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Friday, May 20, 2005

Kudos to the NY Times

Daring the Bushies and the right-wing noise machine to "Newsweek" them, the Times' lead story today is a lengthy article by Tim Golden detailing the deaths of two Afghan prisoners killed by US soldiers, as well as other atrocities committed.
Although incidents of prisoner abuse at Bagram in 2002, including some details of the two men's deaths, have been previously reported, American officials have characterized them as isolated problems that were thoroughly investigated. And many of the officers and soldiers interviewed in the Dilawar investigation said the large majority of detainees at Bagram were compliant and reasonably well treated.

"What we have learned through the course of all these investigations is that there were people who clearly violated anyone's standard for humane treatment," said the Pentagon's chief spokesman, Larry Di Rita. "We're finding some cases that were not close calls."

Yet the Bagram file includes ample testimony that harsh treatment by some interrogators was routine and that guards could strike shackled detainees with virtual impunity. Prisoners considered important or troublesome were also handcuffed and chained to the ceilings and doors of their cells, sometimes for long periods, an action Army prosecutors recently classified as criminal assault.
The war in Afghanistan has been totally FUBAR since it began. Ignoring the facts that the main perpertrators of 9/11 were ALREADY DEAD, that none were Afgans (or Iraqis, for that matter), and that a brutal war was going to do nothing to bring back the lives lost on 9/11 or to make anyone safer, the bombs started falling on one of the poorest, most frequently brutalized nations on earth in October 2001. The previous puppet Taliban regime, backed by the Pakistanis, the Saudis, and occasionally the US, was tossed aside and a new one installed, killing thousands in the process. Opium production resumed, chaos returned, and Afghans continued to die horrible deaths at a high rate. And the US military began exploring the various ways available to raise the ire of the Muslim world.