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In U.S. Report, Brutal Details of 2 Afghan Inmates' Deaths
May 20, 2005 6:42 AM   Subscribe

From the folks who brought you Abu Ghraib, new information from Afghanistan. More torture of "terrorists," more deaths of prisoners, more untrained interrogators pummeling instead of interrogating—facts direct from a leaked Army investigation.
posted by Mo Nickels (83 comments total)

 
If the people in charge had any shame, they would apologize. If they had any honor, they would resign.
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:44 AM on May 20, 2005


If the people in charge had any shame, they would apologize. If they had any honor, they would resign and if they have any machiavellian instincts, they'll blame someone else.
posted by three blind mice at 6:53 AM on May 20, 2005


How dare they print this! People could die because they printed this!

/sarcasm
posted by fungible at 6:56 AM on May 20, 2005


It's Dan Rather's turn to take the blame this time!

Damn liberal media are getting people killed again!
posted by nofundy at 7:06 AM on May 20, 2005


Nothing will happen except soldiers on the lowest rungs will be found responsible and thrown away.
I would be very surprised to see anything go up the chain of command on this, whether or not there's anything to find further up that chain.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 7:08 AM on May 20, 2005


La, la, la! I can't hear you! I have my fingers in my ears!
posted by spacewrench at 7:12 AM on May 20, 2005


Fuckin' Newsweek!
posted by kirkaracha at 7:17 AM on May 20, 2005


news? sweet!

I had an experience where some soldiers smeared a bible all over the ground to make a point to this Christian guy who kept using religion as an excuse to get out of things. We were all sitting around when he walked in, he looked down and saw it and it stopped him cold for a minute.

So I guess it's not just about discrimination of Islam or anything...
posted by nervousfritz at 7:25 AM on May 20, 2005


Does anyone think it's true that most voting Americans do not give a goodgoddamnfuck about torturing the enemy?

Seems to me no matter how many stories come out very little is done about it. The chain of command does not exist.

I wonder if focus groups and private polling give a tacit "thumbs up" for the policy. "It's OK, carry on."
posted by gsb at 7:26 AM on May 20, 2005


gsb: not only is there at least someone that thinks that, but furthermore many people apparently have realized that it's much easier to tag people as enemy and then ignore any humanitarian concerns (read, leftist crap) when dealing with the enemies than it is to persuade people in general to appreciate America as a land of freedom and honor, a country which would join the world in compliance with such treaties as the Geneva Convention.
posted by nervousfritz at 7:33 AM on May 20, 2005


As this article makes clear, the Bush Administration claim that the Geneva Convention did not apply to those captured in Afghanistan was a direct source of support for the continuous torture and beatings at the prison camp in Afghanistan. So responsbility does go to the highest levels.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:35 AM on May 20, 2005


Mo Nickels, nervousfritz: this goes to the heart of the matter. Is it really a "war" on terror (in which case detainees are POWs by default) or is it something else entirely? Where are the impeachment proceedings, or are the Dems happy* to be associated with war crimes as well? In any case it is not up to the president to determine whether or not the GCs apply, but then for him there is no such thing as international law.

*100-0 in the Senate for further astronomical barrels of cash to fund these adventures.
posted by cbrody at 7:51 AM on May 20, 2005


From the article:
"Some of the same M.P.'s took a particular interest in an emotionally disturbed Afghan detainee who was known to eat his feces and mutilate himself with concertina wire. The soldiers kneed the man repeatedly in the legs and, at one point, chained him with his arms straight up in the air, Specialist Callaway told investigators. They also nicknamed him "Timmy," after a disabled child in the animated television series "South Park." One of the guards who beat the prisoner also taught him to screech like the cartoon character, Specialist Callaway said.

Eventually, the man was sent home."

Words fail me...
posted by fingerbang at 8:12 AM on May 20, 2005


my favorite part:
"Leave him up," one of the guards quoted Specialist Claus as saying.
Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen. It would be many months before Army investigators learned a final horrific detail: Most of the interrogators had believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time.
it's always interesting to point out that Abu Ghraib's victims of American torture were mostly car thieves -- but then, the WTC dead must be avenged no matter what, I guess
posted by matteo at 8:43 AM on May 20, 2005


Many of us have ranted about this until we are blue in the face and yet the torture continues and people continue to ignore it. Perhaps the answer is to force our churches not only to condemn this horrendous action but to make it priority.

Perhaps if "Christians" (and I use that term loosely since turning a blind eye to this unspeakable evil is anything but Christ-like) worked up the same amount outrage over allowing this torture to be perpetrated in our name as they do over gay marriage, we could not only get it to stop, but perhaps even get some people tried for war crimes and impeached.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:45 AM on May 20, 2005


see also:

Abu Ghraib abuse firms are rewarded
As prison ringleader awaits sentence, defence contractors win multi-million Pentagon contracts
posted by matteo at 8:47 AM on May 20, 2005


Many of us have ranted about this until we are blue in the face and yet the torture continues and people continue to ignore it.

Because this whole fuckin' situation is rotten to the core.

We in this country are so invested in the idea of ourselves as morally superior to the rest of the globe that we refuse to consider any evidence to the contrary. Abuse? Torture?Death? Frat-boy hijinks; a few bad apples. Can't be more than that, because we're the good guys! And besides, we're still way better than the other side.

It's moral certainty cloaked in moral relativism, the ultimate goddamned blasphemy. And I can't escape the creeping feeling that this nation, someday, is going to pay for this in blood.
posted by kgasmart at 8:53 AM on May 20, 2005


kgasmart--you're right about Americans thinking that we are morally superior, but wrong about the moral relativism. I think that we are a nation of sheep--right now with a sociopathic shepherd. But as a nation of sheep, I also think that once the bandwagon turns, more and more people will jump onto it.

I'm serious about contacting our local churches. I don't see how this is not a church issue. It's non-partisan (if we don't bring up the war crimes part,) and it's a no-brainer: no churches I am familiar with will come out for torture. Perhaps if we start at a grass roots level and ask all of our local churches to set aside one Sunday to decry torture, the sheep will fall into line.

Maybe I sound overly idealistic, but what's the alternative? At least it couldn't hurt to try.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:07 AM on May 20, 2005


I wonder where the conservatives are in the comments section here and in the Koran desecration threads. I was expecting some ranting about the liberal media or something, but instead, silence.

I wonder if they're actually developing a sense of shame, or if they're just ignoring what they don't want to hear?
posted by Malor at 9:33 AM on May 20, 2005


Of course the silver lining to all this is that we'll be able to recycle all those Soviet jokes.

...The KGB goes in. They come out two hours later with a badly beaten bear. The bear is yelling: "Okay! Okay! I'm a rabbit! I'm a rabbit!"
posted by small_ruminant at 9:36 AM on May 20, 2005


I wonder where the conservatives are in the comments section here and in the Koran desecration threads.

They're keeping their heads down because they know it's going to be proven true. The wingnutosphere has quieted substantially over the past few days because they now realize that by making such a huge deal of this, they virtually guaranteed that the allegations would be investigated by the entire media pack - and likely will be proven sooner rather than later.

But it doesn't matter to them, because at heart this is not about whether the Koran story is true or false; at heart, this is about their belief that the problem is not our actions, it's the reporting of those actions.
posted by kgasmart at 9:39 AM on May 20, 2005


I'm all for the idea of contacting local churches about this. We need to take back the churches and instill some morality back into those who are amoral.
Rather than organizing anti-war protests we should be organizing efforts to contact churches, attend churches and compel churches to return to christian values (decency, morality, compassion, kindness, charity, tolerance) and away from the counter-christian behavior they are engaged in today.
posted by mk1gti at 9:44 AM on May 20, 2005


Most of the interrogators had believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time.

great. fighting terrorism, one pissed-off and marginalized extended family at a time!
posted by sergeant sandwich at 9:46 AM on May 20, 2005


mk1gti: Precisely. Anti-war protests alienate a large number of people but it seems to me that presenting this issue (torture) as a Christian issue would get a lot more people involved.

There are still those who think that the war is justified but the silence on torturing innocent people to death as justifiable is deafening.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:58 AM on May 20, 2005


mk1gti: That's why liberals keep losing.

You'll go, trying to change the system from within. They will first ridicule you, then throw you out, then, if you persist, kill you.

If you find a rule that says they cannot do what they are doing, they'll ignore it. You are sub-human, unfit for any purpose other than labor for their good. You are doomed to eternal punishment, thus, anything done to you now is okay, since eternal degradation and destruction is god's will.

That's the future. The only real question is who is using who more: the corporate oligarchs or the theocrats? Because that's all that is left. Corporate oligarchy or theocracy.

And, you, sir, are fucked. The 2006 elections won't matter -- if they did, they wouldn't hold them. You will not have any rights in the new world. You will be expected to work, will be taxed heavily, and, if you step out of line, you will be punished.

Don't like it? Get out. Now -- and, more importantly, make certain that the country you flee to has nukes. Canada will be fucked over shortly after the takeover of the US -- unless they can get the Poodle to promise to lob a few nukes if the US invades Canada. Of course, that may not stop the theocrats -- the end of the world is an explicit goal to be worked towards.

The question isn't if you have lost or not. The question isn't how badly you've lost. The only remaining question is how exactly your life will be made hellish.

My only consolation is that assholes like dios, steve@linwood, and hama7 will get to live in the exact same hell as the rest of us, and will be as equally fucked. And, should I meet them, or any of the other right-winged assholes who've destroyed this country, I shall laugh. I won't even spit on them, and I certainly won't give them the rope so they can end their own torment. No, I will laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and maybe, as they descend into their own damnation, maybe the ghost of my laughter will torment them forever.
posted by eriko at 9:59 AM on May 20, 2005


also, a comment of note from this article about Saddam Hussein's undies:

Speaking to reporters later Friday, U.S. President George W. Bush was asked whether such photos of Saddam -- as well as the now-retracted Newsweek story about military interrogators flushing a Quran down a toilet -- serve to inspire opposition in the Muslim world.

"I don't think a photo inspires murders," Bush said.


this from the president who's spent months dealing with the fallout from abu ghraib. wonderful.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 10:07 AM on May 20, 2005


again....who cares??
posted by fijidan at 10:10 AM on May 20, 2005


Sweet post eriko.
posted by chowder at 10:11 AM on May 20, 2005


. . .the Bush Administration claim that the Geneva Convention did not apply to those captured in Afghanistan was a direct source of support for the continuous torture and beatings at the prison camp in Afghanistan. . .

Yep, another example of the Bush Administration ignoring the advice and vociferous arguments of those in the military who know better.

Military lawyers were largely excluded from that process [denying the protections of the Geneva Convetion to "enemy combatants"] in the days after Sept. 11. They have since waged a long struggle to ensure that terrorist prosecutions meet what they say are basic standards of fairness.

Also, Commander Swift Objects.
posted by mlis at 10:14 AM on May 20, 2005


Many of us have ranted about this until we are blue in the face and yet the torture continues

http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/36064
posted by prak at 10:21 AM on May 20, 2005


leftcoastbob : Perhaps if "Christians" (and I use that term loosely since turning a blind eye to this unspeakable evil is anything but Christ-like) worked up the same amount outrage over allowing this torture to be perpetrated in our name as they do over gay marriage, we could not only get it to stop, but perhaps even get some people tried for war crimes and impeached.

I know! We'll tell them that torture causes "teh ghay!" And since you can't be out of the closet *and* in the military...obviously everyone in the torture chain of command has be to dishonorably discharged.
posted by dejah420 at 10:22 AM on May 20, 2005


And, you, sir, are fucked. The 2006 elections won't matter -- if they did, they wouldn't hold them. You will not have any rights in the new world. You will be expected to work, will be taxed heavily, and, if you step out of line, you will be punished.

But we'll still have our TeeVee, right?

Good rant, eriko, though I don't think it's going to go quite that far. I mean, we've been here before - late 1800s/early 1900s, Republican hegemony for decades, the Robber Baron era, military adventures in the Phillippines, sedition laws during WWI, etc. The only thing that derailed it all was the crash of '29 - a crash the idiots now running the show seem determined to recreate on a grander scale.

If they succeed, all their fondest dreams go down the toilet, because even the most vocal denizens of Jesusland won't be able to ignore the conservative culpability in it all.
posted by kgasmart at 10:56 AM on May 20, 2005


.
posted by louigi at 11:11 AM on May 20, 2005


Yeah, good idea about getting the churches on board. Except... How you gonna do that, chief? You a member of a church with clout? No? Got off the theocracy bus already, you say? Well, then convincing people that already have an organization and a heirarchy that they need to work for your benefit (and against politicials which they seem to feel more affinity for) is gonna be a tall order. Maybe you should start with Konolia and see if you can get her on your side before you evaluate the prospects...
posted by klangklangston at 11:11 AM on May 20, 2005


This makes my heart ache and slow and my throat constrict. I can't even be angry. I just have a slothful sadness that ruins everything that I enjoy by the knowledge that my country is doing this.

I'm about to eat breakfast and I know it won't taste good.

How can we talk about gradual governmental reform when these prisoners are dead within a week of their capture?

I feel frustrated by the remoteness of these prison and the lack of personal and media access we have to them. I feel like unspeakable and unimaginable vile, debasing, and inhuman acts will be perpetrated as long as these prisons are out of our reach. They can tell us that they've fixed the problems and punished the perpetrators but we'll never know.

This is being perpetrated in my name and, supposedly, for my benefit as an American. It's being done with my money, too. All of us, with our taxes (and some with our apathy) are investors in this war, this military, and this government whether we voted for it or not. I do not want to be kept in the dark and I certainly do not want to be misrepresented by the actions of those who keep me in the dark. "National Security" is such an awful excuse for avoiding accountability. We deserve to know what goes on and the hope of a truly free nation requires that we know. "National Security" doesn't protect our nation from foreign threats, it protects our government from the righteous outrage of the citizens. I imagine that if everything were declassified only a small percentage of it would put our nation at risk while a large portion of it would put the credibility of our government at risk.
Maybe if people saw and knew what they wanted to avoid, they'd be more involved.


Oh, God.
posted by Jon-o at 11:22 AM on May 20, 2005


Take back Jesus (scroll down)
posted by kgasmart at 11:26 AM on May 20, 2005


MY COUNTRY TIS OF THEE
SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY
OF THEE I SING

*vomits bile in the corner*
posted by quonsar at 11:34 AM on May 20, 2005


Yeah, good idea about getting the churches on board. Except... How you gonna do that, chief?

Not with comments like this:

I know! We'll tell them that torture causes "teh ghay!"

Maybe you should start with Konolia and see if you can get her on your side before you evaluate the prospects...

How about recognizing there is an issue that people with diverse views agree needs to be addressed? Like with prison rape.

Liberal organizations like the ACLU & HRW did not mock the Christian Coalition when they got together to lobby Congress to pass the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003.

The law was a good first step towards working to reduce prison rape & the first time a federal law had been made to address it.
posted by mlis at 11:48 AM on May 20, 2005


I concur that the church idea is an excellent one. This is what churches are for -- to provide moral guidance.
posted by breath at 12:11 PM on May 20, 2005


"I just have a slothful sadness that ruins everything that I enjoy by the knowledge that my country is doing this."

Your country? Oh please already. This is being done by a handful of scumbags and if anyone here would care to take a walk down history's path, will find that prisoner abuse has run rampant in virtually every conflict since the beginning of time. Is it wrong? Of course, but reading these posts is almost as nauseating as reading the accounts of abuse. Accountability would be great and I'm all for it but again, history shows us that typically, no one is ever accountable. Prisoner abuse is an atrocity, so is homelessness, murder, rape, poverty, pedophilia etc.. So America is a horrible country because we suffer the same social ills as the rest of the world? Of course not. What should separate us is the accountability issue and in that light, people are rightly upset. But to go bashing our country for something that is an unfortunate commonality to the rest of the globe, I say...move somewhere else.

I also love the concept that we need to involve religion (like the religious are only going to get involved if someone asks them to). Now, suddenly, the religious freaks that 'run' this country are the only ones that can save the day? Make up your minds already.

The issue is accountabilty, not the fact that bad people do bad things.
posted by j.p. Hung at 12:17 PM on May 20, 2005


How you gonna do that, chief? You a member of a church with clout? No? Got off the theocracy bus already, you say?

Not only do I not belong to a church with clout, I live in a hick town in a nowhere county. So I should--what? Give up and sink back into my "People basically suck" attitude that I've been crawling into since Bush was enthroned in 2000?

I could easily do that but then I would certainly fail; whereas if I at least make an attempt to get the local churches to take a stand on this issue, then I will only probably fail.

I belong to a group called Fellowship of Reconciliation which is a long-standing anti-war group. We are having a meeting tonight and I will bring up the subject. I think that if we have a committed group contact the local clergy and spell out exactly what is going on and what we want from them, it might catch on.
posted by leftcoastbob at 12:19 PM on May 20, 2005


And jp Hung, you are very, very wrong. The shame of the American people is not that "This is being done by a handful of scumbags," but that this country is standing by and yawning over it.

We are allowing it to happen by our apathy and that is why we are at fault.

And for heaven's sake--I'm not saying that religious freaks are the only ones who can save the day. Common folks like Aunt Martha and the produce manager at Safeway are the ones who are going to save the day. And since plenty of common folks like them go to church and since churches should speak out against atrocities...

You can say that it's a stupid idea but you sure can't say that it's a particularly bad one.
posted by leftcoastbob at 12:33 PM on May 20, 2005


Accountability would be great and I'm all for it but again, history shows us that typically, no one is ever accountable.

Well, accountability starts with the type of article that started this thread.

I'm inclined to agree with you, Hung, that this is the sort of thing that happens in war, and we are fools to think that it wouldn't - but then, that is a compelling argument that we never should have undertaken this little project in the first place.

But the problem is that this conflict has been cast in explicitly moral terms: Us versus them. Us - Freedom and democracy and all the good things in life. Them - Murderous fascists.

You are either with us or against us.

And following that logic, you either see the need for torture - apparently indiscriminate torture - or you are one of them.

The real story of this war, and perhaps all wars, is how we become that against which we are supposed to be fighting.
posted by kgasmart at 12:39 PM on May 20, 2005


Learn through History The Anti War Movement in the United States
posted by adamvasco at 12:49 PM on May 20, 2005


...and this about says it all, I think.

Here’s another news flash for Sullivan: if you want empire and military domination of large swathes of the world in an endless, woefully defined “War on Terror,” lifelong detentions and torture are an inseparable part of what you’re going to get.
posted by kgasmart at 1:01 PM on May 20, 2005


F.O.R. Going even further back in the anti-war movement.

(Anti-war since 1914.)
posted by leftcoastbob at 1:08 PM on May 20, 2005


j.p. hung: The issue is accountabilty, not the fact that bad people do bad things.

leftcoastbob: And jp Hung, you are very, very wrong. The shame of the American people is not that "This is being done by a handful of scumbags," but that this country is standing by and yawning over it.

wait a minute there leftcoastbob, you're agreeing with j.p. hung. the country standing by and yawning is a lack of accountability.

clearly, these things are being handful of cowardly scumbags - AND NO ONE IS STOPPING THEM.

what the hell sort of army is it where enlisted soldiers can't smoke a joint without risking severe punishment, but they can torture and abuse POWs in violation of every army rule and regulation and no one seems to care..... or even claim awareness of it.

a couple of enlisted will take the fall and the officers up to the CIC take no responsibilty

if that ain't a lack of accountabilty, i don't know what is.
posted by three blind mice at 1:29 PM on May 20, 2005


The issue is accountabilty, not the fact that bad people do bad things.

Well, why don't you come back when the responsible ones are punished?
posted by c13 at 1:39 PM on May 20, 2005


I wonder where the conservatives are in the comments section here

My only consolation is that assholes like dios, steve@linwood, and hama7
... maybe, as they descend into their
own damnation, maybe the ghost of my laughter will torment them forever.


Yeah, that's a fuckin' mystery, huh.

You'll go, trying to change the system from within. They will first ridicule you, then throw you out, then, if you persist, kill you


I disagree eriko. I gotta go with Ghandi on this one. On a lot actually.

But as a former 'babykiller' I gotta say, you follow orders. Someone somewhere with authority is giving orders to do this. When I was in the military, unlike the guys who recently fucked off to Canada in order to avoid shooting a 14 year old kid - I would have pulled the trigger. While I grant that makes me a bastard, I'm not a fucking bastard in that A. I've changed since then and B. I wouldn't have tortured anyone or done anything like what's going on now.

The problem is not that it's a yawn fest, etc. The problem is Americans are trained from birth nowadays not to get excited about anything that doesn't involve consuming some sort of product. The most heart wrenching thing can occur on t.v., but really, who cares because the new gigantic burger king meat flavored sandwich is so great.
(It's a whole new way to combine meat, bread, thinly sliced vegetation, and condiments!) And then back to a man dying of cancer while supporting his family, but let's associate that nobility with the new - whatever - in synergistic media.
Oh there are exceptions, but when is the last time someone on t.v. was celebrated because of their moral fiber.
Quick, name one modern American hero who is popular. (That's real - non-sports, non-actor/entertainer/etc. hero someone who has actually done something).
Off the top of my head I have to go back to MLK. There is no lack of icons though.
Anything good or true (Kerry's service to the country comes to mind) is distorted or marginalized until you wind up with a bunch of people so confused and nihilistic - well hell, why not stick a cattle prod up someone's ass?

So, yeah, fuck newsweek. Fuck CNN. We definitely need something to make this real and relevant to people and its just not happening from the corporate media.

I'd suggest bringing some folks in from those areas to do talks.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:44 PM on May 20, 2005


I'd also point out that if it was leaked from the Army there must be some men of conscience there.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:49 PM on May 20, 2005


Churches have faxes. Churches in red states have faxes. Perhaps the solution here is to fax this article to every red state church in the nation. If they don't have a fax number, then send it to them by mail.

If people sent or disseminated enough physical reminders that this kind of thing was going on, then surely someone would pay attention.
posted by ed at 2:13 PM on May 20, 2005


If people sent or disseminated enough physical reminders that this kind of thing was going on, then surely someone would pay attention.

No, they wouldn't.

Listen, I live in a community where the suburban megachurch thing thrives, and these people simply don't give a collective fuck. Individually it might bother them; in the church itself, it might be mentioned - but I guarantee you, only in the broader context of the "necessity" of the war itself.

In the conservative Christian community now, there seems to be this idea that we need worry about the logs in our own eyes, that it's all about the specks in others'.
posted by kgasmart at 2:23 PM on May 20, 2005


kgasmart: You know what? It takes enough individuals to give a damn to make a collective movement. There are thousands upon thousands of churches in this nation. (160 Presbyterian churches alone are in Alabama. And that's just one religious denomination in one state.)

So let's say an enterprising individual or group collects all of the fax numbers and addresses of these churches (in much the same way that these churches actually send pamphlets off to us). Even if a handful of the people actually cared, they might be willing to persuade their peers around them.

Sure, it's going to bother a good deal of these churches. Sure, it's going to piss people off. But if these folks want to disseminate information and heckle some poor teenager scared out of her wits in front of a PP clinic, I'd say the time has come to use the same tactic in front of the churches.
posted by ed at 2:30 PM on May 20, 2005


Local churches != "religious fundies who run this country". Just because W is a born-again Christian doesn't make every Christian who attends church weekly some sort of power-hungry wacko. Religion itself, and especially not churches, is not the enemy.
posted by breath at 2:40 PM on May 20, 2005


Sounds to me as if all you americans bar a few are drowning in apathy and whine.
Someone comes up with an idea and you just sit there and shoot at it from the comfort of your chairs. I'm proud to live in a country - Spain - where the populace had the cojones to get rid of their uberlord facista leader and his minions.
Albeit after the bloody murders at Atocha station. Now you people are poo-poo about sending faxes to church leaders or even taking an hour out of your busy sundays to acost said church leaders after their church sessions to ask, not even demand "Why do you, by your silence, condone torture?"
posted by adamvasco at 3:09 PM on May 20, 2005


"Why do you, by your silence, condone torture?"
Good point adamvasco. But being a critically thinking American right now is like being locked in a totally black room with a knife weilding monkey on amphetimines. Many many people right now are scared and thinking with their hind brains that scream at them to conform at all costs. But I'd say more than half of us are trying. I wouldn't even divide that into red state/blue state. Both sides have dogmatists that are impeding the work at hand. Which is why it is hard not only to mount an opposition, but also to change things from within. A call for reason is looked upon as betrayal in either party. And of course third parties are marginalized. So organized resistance to these acts might take a while. Some of us are working hard, but again, no heros.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:51 PM on May 20, 2005


US Policy blah blah blah.

Has "US Policy" jumped the shark? The Dems have tried to let to Republicans know that they are in fact behaving somewhat similarly to the National Socialist Party of Germany during the 1930's. The Dems have been met with outrage by some Jewish people who are horrified that they would state such a truth (Is that even ironic?). The Republicans have shot back calling the Dems plan to stop the Republicans from hurting democracy (fillibuster) similar to Hitler telling the allies not to bomb Paris.

Is this a litmus test for Godwin's Law?

This whole thing has made me so fucking jaded I don't even give a shit about including links. Don't like what I said? Go look it up!
posted by futureproof at 3:52 PM on May 20, 2005


Well, I'm not a conservative and I don't speak for anyone but myself, but it's possible that dios, Steve, and hama7 (who last posted here about half a year ago) can be in favor of the broader US campaign without being in favor of these murders. In fact, I bet you can find a lot of centrists and leftists who are generally in favor of the Afghan campaign, but opposed to killing/beating/torturing prisoners. But you're nonetheless free to laugh the day away, eriko.
posted by Kwantsar at 4:14 PM on May 20, 2005


This is nothing new. American's do this constantly...in many, many conflicts. Soldiers do this. Read this book - it really helped clear things up for me.

As for the whole "notify the churches" idea. I say:
Go for it. Honestly - for all we "notify" our political leaders through letter writing and email, we rarely send emails to church leaders.

Here is a no-reg link to the story: Copy and paste the story into an email and send it to as many church email addresses as you can scour off the net in an hour. If we all do that - we should be able to get through to at least...hm...7500 different churches. And if 10% decide to take action in the pulpit or elsewhere, and we give them the benefit of the membership doubt (say...250) members a pop - that'll be ...wow. 187,500 individuals who will hear their church leaders denounce this sort of behavior.

Let's get to it.

Then we should all post how many different churches we emailed, and the winner gets an extra raffle ticket for the cake-walk to be held in the downstairs hall, after the 11:00 a.m. service. Children are now dismissed for Sunday school.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 4:22 PM on May 20, 2005


In sworn statements to Army investigators, soldiers describe one female interrogator with a taste for humiliation stepping on the neck of one prostrate detainee and kicking another in the genitals.
Man, that's hot.
Dear Penthouse Letters, not much was happening until Sgt. Ann Coulter showed up in her ranger boots...

But if you don't laugh, you cry. I'm going to head into town, yell "Motherfucker!" and punch out a recruiter for no externally apparent or justifiable yet emotionally true reason.

(posted this in a deleted link)
posted by Smedleyman at 4:31 PM on May 20, 2005


This is the way I see it.
One of several things is going to happen here in this country.
a) The republicans are going to screw things up so badly it will result in something like a national revolt, even among their own followers. Regardless of how rigged the system is now they will be thrown out.
b) The rise of a left-wing militia (hah, as if!)
c) The creative class and anyone else who is capable of doing so is going to emigrate from this country leaving only the pointed-headed and poor behind, creating a 3rd world country eventually (most likely scenario?)
d) People start taking control back of the churches and their government as they start to realize that preserving civilization is going to take some work instead of gazing into the idiot box every night watching 'Survivor' or going to 'the game'.
e) We're all doomed to slavery as these screwheads become ever more powerful, disenfranchising more and more of us from freedom, democracy and everything else that we hold dear as they push us into a bleak, orwellian existence.
f) God or the aliens will come and save us all.
posted by mk1gti at 4:35 PM on May 20, 2005


Gah! Enough! I emailed 62 head pastors. That outta get a little word out.
*munches on salad*
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:00 PM on May 20, 2005


Wahoo! Go Baby_Balrog !!! Get back wit yo bad self ! ! !
posted by mk1gti at 5:03 PM on May 20, 2005


Nice, Baby_Balrog
posted by Smedleyman at 5:08 PM on May 20, 2005


I sent a thirteen-page group fax with the article to ten random churches in Alabama.
posted by ed at 5:12 PM on May 20, 2005


See, now this is how it gets started . . . Way to go people.
Way to be a 'murican . . . (^_^)
posted by mk1gti at 5:14 PM on May 20, 2005


By the way, here are some helpful links to start out with:

Congregational Directory for the Presbyterian Church (helps to search by state to get complete listing)

United Church of Christ directory

United Methodist Church directory

Evangelical Lutherans

Episcopal -- Congregations and Dioceses

Episcopal Church Locator

Church of Scientology Church Locator

Adventist Directory
posted by ed at 5:28 PM on May 20, 2005


ed, you just jumped ahead of me there. I was thinking of looking at all the online phone directories under 'churches' and 'evangelical', etc. and snowballing them with this stuff. Everytime there's a news story about these or similar issues, letting them have it with both barrels.
posted by mk1gti at 5:40 PM on May 20, 2005


Dear MeFi:

I love you.
posted by leftcoastbob at 5:46 PM on May 20, 2005


Note that you won't have to push hard to get the ELCA to agree with you -- work on the LCMS, instead.

Indeed, those aren't the churches you are looking for. The ELCA and the UCC are pretty much on your side, and the Uni. Methodists aren't far behind. Heck, if I recall correctly, all of the above, mode the Co$ and the Adventists, are in full communion with each other. The UCC is the ones who couldn't get the ad aired, and the ELCA may well be one step away from Unitarian at times.

You want to hit the Cathloic Church, the LCMS, Southern Baptist, and pretty much anything with some variation of "C urch of God" into them. Of course, there's only one guy who really counts in the One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostlistic Church, and he's *not* on your side.
posted by eriko at 5:53 PM on May 20, 2005


Damn. 'P O S T' doesn't spell "Spell Check." Dumb, forgive the misspells, please.
posted by eriko at 5:54 PM on May 20, 2005


"What did you do on a Friday night"

"Oh, nothing, just brought the conservative churches to their knees. . . nuthin' special."
posted by mk1gti at 6:13 PM on May 20, 2005


Great work!
I'm disgusted that my religion hasn't been speaking out against this horrendous shit...wanna add these folks to your email lists? I've been emailing but hear nothing back, and we're far more decentralized.

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Union for Reform Judaism

Central Conference of American Rabbis
posted by amberglow at 6:33 PM on May 20, 2005


It would be many months before Army investigators learned a final horrific detail: Most of the interrogators had believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time.

I love (read: hate) that the article had to use the modifier horrific in explaining this, as if the reader had to be reminded of how awful this is. That's how uninterested the American public is about the torture their tax dollars are paying for.
posted by JHarris at 7:34 PM on May 20, 2005


I was worried that I was getting jaded to outrage. Guess not, this story made me cry. It is beyond horrific.

In addition to the havoc we are wreaking there, we will have a generation of profoundly damaged and broken souls coming back from serving there.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:15 PM on May 20, 2005


From a small anthill a mountain was built.

I want everyone who thinks that this won't make a difference to think about that as you take these contacts that have been provided to you and reach out to those who would seek to steal our freedom and let them know that we will not let that happen. Spread the word.

Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night
Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
posted by mk1gti at 10:30 PM on May 20, 2005


And to those who's thoughts go to 'we talked about this yesterday.' The point is: We need to remember this *every day* and never forget it. Never forget what is being done wrongly in our name. This is wrong and needs to be acknowledged and needs to stop. Each and every one of us needs to work alone and as a group to make these bad things stop and go away forever. Put down the remote. Turn off the TV. Go into the light and reclaim it.
posted by mk1gti at 10:34 PM on May 20, 2005


Congratulations, all who have faxed. This is a great first step to taking back your country.

I encourage more of you to fax local churches. Regardless your faith or atheism, it can only help.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:29 AM on May 21, 2005


I love all you guys who are emailing and faxing the churches!

Metafilter: blog activism

WooHoo! Count me in.
posted by nofundy at 2:11 PM on May 21, 2005


NYT today: Army Faltered in Investigating Detainee Abuse--...The investigators' move to close the case was among a series of apparent missteps in an Army inquiry that ultimately took almost two years to complete and has so far resulted in criminal charges against seven soldiers. Early on, the documents show, crucial witnesses were not interviewed, documents disappeared, and at least a few pieces of the evidence were mishandled.

While senior military intelligence officers at Bagram quickly heard reports of abuse by several interrogators, documents show they also failed to file reports that are mandatory when any intelligence personnel are suspected of misconduct, including mistreatment of detainees. Those reports would have alerted military intelligence officials in the United States to a problem in the unit, military officials said. ...

posted by amberglow at 2:37 PM on May 21, 2005


Standard operating procedure..
9-11 changed everything..
If anything it HAS trimmed the beauracracy that you had to go through to get things DONE..

For Good and Evil.
posted by Balisong at 4:18 PM on May 21, 2005




Ooh, that is vulgar.

It seems more and more likely that this is going to be forced to become an outright religious war. WTF? Aren't there enough sane people around to put a stop to this trend?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:21 PM on May 23, 2005


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