The gulag of our times
May 25, 2005 10:02 PM   Subscribe

DETAINEES 3878-3881 Summary of FBI interview of detainee at Guantanamo Bay 08/01/02 Notes that '[p]rior to his capture, REDACTED had no information against the United States. Personally, he has nothing against the United States. The guards in the detention facility do not treat him well. Their behavior is bad. About five months ago, the guards beat the detainees. They flushed a Koran in the toilet. The guards dance around when the detainees are trying to pray. The guards still do these things.' American Civil Liberties Union: Guantánamo Prisoners Told FBI of Koran Desecration in 2002, New Documents Reveal. See also Amnesty International Report 2005: United States of America, Iraq, Afghanistan.... U.S. 'Thumbs Its Nose' at Rights, Amnesty Says
posted by y2karl (58 comments total)

 
Man, can even YOU tell the difference between your posts? All small font, all on variations of the same theme, all with massive sections of the linked text in mouseovers, it's like you're some sort of madman, endlessly repeating the same behavior, completing your manifesto. And almost always just links from news organizations or press releases. It's absolutely insane.
posted by jonson at 10:07 PM on May 25, 2005


jonson writes "it's like you're some sort of madman, endlessly repeating the same behavior, completing your manifesto. And almost always just links from news organizations or press releases."

The U.S. government -- in your name, jonson -- is torturing prisoners in violation of the Geneva Conventions, and you think y2karl is "insane" for refusing to be silent in the face of this shameful injustice?

What if it was your son being tortured in Gauntanamo, jonson?
posted by orthogonality at 10:19 PM on May 25, 2005


some of us read the links, jonson.

Thanks karl, this is pretty astonishing.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:19 PM on May 25, 2005


Damn you, Newsweek!
posted by aaronetc at 10:22 PM on May 25, 2005


Did they flush the Koran? Or didn't they? Did the order to flush come straight from the President's desk? Or was the story fabricated? Will the conservative talking heads topple newsweek with the dramatic exposure of newsroom chicanery? Or will the shocking Amnesty Internation revelations redeem them? THE WORLD MUST KNOW!

Who cares. The whole thing is a tempest in a teapot toilet.
posted by casu marzu at 10:41 PM on May 25, 2005


Y'know, the conservatives are really beating us on the violent rhetoric side. Can't some liberals say that they could understand if someone killed some judges or an Attorney General over this?
Ah, Gavrilo Princip, we hardly knew ye.
posted by klangklangston at 10:47 PM on May 25, 2005


klangklangston, the american liberals are labouring under the assumption that there's valour in losing a fight if you fought fairly and with honour, meanwhile they think that also means not looking behind you for the guy holding a daggar.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:07 PM on May 25, 2005


cazu marzu: Look, people died in Afghanistan over this. Sixteen people died in riots there. Though for what it's worth, President Karzai denies that the riots were because of the Koran story. But even if you put all that aside, it's still become one hell of a deal, and a man's reputation, that of the Newsweek reporter's, is at stake, and if I were him I'd definitely like my name cleared. So if it's been tarred in the news, it should be cleared in the news.

(Actually, now that I think about it, I'm inclined to believe Karzai. It sounds too much like one of those stories of Africans thinking that jars of babyfood had ground up babies because they had pictures of toddlers on them.)
posted by Kattullus at 11:12 PM on May 25, 2005


and you think y2karl is "insane" for refusing to be silent in the face of this shameful injustice?

Oh, enough with the rhetoric. y2karl isn't marching on washington. He's pushing his views on a site that also discusses vibrating brooms and pancakes, which is fine, of course. Each to his own.

And he's obviously not insane, just a little fanatical in his beliefs. Now postroad on the other hand...
posted by justgary at 11:13 PM on May 25, 2005


All small font, all on variations of the same theme, all with massive sections of the linked text in mouseovers, it's like you're some sort of madman, endlessly repeating the same behavior, completing your manifesto.

Yeah, I'm with Jonson! I'm not interested in hearing about my country committing war crimes unless the information is properly formatted. And the last thing I want is for the subject to be raised more than once, ever. The Runaway bride, however...

To paraphrase the theme of the 'Justice Sunday' town hall, if you don't agree with absolutely every last single thing this administration does, you're an anti-Christian bigot.

*

*this notation for the benefit of our fundamentalist friends who don't possess a sense of humor
posted by Davenhill at 12:10 AM on May 26, 2005


sorry, my "/sarcasm*" notation disappeared!
posted by Davenhill at 12:12 AM on May 26, 2005


To paraphrase the theme of the 'Justice Sunday' town hall, if you don't agree with absolutely every last single thing this administration does, you're an anti-Christian bigot.

And if you don't disagree with absolutely every last single thing then you're an admin asshat apologist. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

That said, just because people make comments about the form of the post doesn't mean they're trying to refute it. One can have a belief about the substance of the post independently of a belief about the style. I don't know what jonson's intent was, but I'm willing to believe that he is just as concerned as everybody else about what we've been hearing about for the last couple of weeks.

About the substance, it seems odd that flushing the Q'uran and "dancing about" are put on a level in the headline. I know the dancing is important and all, but to make those two equivalent is pretty insulting to the Q'uran and people of faith who believe in the text and don't want to see it insulted. Insulting anybody's faith like that is a pretty weak thing to do.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 12:27 AM on May 26, 2005


I don't know if this precedes or follows the events detailed in the Amnesty reports, but the International Red Cross claims that "The U.S. government took corrective measures and those allegations have not resurfaced." It doesn't make the initial events any better, but it's something to consider.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 12:29 AM on May 26, 2005


Ah, it takes only a small spark to set those bearded weirdos off, rioting and destroying all in their path. Truth can only be told to the sober and the rational.

For a critique of "mob sociology" see :

Schweingruber, David. 2000. "Mob Sociology and Escalated Force: Sociology's Contribution to Repressive Police Tactics." The Sociological Quarterly 41(3):371-389.

Schweingruber, who has worked with Clark McPhail, in the line of Charles Tilly critiques the sociological tradition on the mob running from LeBon onwards, in which the crowd is seen as an organic, irrational danger to both participants and others. It is this view of 'rioting' that most newspaper accounts are derived, and which informs current folk-appreciations of this behaviour.
posted by TimothyMason at 12:37 AM on May 26, 2005


And if you don't disagree with absolutely every last single thing then you're an admin asshat apologist. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
We should be less concerned (read: not at all) with the comments from some random guy on a random website than we are with the words and actions of the Senate majority leader at a political rally of religious fundamentalists. The two aren't comparable and the former in absolutely no way offsets or excuses the latter.
That said, just because people make comments about the form of the post doesn't mean they're trying to refute it. One can have a belief about the substance of the post independently of a belief about the style.
True. However, at the very least, pedantic posts about superficial flaws in a post (such as the formatting or spelling) are a waste of time. They also have a tendency to distract from the issue at hand (and we're all perfectly aware that this is an oft and deliberately used tactic to distract from the issue at hand). At most, they can create a chilling effect which discourages participation.

Furthermore, Jonson's post was unmistakably insulting (words like "madman", "manifesto" and "insane"). Attacking the messenger (another commonplace tactic to distract from the message) can also create a chilling effect.
I don't know what jonson's intent was, but I'm willing to believe that he is just as concerned as everybody else about what we've been hearing about for the last couple of weeks.
It's nice of you to give Jonson the benefit of the doubt, and I hope you're right. It would be disturbing to think that anyone could be indifferent to the gravity of these charges. And yet, Jonson's comment contains no acknowledgement of the charges - just criticism of the poster, the poster's motives, and the post's formatting.
posted by Davenhill at 1:17 AM on May 26, 2005


It would be disturbing to think that anyone could be indifferent to the gravity of these charges. And yet, Jonson's comment contains no acknowledgement of the charges - just criticism of the poster, the poster's motives, and the post's formatting.

I can't see in his head, so I don't know. I think it'd be tough to not be mad about taking something so valued by a religious community and literally trashing it. The story has been played back-and-forth pretty extensively now so I think he's had plenty of time to figure out what's going on.

How far up the ladder will the heads roll this time? Last time (Abu Gharib) the discipline was pretty much contained within the military, and reasonbly low-level at that.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 1:44 AM on May 26, 2005


> Did they flush the Koran? Or didn't they?

It's a good job it *was* the Koran. Had it been the stars and stripes, there'd be another invasion force setting out for Guantanamo as we speak.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:21 AM on May 26, 2005


> it seems odd that flushing the Q'uran and "dancing about"
> are put on a level

Surely the issue is that the people responsible for administering Gitmo are displaying a complete lack of respect for their captives religious views. While the issues may not be equivalent, taken together they show a systematic pattern of intolerance and abuse.

And somehow, I think if I were to be bumping and grinding around the altar with a couple of other men at a Christian service, say, during Holy Communion, there'd be no shortage of outrage from adherents of *that* religion.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:30 AM on May 26, 2005


Some bearded wierdos sound off on the subject of Saddam in his underpants, a related affront to the Muslim world:

'The only way to win this war on terror is by abiding by values that can withstand barbarism. Values such as the right to a fair trial, respect for prisoners and accountability.'

Gulf News May 22nd

I hope there is someone sober and rational enough in the US regime to understand this truth.

Not necceassirly a dig at you TimothyMason, but I suggest a summary of a link might be useful to the discourse in the thread. It may also help to explain your point.
posted by asok at 3:05 AM on May 26, 2005


The real fun comes later, when the United States has to pay for its war crimes. Of course by then, the Democrats will be in control and the economy totally destroyed. We'll all be eating dogfood and paying big taxes, slaving to pay reparations to Iraq, Afghanistan, and who knows who else, as well as interest payments to the Saudi's and Chinese. yippee.

And of course, those other guys will screaming "Tax and spend! Tax and spend! Its all the Democrats do!"
posted by Goofyy at 3:39 AM on May 26, 2005


IMPORTANT PART:
REDACTED had no information against the United States. Personally, he has nothing against the United States. The guards in the detention facility do not treat him well.
NOT AS IMPORTANT PART:
They flushed a Koran in the toilet. The guards dance around when the detainees are trying to pray.
But hey, let's get all worked up about how they're being treated, and ignore the fact that they shouldn't be there in the first place.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:39 AM on May 26, 2005


And he's obviously not insane, just a little fanatical in his beliefs

Is this to say that you believe being against torture is the fanatical position? It's a good thing you're simply wrong or that would be a horrifying statement.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:44 AM on May 26, 2005


Just to play Devil's Advocate for a moment, it seems to me that these stories are based on allegations by prisoners. I'm no administration apologist and have no idea whether or not these people are interned for legitimate reasons (I tend to doubt it), but people in prison do not always tell the truth. It isn't hard to find motives on the part of both terrorists and the falsely imprisoned to fabricate or, at the very least, embellish tales of torture and tyranny on the part of the US.

Sure, there is abuse at Guantanamo Bay. There is also abuse in every prison and county jail in the US, Ireland, France or any other country. It's the nature of the beast. Obviously, abusing prisoners is never 'right' but Guantanamo Bay is hardly unique -- it just makes for better news.

As far as I'm concerned, Guantanamo Bay shouldn't exist at all. If they are terrorists they are criminals and should be tried, if found guilty they should be sent off to be tortured in regular old prisons. If they are prisoners-of-war, they should be released (the war is over, right?). If they are neither, they should be cut hefty checks and flown home in the first class section.
posted by cedar at 5:25 AM on May 26, 2005


Thanks again
posted by wheelieman at 5:36 AM on May 26, 2005


I don't know if this precedes or follows the events detailed in the Amnesty reports, but the International Red Cross claims that "The U.S. government took corrective measures and those allegations have not resurfaced."

How many times do you see the government acknowledging having taken corrective action to fix a problem that didn't exist? Yet this is exactly what the Pentagon is trying to do now, and you (along with pretty much all the media, it must be said) seem to be buying it without much skepticism. Even the BBC (who's supposed to be run by a pack of scary lefties) prefaces every story on the riots as 'having been sparked by a story in Newsweek'. Rumsfeld just lied about allegations and the media just swallowed the lies. On the one hand he claims that there is no substance to the allegations, while he obviously found enough substance to them to take corrective action.

Frankly it's little wonder why increasing numbers of people no longer place any credibility on either the Washington pols or on the media whose job it should be to actually cover them.
posted by clevershark at 5:41 AM on May 26, 2005


Cedar's got an (often missed) point. Al Qaeda's training manual gives the following instructions:
IF AN INDICTMENT IS ISSUED AND THE TRIAL, BEGINS, THE BROTHER HAS TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE FOLLOWING:

1. At the beginning of the trial, once more the brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by State Security [investigators] before the judge.

2. Complain [to the court] of mistreatment while in prison.

[...]

4. The brother has to do his best to know the names of the state security officers, who participated in his torture and mention their names to the judge. [These names may be obtained from brothers who had to deal with those officers in previous cases.]

[...]

6. During the trial, the court has to be notified of any mistreatment of the brothers inside the prison.
So - can you trust what the prisoners say, knowing that those who are truly in Al Qaeda have been taught to lie and wail about mistreatment, no matter how well they were treated? Not without outside corroboration. Amnesty, however, is just submitting the reports of the complaining prisoners.

Now, I'm not saying it happened, nor that it didn't happen. Just that the leap from "a prisoner said he was mistreated and they flushed a koran" to "a prisoner was actually mistreated and they actually flushed a koran" requires some doing.

The other point is that Metafilter (and I've been guilty of this, but stopped when I noticed that it was ruining the place) used to be a great place for Friday Flash Fun, Pancakes, and Best Of The Web. Now, with Y2Karl's constant AgendaFilter, he panders to a constituency that already agrees with what he says in the main, and does nothing to spread information that's difficult to find or unique. A waste of bandwidth.

Of course, some poor saps like me rise to take the bait ANYWAY...

On preview: Clevershark - corporations and individuals use the logic that you say the government can't - it's the easiest PR gimme in the world:

I'm not saying anything's wrong, but we're taking corrective action just in case to make sure nothing's wrong.

There's no admission of guilt in that phrase, just that procedures are changing because there was a charge.
posted by swerdloff at 5:47 AM on May 26, 2005


Torturing prisoners, rather than making the U.S. safer, puts us all in greater danger. The abuses of detainees at places like Guantánamo and the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq have come to define the United States in the minds of many Muslims and others around the world. And the world has caught on that large percentages of the people swept up and incarcerated as terrorists by the U.S. were in fact innocent of wrongdoing and had no connection to terrorism at all. Bitterness against the U.S. has increased exponentially since the initial disclosures about the abuse of detainees. What's the upside of policies that demean the U.S. in the eyes of the world while at the same time making us less rather than more secure?

The government, like an addict in denial, will not even admit that we have a problem. "We're in this Orwellian situation," said Leonard Rubenstein, the executive director of Physicians for Human Rights, "where the statements by the administration, by the president, are unequivocal: that the United States does not participate in, or condone, torture. And yet it has engaged in legal interpretations and interrogation policies that undermine that absolutist stance."


With the Gloves Off
posted by y2karl at 6:03 AM on May 26, 2005


flush bush
posted by protocool at 7:11 AM on May 26, 2005


Before 9-11 an Egyptian friend of mine was pro-Reagan. He was in a medical conference in Quebec when 9-11 happened. From there he went to another medical conference in San Francisco. On the way out he and other middle-eastern or similar appearing doctors were hassled and abused by national guardsmen stationed at the airport for 'security'.
Now he could care less if this country burned to the ground. Thanks for spreading goodwill and decency, right-wing 'murica.
I look forward to the day when your kind end up like other fascists. Mussolini, say . . .
posted by mk1gti at 7:26 AM on May 26, 2005


Al Qaeda's training manual gives the following instructions:

Do you really think Bagram, Abu Graibh and Guantanamo are mostly full of genuine Al Qaeda?
posted by Summer at 7:30 AM on May 26, 2005


I have a friend who's a real estate agent, a real died in the wool Rush Limbaugh dittohead and right wing christian who bloviates excessivly about the righteousness of his cause. Then I showed him this
Now he doesn't brag so much about the righteousness of his cause anymore. Dickheads . . .
posted by mk1gti at 7:32 AM on May 26, 2005


mk1gti - not exactly topical to the things at hand. See also: Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons in the region may have had something to do with it. See also the World Health Organization's take on DU. The WHO certainly does bloviate about the lack of danger of DU.

Summer - I think Abu Graibh is full of "insurgents" - a combination of former Iraqi irregulars, Saudi's who want to attack Americans, former Ba'athists, and criminals.

I'm not sure who's at Bagram.

At Guantanamo, I believe there are mainly people who fired on the US in Afghanistan, and did so without the cover of a uniform or a military structure, thus eliminating their ability to claim Geneva Convention protections.

Were innocent people caught in the dragnet? Probably. But then, can you think of a prison where most of the prisoners say "oh yeah, I did the crime, I'm doing the time" or is it more common for prisoners to say "this is a bum rap, someone else did it, I'm innocent" even when they're caught on videotape doing whatever it is they're accused of and arrested on the spot? I'd guess that the "I'm innocent's" outweigh the rest pretty significantly, wouldn't you?
posted by swerdloff at 7:50 AM on May 26, 2005


The argument that Al Qaeda members are trained to lie about being tortured would be more compelling if the person who was being tortured had ANY CONNECTION TO THEM AT ALL.
Am I the only one who read the first fucking sentence?
On Preview: Swerdloff, you fucking apologist. We pick up innocent people and torture them. We've been caught doing it at Abu Ghraib, at Gitmo and by sending off prisoners to torture prone allies. Don't you realize that injustice inflicted upon these people is a threat to justice here? That by removing their presumption of innocence, it makes it easier to round up Americans? Don't you realize that you're playing Robespierre with regard to your own liberties?
Fascism is popular.
posted by klangklangston at 7:55 AM on May 26, 2005


mk1gti, it took between 10 and 15 years for profound deformities to begin appearing in Ukrainian children born post-Chernobyl. Given that the amount and types of radioactive material Ukrainians were exposed to were both higher and more deadly than DU, it is enormously unlikely that birth defects of the severity photographed were caused by DU. Hussein's use of chemical weapons against his own people as well as poverty, disease, poor nutrition and genetic abnormalities are much more plausible explanations.
posted by gsh at 8:07 AM on May 26, 2005


i care as much about flushing holy books as i do burning flags. not the least bit. objects are objects, actions taken with objects are mere symbolic antics. it no more 'disrespects' a philosophy contained in a book to smear the book with feces and stuff it into the sewer than it 'dishonors' a nation's soldiers by wiping one's ass on a flag. it's like "supporting the troops" by buying a magnet. people need to get real. emotionalism is destructive. there are plenty of printed copies of Koran, and there's lots of flags. people can do with them what they will.
posted by quonsar at 9:06 AM on May 26, 2005


swerdloff writes " Were innocent people caught in the dragnet? Probably."

In Afghanistan AFAIK innocents were caught almost exclusively. You are aware that the warlords were paid for each 'Al Qaida' person that they handed over? It is not difficult to imagine them taking advantage of the situation to get hold of some of the better producing and less armed farms, for instance. The operation in Afghanistan was/is performed with no viable method of acheiving the stated aims, just like the usual double speak:

y2karl writes " The government, like an addict in denial, will not even admit that we have a problem. 'We're in this Orwellian situation,' said Leonard Rubenstein, the executive director of Physicians for Human Rights, 'where the statements by the administration, by the president, are unequivocal: that the United States does not participate in, or condone, torture. And yet it has engaged in legal interpretations and interrogation policies that undermine that absolutist stance.' "

Also, I would like to remind people that Al Qaida (the Network) is an FBI construct, the existence such an organisation being a prerequisite to prosecuting the first world trade centre bobmbers (aided by an FBI handler) under US organised crime laws. The name Al Qaida was only assumed by those who wanted to be associated with the successful attack on the world trade centre and petnagon after the US press reported that the attacks were performed by Al Qaida in 2001. Just trying to work against the framing of the debate by the terror promoting US government.
posted by asok at 9:20 AM on May 26, 2005


gsh, you're forgetting that depleted uranium was used by the US against Iraq in the early 90s, and then regularly in airstrikes by US forces, up to the second invasion in 2003.

Actually, you're not "forgetting" that, are you? You're just trying to cover up the fact that the government you support is responsible for doing this not just to these babies, but to thousands more, and to thousands more yet to be born. And that's just Iraq; of course, Vietnam was far worse, and the US has yet to apologize for that, let alone pay any compensation.

Pretending to be "scientific" and deliver "more plausible explanations" to justify mass murder is not really behavior that appeals to me, personally. But then, each to his own.
posted by cleardawn at 9:23 AM on May 26, 2005


there are plenty of printed copies of Koran, and there's lots of flags. people can do with them what they will.

THIS FLAG IS MADE FROM 100% RECYCLED KORAN.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:34 AM on May 26, 2005


swerdloff says: not exactly topical to the things at hand.
-------------------------------------------------
My friend's experience is *exactly* topical to the things at hand: Suspects at Guantanomo Bay are tortured even though they have nothing to do with the issues they are being interrogated about. My friend has a highly negative experience in San Francisco airport courtesy of right wing thugs in military uniforms, even though he had absolutly nothing to do with what happened and was entirely on the side of the U.S., turning him from pro-U.S. to firmly anti-U.S.
What parts of this are not related? Hmmmmm......?

So is the depleted uranium birth defects/right-wingers denying reality of their murderous arrogance resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocents.
The bottom line is this: Right wingers are deluded hypocrits and pharisees and they will hear this over and over and over and have this pushed into their faces over and over and over until they *GET A FRIGGIN' CLUE*
By the way, I had to shove that 'friends' face into the monitor because he had been so conditioned by his church to turn away from such things lest he be forced to acknowledge them. Brainwashed, deluded fools . . .
posted by mk1gti at 9:48 AM on May 26, 2005


It doesn't matter if the the prisoners at GitMo are ALL the the "Number Three Man in Al Quaeda" / "Mastermind Behind 911" or that none of them are. Torturing and abusing human beings is contrary to our values, or goals. It is shamefully barbaric and counter productive.

To sequester them until you can 100% prove who they are is justifiable. To permanently withhold their liberty is NOT justifiable.

I do not care if the release of these men means a million of my countrymen are killed as a result. Our country was founded under the premise that to sacrifice ones life FOR liberty was the premium value and above ALL others.

It is THIS value that is, ideally, the prime motivation of our young men and women currently dying and killing in Iraq. That is not the motives of our leaders, obviously. It is telling how they use the liberty rhetoric to send our citizens to die - to ostensively LIBERATE - and yet deny those at GitMo any hope of justice and liberty.
posted by tkchrist at 10:04 AM on May 26, 2005


i care as much about flushing holy books as i do burning flags. not the least bit. objects are objects, actions taken with objects are mere symbolic antics.

Dear poppet

Symbols is what yoomin-bings does. It's like their thing. If you wanna be a dog, be dog, and go jerk-off on a trouser cuff. Or push your girl-friend into Mount Vesuvius.

Quoique. More damn symbols.
posted by TimothyMason at 11:47 AM on May 26, 2005


What tkchrist said.

Plus I like the juxtiposition of these two sentences:
In response, Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, said: "I think the allegations are ridiculous, and unsupported by the facts."
and
The release of the FBI interviews follows the disclosure last week of Defense Department documents regarding other cases in which military personnel mistreated the Qur'an and used a religious symbol to taunt detainees.

Let's see, who to trust: Amnesty International with nothing to gain except that their agenda is to prevent human rights abuse and Defense Department documents, or the White House which needs to maintain suspension of disbelief (which many here are eager to participate in) to continue with this crap...well hell, it's obvious isn't it?
posted by Smedleyman at 11:48 AM on May 26, 2005


Another victim of torture.
posted by TimothyMason at 12:29 PM on May 26, 2005


and did so without the cover of a uniform or a military structure, thus eliminating their ability to claim Geneva Convention protections.

Bullshit.

Every captured fighter is entitled to humane treatment, understood at a minimum to include basic shelter, clothing, food and medical attention. In addition, no detainee – even if suspected of war crimes such as the murder of civilians – may be subjected to torture, corporal punishment, or humiliating or degrading treatment. If captured fighters are tried for crimes, the trials must satisfy certain basic fair trial guarantees.

They probably don't qualify for POW status, but to say that they aren't covered by the Geneva Convention is pure lies.

Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions said:
"A person who takes part in hostilities and falls into the power of an adverse Party shall be presumed to be a prisoner of war, and therefore shall be protected by the Third Convention, if he claims the status of prisoner of war, or if he appears to be entitled to such status, or if the Party on which he depends claims such status on his behalf by notification to the detaining Power or to the Protecting Power. Should any doubt arise as to whether any such person is entitled to the status of prisoner of war, he shall continue to have such status and, therefore, to be protected by the Third Convention and this Protocol until such time as his status has been determined by a competent tribunal."

So what competent tribunal has determined the status of each individual prisoner? Now, if you say the one that happened last year, there's some debate over whether that can be called competent.
posted by shawnj at 12:46 PM on May 26, 2005


casu marzu writes "Who cares. The whole thing is a tempest in a teapot toilet."



posted by orthogonality at 12:51 PM on May 26, 2005


Ow.
posted by Cyrano at 2:04 PM on May 26, 2005


Seriously.
posted by Cyrano at 2:06 PM on May 26, 2005


If the administration of President George W. Bush fails to conduct a truly independent investigation of U.S. abuses against detainees in Iraq and elsewhere, foreign governments should investigate and prosecute those senior officials who bear responsibility for them, the head of the U.S. chapter of Amnesty International said Wednesday.

Speaking at the release of Amnesty's annual report, William Schulz charged that Washington has become "a leading purveyor and practitioner" of torture and ill-treatment and that senior officials should face prosecution by other governments for violations of the Geneva Conventions and the UN Convention Against Torture.

Among those officials, Schulz named Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director George Tenet, and senior officers at U.S. detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Abu Ghraib, Iraq.


Give Rumsfeld the Pinochet Treatment, Says US Amnesty Chief
posted by y2karl at 3:07 PM on May 26, 2005


Give Rumsfeld the Pinochet Treatment, Says US Amnesty Chief
YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
posted by mk1gti at 4:27 PM on May 26, 2005


Another victim of torture.

Free Jose Padilla. Care to explain how he's an "enemy combatant," swerdloff?

More on enemy combatants. Thanks for the reminder, TimothyMason.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:10 PM on May 26, 2005


I am mightily impressed by all the right-wingers on this thread scuttling off like so many cockroaches when exposed to the light of truth and justice. Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
posted by mk1gti at 10:25 PM on May 26, 2005


Amnesty International with nothing to gain except that their agenda is to prevent human rights abuse

Amnesty does actually have a couple of other agendas. First, they are very dependent on individual donations for funding. Keeping their name in the headlines is crucial to keeping the donations rolling in. Read the stuff that comes with their junkmail.

Second, they just don't like the Bush administration (for a variety of sound reasons) very much. Anything they can do to bring down the administration is a good thing to them.

Does that completely undermine them? Not at all. But it's simply not true to say that they don't have other motivations.

Another interesting update: "Prisoner Recants Quran-Desecration Claims." Apparently the guy who claimed the Qu'ran was flushed has changed his mind.

This is starting to be one of those stories where it is impossible to tell who is telling the truth anymore and only God really knows what happened.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 3:26 AM on May 27, 2005


I would say Amnesty has more to lose by being seen to be biased or politically motivated. Respect and access to information for a start. An organisation of that nature lives and dies by its reputation.
posted by Summer at 3:39 AM on May 27, 2005


This is starting to be one of those stories where it is impossible to tell who is telling the truth anymore and only God really knows what happened.
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This is starting to be one of those stories where it is impossible to tell who is telling the truth anymore and only Omnipotent Goat Diety really knows what happened.
posted by mk1gti at 7:20 AM on May 27, 2005


Another interesting update: "Prisoner Recants Quran-Desecration Claims." Apparently the guy who claimed the Qu'ran was flushed has changed his mind.

Pretty flimsy straw you've grasped there. Chap's still in custody.
posted by TimothyMason at 7:33 AM on May 27, 2005


"Amnesty does actually have a couple of other agendas. "
- Understood. But it's still under the auspices of their main concern. I'd rather not nitpick.

"This is starting to be one of those stories where it is impossible to tell who is telling the truth anymore and only God really knows what happened."

No, no it really isn't. One of the reason humans have stereotypes is that previous behavior patterns can be used to predict future patterns.
My cousin is a very neighborhood type Italian guy. When he told me in the late 80's that he bought a new car why was it so easy for me to predict that it was an IROC-Z?
Given the past pattern of behavior (despite the 'blame the troops' mentality) of this administration, I have no problem predicting the truth lies along the path of torture.
When I first heard of Abu Grhaib (sp?) I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but it keeps coming up and coming up and you have Gonzales saying the Geneva Convention is 'quaint' etc. If a guy robs 20 banks then is caught in a bank while it's being robbed - even if he is innocent, you are going to take him in just on the face of it.
So let's face it, thowing up your hands and saying "well, reports conflict' is a cop-out. We know damn well what is happening. Without evidence to prove otherwise, I'll go with the pattern of past behavior.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:24 AM on May 27, 2005


Another interesting update: "Prisoner Recants Quran-Desecration Claims." Apparently the guy who claimed the Qu'ran was flushed has changed his mind.
The guards "flushed a Quran in the toilet," the detainee alleged, according to the FBI report. "The guards dance around when the detainees are trying to pray. The guards still do these things."

That account differed from what the detainee told military investigators, [General Jay] Hood [Guantanamo prison commander] said.

He said the prisoner was never asked about the incident cited in the FBI document. But he was asked, the general said, whether "he had seen the Quran defiled, desecrated or mishandled, and he allowed as how he hadn't, but he had heard guards -- that guards at some other point in time had done this."

"I do not believe they used that word, `toilet,' " Hood said.

He said he could not explain why the detainee had told different stories to investigators from the military and the FBI, but he indicated that the wording might have been inexact.
He said the prisoner was never asked about the incident cited in the FBI document.

That's some 'definitive recantation'.
posted by y2karl at 7:01 AM on May 28, 2005


And in another Friday night document dump, we admit mishandling the Koran: In other confirmed incidents, a guard's urine came through an air vent and splashed on a detainee and his Quran; water balloons thrown by prison guards caused an unspecified number of Qurans to get wet; and in a confirmed but ambiguous case, a two-word obscenity was written in English on the inside cover of a Quran.


posted by amberglow at 6:07 PM on June 3, 2005


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