - the Guantánamo sources said it included the bands Limp Bizkit and Rage Against the Machine, and the rapper Eminem - and lights clearly constituted torture."
I've been playing Eminem very loud for four years, and thanks to David Sheffer I now know I've been torturing myself, not just my neighbors. I'm more of a Linkin Park, Evanescence and Rammstein person myself rather than Limp Bizkit, and I'm not sure why one would want to play the arch-leftie Rage Against the Machine to suspected jihadis, but again, Sheffer's description sounds more like a frat party gone wrong.

It of course wasn't. The "NYT" story describes what went on more clinically:
"One regular procedure that was described by people who worked at Camp Delta, the main prison facility at the naval base in Cuba, was making uncooperative prisoners strip to their underwear, having them sit in a chair while shackled hand and foot to a bolt in the floor, and forcing them to endure strobe lights and screamingly loud rock and rap music played through two close loudspeakers, while the air-conditioning was turned up to maximum levels, said one military official who witnessed the procedure. The official said that was intended to make the detainees uncomfortable, as they were accustomed to high temperatures both in their native countries and their cells."
As with Abu Ghraib, if there were abuses and irregularities, the perpetrators will be punished. That's the beautiful thing about our system. Period.

As Tom Heard, who brought this story to my attention, writes: "I see some serious work ahead for John Edwards. If he loses the election he will make a fortune with a class action suit representing these poor people." Although I've got a feeling that his backers would find this to be more disturbing than torture:
"The sources portrayed a system of punishment and reward, with prisoners who were favored for their cooperation with interrogators given the privilege of spending time in a large room nicknamed 'the love shack' by the guards. In that room, they were free to relax and had access to magazines, books, a television and a video player and some R-rated movies, along with the use of a water pipe to smoke aromatic tobaccos. They were also occasionally given milkshakes and hamburgers from the McDonald's on the base."
My God, McDonald's, tobacco and decadent Western pop culture - how low will these infidels stoop?


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