He says that while he was chaplain to about 600 detainees, the authorities regularly arranged for him to meet reporters and Congressional visitors to demonstrate the military's efforts to accommodate the inmates' religion. He came to believe, however, that he was being exploited to present a false image about the camp's atmosphere.
He writes that he rarely witnessed physical abuse of the sort that has since become a point of contention between the military on one side and human rights groups and defense lawyers on the other. But he says that in his tenure at Guantanamo, he regularly heard about prisoners being beaten and humiliated in their interrogation sessions.
He says he was told of the abuse by detainees and by Arabic-speaking translators who were present at many of the interrogations. He writes that these accounts were given to him months before similar accusations became public through press reports and the disclosure of internal memorandums by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The above is from Neil A. Lewis' "In New Book Ex-Chaplain at Guantánamo Tells of Abuses" in this morning's New York Times. Or, as I like to think of it, the book report.
Yesterday, we highlighted an article DK found and we'll continue to note it for awhile more.
It's a lengthy article from Der Spiegel and one wonders why the New York Times couldn't track down Javal Davis or the Iraqi featured in the article (see other morning entry)? I guess it's "a matter of emphasis" or maybe they just have a lot of book reports to do before Thanksgiving holidays? Here's another excerpt from 's "A Tale of Two Prisoners:"
Davis shows them how to do push-ups and sit-ups, and he helps them point their prayer rugs toward Mecca. In return, they teach him a few Arabic phrases. But Specialist Charles Graner keeps ordering Davis back for special shifts in the high-security wing.
Graner, a simple prison guard from Maryland, has recently begun smiling more often. The people from intelligence have put him in charge of the terrorist section.
After a visit by Geoffrey Miller, the commander-in-chief at Guantanamo Bay, more and more investigators, analysts and interpreters have been coming in and out of Abu Ghraib. They bring along their dogs, and these people are clearly the ones in charge now. They wear no name tags, and they address each other with code names, like DJ, John Israel, James Bond. They begin to apply pressure. It's late October 2003, Saddam is still at large, and Americans outside are dying every day.
Night after night, Davis is ordered to bring prisoners into the shower room for interrogation. The intelligence officers inside then lock the door, and Davis, standing outside, hears screams and the occasional prayer. The prisoners seem grateful when he brings them back to their cells. Davis works 14 hours a day, from 4 a.m. until 6 p.m., seven days a week. When his shift ends, he flops into bed still wearing his uniform, the stench of decay lingering in his nose.
Just "a few bad apples." That's what the Bully Boy and too much of the mainstream press keeps repeating.
The Nation has two events this week:
Readings from Voices of a People's History of the United States in LA
October 5, Los Angeles
Don't miss an exciting evening of dramatic readings from Voices of a People's History of the United States, edited by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove. http://www.sevenstories.com/Book/index.cfm?GCOI=58322100666900
Featuring Howard Zinn (narrator) and Anthony Arnove (narrator), with actors Viggo Mortensen, Diane Lane, Danny Glover, Maria Bello, Josh Brolin, Leslie Silva, Marisa Tomei, Alfre Woodard, Sandra Oh and Vanessa Martinez, among others.
Wednesday, October 5,
8:00pm to 10:00pm
George & Sakaye Aratani Japan America Theatre
244 South San Pedro Street
(between 2nd and 3rd Streets)
$15 balcony/ $25 back orchestra / $30 front orchestra
Click below for tickets or call 213-680-3700.
Beating Around the Bush: An Evening of American Political Satire
New York City
Featuring: Art Buchwald, Kurt Vonnegut, Paul Krassner, Barry Crimmins, Lewis Lapham and Sarah Jones as MC.
Thursday, October 6th,
7:00pm to 9:00pm
Concert Hall of the New York Society for Ethical Culture
2 West 64th Street at Central Park West, NYC
Tickets $20 at door.
Advanced sales for $50 reserved seating available at 1-800-596-7437 or by clicking below. http://www.sevenstories.com/Book/index.cfm?GCOI=58322100957320
Presented by Seven Stories Press.
Co-sponsored by The Nation Institute and the International Socialist Organization.
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