The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Friday, May 27, 2005

The Lexus, The Olive Tree, and The Cat O'Nine Tails


Friedman opines that perhaps, after all, the treatment of prisoners in Afghanistan, Gitmo, and Abu Ghraib might be actually, er, making things worse for us in the war on terror? Daily Kos' Hunter pretty much has the final say on this so I will let him take it from here:

Daily Kos :: Columnist Stumbles On Guantanamo; Several Blindingly Obvious Conclusions Found Dead: "I see Kos has already linked to this Friedman column, so I'll keep this short and sweet. Well, not really.

One of the things that pushes every button I have is to have the hawks itching for this war, celebrating this war, practically dancing in the streets at this war suddenly discover -- like it's a freakin' revelation from The Lord God On High -- that this-or-that incredibly offensive or illegal aspect of it that they previously bear-hugged in the name of freedom is, oopsie, causing a whole hell of a lot of damage to the United States by leaving us in worse danger, in a larger global war, and generally with far more enemies than ever before. Ya think?

Yes indeed, maybe running a prison camp explicitly exempted from all inconvenient aspects of both U.S. and international law, then kidnapping 'suspects' from around the globe to be either shipped there or dumped into prisons under the flags of the worst torturers and despots in the world, then subjecting them to conditions in which they die by the dozens, then maybe dumping a few of the ones who turn out to be innocent off at the borders of their own country with nothing more than the clothes they're wearing and whatever permanent or nonpermanent physical damage was done to them during their stay at Camp President Bush Is A Big Man -- just maybe that might have negative consequences for the United States among the people we are trying to convince of our Godly compassion and world-inspiring democracy.

Congratu-freakin-lations. You now know what anyone with an I.Q. above week-old pizza was raising their voice about from the moment the camp opened. You now know why some of us have been marking the connections between military figures who shuffled between Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and Afghanistan in apparent order to make damn sure we were beating, maiming, and killing as many prisoners as possible in all three locations. You now know why the notion of making Alberto Gonzales (the man responsible for tweaking the rules to allow the Bush administration to laughably pretend that any of this was anything resembling something other than a war crime) freakin' Attorney General was treated by much of the reality-based community as something between a sick joke and the world's most asinine reality show.

And now -- just now -- we still have pillars of international expertise figuring out that maybe, maybe this fine-tuned, no-trial, no-Geneva, torture-who-you-want policy wasn't so bright an idea after all.

Friedman notes that over 100 detainees have died at Guantanamo, which is "deeply immoral". Tell me, at what point did it become deeply immoral? When the first fifty died, was it moral then? What about eighty, how was that? I'm apparently living in a world stuffed to bursting with experts on international diplomacy, so give me the damn number. The camp currently holds five hundred people; what percentage of them can die in custody in a period of only a few years before the odometer turns over from freedom fries -burp-! to deeply immoral?"

He goes on from there and I recommend the whole thing: Click here to find it.


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