Monday, June 13, 2005


Never mind flushing Korans down the toilet - this is the true scandal of Guantanamo (compiled by "Time" from the leaked logs of interrogations of Mohammed al Qahtani, the suspected "20th hijacker"):
After the new measures are approved, the mood in al-Qahtani's interrogation booth changes dramatically. The interrogation sessions lengthen. The quizzing now starts at midnight, and when Detainee 063 dozes off, interrogators rouse him by dripping water on his head or playing Christina Aguilera music. According to the log, his handlers at one point perform a puppet show "satirizing the detainee'’s involvement with al-Qaeda." He is taken to a new interrogation booth, which is decorated with pictures of 9/11 victims, American flags and red lights. He has to stand for the playing of the U.S. national anthem. His head and beard are shaved. He is returned to his original interrogation booth. A picture of a 9/11 victim is taped to his trousers. Al-Qahtani repeats that he will "not talk until he is interrogated the proper way." At 7 a.m. on Dec. 4, after a 12-hour, all-night session, he is put to bed for a four-hour nap.
A musical gulag if there ever was one.

Meanwhile, as Michelle Malkin reports, still no media outrage or riots throughout America at reports of Muslim protesters, both in the US and overseas, variously burning and urinating on American flags. Setting the Stars and Stripes on fire is a constitutionally protected form of free speech, as indeed would be buring a copy of the Bible. Curiously, I suspect the legal position is pretty much the same in many Muslim countries; at least as far as the US flag and the Bible are concerned. Reminds me of that old, Cold War-era joke about an American and a Soviet comparing notes on freedoms in their respective societies. Says the American: The US is a great country; I'm perfectly free to stand outside the White House and shout that the President of the United States is an idiot. Replies the amazed Soviet: The Soviet Union is exactly the same! I'm also perfectly free to stand outside the Kremlin and shout that the President of the United States in an idiot.


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