Monday, April 15, 2013

Our National Shame

An op-ed in the New York Times today written by Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, held captive by the U.S. military for over 11 years.

Last month, on March 15, I was sick in the prison hospital and refused to be fed. A team from the E.R.F. (Extreme Reaction Force), a squad of eight military police officers in riot gear, burst in. They tied my hands and feet to the bed. They forcibly inserted an IV into my hand. I spent 26 hours in this state, tied to the bed. During this time I was not permitted to go to the toilet. They inserted a catheter, which was painful, degrading and unnecessary. I was not even permitted to pray.

"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."  

The policy of indefinite detention is anathema to the America I know. It's a shame that's not the case for our political leadership. Given the hopelessness of their situation, what choice other than death do the detainees have? And why are so of us few bothered by that?


Anonymous said...

Although I would welcome back Democrats to the cause of human rights and the rule of law, I have to ask: why did you all vote for these abuses last November?

The shame is not shared equally. Many of us voted against Fascism, or at least refused to vote for it.

Democrats joined Republicans and refused to discuss torture, drones, Guantamano.

Now Democrats want to shame those of us who tried to discuss these issues and close Gitmo? After an election when Democrats repeatedly told us it was shameful and unpatriotic to even talk about human rights?

Not in our name. The shame, and power, belongs to Democrats and Republicans.

Patriot said...

You may have forgotten, Hank, but during the last Presidential election, your candidate had my candidate tied to a chair and stuck in a warehouse rather than debate her on Gitmo and other topics. I don't remember any complaint from Democrats then about illegal detention. Hey, no hard feelings, right?

But then, your candidate went on to reappoint the same torturers condemned in the pages of today's non-Democrat, non-Republican think tank report:

Of course this report has been knocked off the front page of US papers by the horrific bombing in Boston.

Among the many people with the desire to bomb the US, certainly US clandestine services has both motive and ability (and requesite amorality) to pull off such a heinous crime.

But, who would investigate them, even if to clear their (anonymous) names?

Obama won't even investigate abuses at Gitmo or rendition. Obama has even taken the position that he can kill Americans, including innocent children, without due process or even acknowledging the hit.

As the hours go by without any claims of responsibility from the usual suspects, the FBI better not be ruling out the torturers appointed by Obama.

How shameful that we cannot trust our own government to investigate itself!

tobias said...

I wonder if the Boston marathon bombing is an example of how effective Gitmo is?

Anonymous said...

Was the Boston bombing an FBI operation gone bad?

The FBI has instigated bomb plots aimed at crowds before (for example, Portland), then "foiling" the plot by supplying a fake bomb to the patsy.

The FBI says these plots do not endanger the public, but what if the patsy shows the initiative to supply his own bomb?

Has the FBI ever targeted the Boston or any other marathon?

If the media is going to compare the bombing to the Times Square, why not Portland?

His Holiness President Obama said...

Dear Mr. Cogitations:

As a fellow Christian and Democrat, I am writing to express my shared concern for the welfare of these least among us at Guantamano. As Jesus ordered in Matthew 10:42, and by his example of loaves and fishes, I am providing cups of cold water and nourishment to them.

Republicans provided cold water through waterboarding, but we are of course Democrats, praise the Lord! We send in SWAT teams to tie these lowly, crucifixion-style, to beds, shove feeding tubes up their noses and into their stomachs and catheters up their dicks.

I can assure you we'd do the same to Jesus, praise his name!

God bless you, the Democratic Party, and the United States of America.

Barrack Obama