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lunes, febrero 09, 2009

The Finger Wags And Moves On

I'm afraid that, when all is said and done, I don't understand blog reactions and what makes something a big story on blogs and in the traditional media. And no, I'm not complaining about the response to my eight pieces about the federal death penalty or how many people signed the petition. This isn't about me. Not at all.

It's about something astonishing. Now appearing on the recommended list of docuDharma is a piece by Valtin, US-UK Torture Cover-up, While Conditions Worsen at Guantanamo (Updated). It's about the rendition and imprisonment and yes, torture, of Binyam Mohamed and the suppression of information in his UK legal case. It's extremely important to read the entire essay.

In the essay, I find alarming items about torture:
The 25 lines edited out of the court papers contained details of how Mr Mohamed's genitals were sliced with a scalpel and other torture methods so extreme that waterboarding, the controversial technique of simulated drowning, "is very far down the list of things they did," the official said.
This statement was in the original essay before it was updated and it remains there. When the essay was cross-posted at at GOS, I wrote as a comment in response to the quote:
How in the world can you have this line in a diary and have the diary receive as of this writing 21 comments and 27 recommendations? I don't get it. Why isn't this story all over dKos? Why isn't there a ruckus about it?

Maybe somebody can enlighten me.

The GOS diary ultimately received a total of 34 comments and 47 recommendations. It should have been on the recommended list and it should have had 1,000 indignant comments and recommendation. But, alas, it didn't.

I cannot understand or accept that.

When the diary was updated here at dd, it contained further information from Reprieve, a UK human rights group, about the torture of Binyam Mohamed:
On 21 July 2002, Binyam was rendered to Morocco on a CIA plane. He was held there for 18 months in appalling conditions. To ensure his confession, his Moroccan captors tortured him, stripping him naked and cutting him with a scalpel on his chest and penis. ...snip

Binyam's ordeal in Morocco continued for about 18 months until January 2004, when he was transferred to the 'Dark Prison' near Kabul, Afghanistan, a secret prison run by the CIA, which resembled a medieval dungeon with the addition of extremely loud 24-hour music and noise.

Speaking of his time in the 'Dark Prison', Binyam said:

"It was pitch black, no lights on in the rooms for most of the time. They hung me up for two days. My legs had swollen. My wrists and hands had gone numb. There was loud music, Slim Shady [by Eminem] and Dr. Dre for 20 days. Then they changed the sounds to horrible ghost laughter and Halloween sounds. At one point, I was chained to the rails for a fortnight. The CIA worked on people, including me, day and night. Plenty lost their minds. I could hear people knocking their heads against the walls and the doors, screaming their heads off."

From there he was taken to the US military prison at Bagram airbase, and finally, in September 2004, to Guantánamo Bay, where he remains.

This is a report of horrific, brutal, barbaric, illegal treatment. There cannot be any debate about whether this is or is not torture. It's torture plain and simple.

Yet, I don't see the ruckus about it. I don't see it breaking through in the traditional media. I don't see a serious response of outrage on the blogs. If you google "binyam mohamed," you see that virtually no US media are discussing this case. I simply cannot understand or accept that.

I may be sorely out of step with others on this. So be it. As I've said before, I'd rather be out of formation than off course. I just don't understand how this kind of torture can be exposed, and how the US can suppress information about it in UK courts, and why we, that's you and I, aren't up in arms about this and pushing the story into the sunlight.

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