Does the adminstration ever tire of projection? That's the question to ask when you read Tim Golden's front page piece in the New York Times today. It's entitled "U.S. Says It Fears Detainee Abuse In Reperation." Abuse of PRISONERS has already gone on. Abuse and torture.
The force feedings, the sensory deprivation and sensory overload, denial ("postponement," if you prefer to kid yourself) of medical treatment to those who don't cooperate. By the way, the abuses that shock us so now? We saw them with John Walker Lindh. We saw, though we may choose to forget, his body with trash written on it while he was restrained. We saw it with the way medical treatment was withheld, we saw it with the way the Justice Department refused to listen to their own legal opinion that said they couldn't deny Walker Lindh legal counsel.
That took place in 2001. It's 2006 now. Maybe we still want to kid? The administration does. "Detainees" is kidding. They're prisoners, not "detainees." The same administration that's used extraordinary rendition to transfer prisoners to governments that practice torture (our own State Department condemns some of these countries) to 'soften' them up, now wants to tell us that they'd really like to release some of these prisoners but, gosh golly gee, what if they're tortured.
That's like Ike Turner telling the judge he doesn't want a divorce because what if Tina Turner's next husband beats her? As one, unidentifed "Middle Eastern diplomat" tells Golden, "It is kind of ironic that the U.S. government is placing conditions on other countries that it would not follow itself in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib."
Did Damien Cave read the same 37 page Inspector General report that I did? Probably so, but we're obviously coming at it from different points of views. "No F.B.I. Intimidation Found at Conventions" covers it. But it seems to miss several points. Upfront, I have no idea how to build a pipe bomb. (Nor am I asking for directions.) But "flamable liquid," as it's identified in the report, could be anything from mouth wash to booze. I'm not clear on the other piece (there were two pieces) and meant to ask Kat, but I think that may have been an art supply material. (Intended to ask Kat because she's an artist. Not because she builds pipe products. Just to be clear before the FBI starts bothering her -- leave her alone, she's got five CD reviews coming up! I'm not joking on the reviews. She's started five, in long hand. I have no idea when they'll be finished. When we thought we'd be done early at The Third Estate Sunday Review, she had hopes to have one finished for today. We're finishing the editorial as I type.)
So there's the issue of what we'll call "materials." Here's another issue, what makes someone a suspect? Vauge charges, which the report is full of, not only fail to prove anything, they also don't illuminate what's being discussed. Since the individuals under investigation are not named (nor organizations), I'm failing to grasp why the report couldn't say, "They planned to __" or "They were suspected of planning ___." It's so vague that the report may be indicating that civil disobedience, at the conventions, could be seen as terrorism.
I read the report yesterday and I'm blanking on most of it. I'm sure it's available somewhere online. (And not going to search it while I attempt to do this entry and also add input to an editorial, search it out yourself if you're interested.) But it felt like I was reading over and over about someone attempting to obtain a gun. I don't owe a gun. "And I swear that I don't have a gun." Unlike Kurt, I really don't. But the report seems to ask the reader to infer that attempting to obtain a gun is cause for suspicion. (Someone tell the NRA!) The report offered vauge generalities that the reader is supposed to accept on face value. Apparently, Cave was willing to make that leap. I'm not.
The inspector general report, some time ago, regarding the abuse of Muslims rounded up after 9-11, in American prisons (I'm remembering NYC but I'm barely able to keep my eyes open at this point) was much more specific in what was or wasn't done.
There is the fact that the investigations, largely, led no where. That's not necessarily a problem. And certainly, with domestic terrorism a very real threat in this country (not from Greenpeace, PETA, et al, but from White Supremists and other groups that the media doesn't show much interest in), that's a relief. But in order to evalute whether the investigations were following up on credible claims and assertions, we need more than vague summaries and the constant reliance on faith.
The report muddies the entire issue and leads to more questions. Cave is noting the conclusion to a report which fails to document the actual incidents. He can make that leap of faith, but those with more skepticism would be wise to let him do so alone.
James Glanz has an article worth noting. We're not noting it here because we're working it into the editorial (even as I type) over at The Third Estate Sunday Review. So check that out there.
Hurray. The editorial is complete and posting. I'm about to provide links to all but the "note" (we're about to work on that -- in this never ending all nighter). But a warning, in the roundtable (and possibly elsewhere), I use the f-word. Which is allowed at that site. We don't use it here (without censoring it with dashes or stars). So if you're on a computer that could get you in trouble, avoid the roundtable. I don't think it's used anywhere else but I'm tired so use caution. (I know Ava and I didn't use it in the TV review.)
New content at The Third Estate Sunday Review:
Editorial: Yesterday's protest and the future protests
TV Review: Without a Point
Musings on KPFA's Living Room
Sunday Times at a glance
Warm welcomes for Bully Boy and Condi
Iraq: Five snapshots show a deadly week
10 most played CDs this week
Pacifica programming today
Isaiah was with us in NYC and has a special cartoon in Polly's Brew which is already in inboxes and probably already read if you're up now. He's got this Sunday off. West has selected the comic we'll be noting this morning (there are like three minutes left in this morning -- before noon -- as I type this, Eastern time).
The e-mail address for this site is email@example.com.
the new york times
the third estate sunday review