While the proverbial road to hell is paved with good intentions, the internal government memos collected in this publication demonstrate that the path to the purgatory that is Guantanamo Bay, or Abu Ghraib, has been paved with decidedly bad intentions. The policies that resulted in rampant abuse of detainees first in Afghanistan, then at Guantanamo Bay, and later in Iraq, were product of three pernicious purposes designed to facilitate the unilateral and unfettered detention, interrogation, abuse, judgment, and punishment of prisoners: (1) the desire to place the detainees beyond the reach of any court or law; (2) the desire to abrogate the Geneva Convention with respect to the treatment of persons seized in the context of armed hostilities; and (3) the desire to absolve those implementing the policies of any liability for war crimes under U.S. and international law.Regarding the Torture Papers, which detail Torture's Paper Trail, and, then there's Hungry for Air: Learning The Language Of Torture, and, of course, there's ( more inside)
Sinclair Broadcast Group drops full airing of "Stolen Honor Wounds That Never Heal" but will only show excerpts concurrent with discussion of its claims. "Sinclair announced on Tuesday that it would not broadcast the entire film and that it planned to use segments in a special news program on 40 of its 62 stations tomorrow night. According to a press release, that program, "A P.O.W. Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media," will examine how politically charged films like "Stolen Honor" are being used in the campaign and how the news media treat their content." (NY Times, reg. req'd.)
America's First POWs. The Department of Defense says there were 4,435 battle deaths during the Revolutionary War. More than twice as many Americans died in British prison ships in New York Harbor. You can get an idea of their suffering from the news stories I've linked, or read a more detailed account written in the 1860s from Henry R. Stiles's A History of the City of Brooklyn (scroll down a bit and keep hitting Next). There are more links at this site, which focuses on the long-neglected Monument for the Prison Ship Martyrs in Brooklyn's Fort Greene Park. A remembrance for Memorial Day.
The CBS News American Idol Power Hour. Viacom, owner of networks CBS and MTV among many others, is aggresively pushing lucrative
bribes offers for Private Jessica Lynch to get her on CBS News, including the possibility of her own video-hosting program on MTV and special editions of TRL. Corporate consolidation the way it is, are we in an era where synergy allows news-media-owning companies to offer not just material profit but flat-out media iconization in exchange for a good story? To put it another way: have we gone beyond using the news to promote entertainment owned by the same company to using entertainment as the currency to flat-out buy the news?
Iraq breaks the Geneva Convention by showing POWs on TV. To me, this is the first concrete evidence that Iraq is (potentially) breaking the Geneva Convention. I say potentially because, if we're an interloper, then I don't believe the Geneva Convention applies...we're basically just murderers and invaders, though I might be wrong. If this IS a "legal war", then the Convention should apply and there should be questions afterwards; one of the scariest I've been asking myself is "If the ICC or the UN decline to prosecute any Iraqis for Geneva Convention violations, will the US just kidnap whomever they want to prosecute?"
"Rendition" is the State Department legal term for when they ship (its a lot like extradition minus due process ) Al Qaida/Taliban POWs to a friendly 3rd country such as Egypt or Jordan for questioning. "Why not just question them in Guantanamo" you ask? Thats because in some countries, interrogation is less regulated than it is on US soil. Neat, huh?
Al Quaeda prisoners arrive at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. With all the war talk, why are these men not being classified as POWs? Simply because they didn't wear uniforms?