Recently, we have learned of yet more "isolated" incidents of torture by yet more bad apples in the American security squads. The newest allegations of torture come from FBI agents who visited the American base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where people designated “enemy combatants", many of whom it turns out never committed any crime against the United States, are being held without trial, access to lawyers, or protection by the Geneva Conventions. Among the newest isolated incidents of torture reported at Guantanamo: - Leaving prisoners for prolonged periods exposed to the elements without food or water - Attacks by guard dogs - Forcing prisoners to shit on themselves instead using a toilet, and then allowing the prisoners to sit in their own shit for long amounts of time before cleaning them up - Restraining a prisoner, wrapping him in an Israeli flag, and blasting loud music into his ears - Freezing prisoners until the prisoners feel great pain - Exposing prisoners to extreme heat for long periods of time - Chaining prisoners in bound fetal positions to the floor for long periods of time What was the result of all this torture? FBI agents report that the prisoners were so mentally destroyed by the American torture in the Guantanamo Bay prison that “These tactics have produced no intelligence of a threat neutralization nature to date."
Meanwhile, FBI agents report that American interrogators place lit cigarettes in inmates’ ears.
(Source: International Herald Tribune, December 21, 2004)
Reuters reports that the White House has committed to an investigation of this torture. Unfortunately, this investigation is to be carried out by the very Defense Department that is accused of organizing and implementing torture in the first place.
When will Americans get an independent investigation into the torture that is being carried out in our names?
If we depend on our representatives in Washington to get off their duffs, the apparent answer is not anytime soon:
It would be nice if House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid would say or do something about this. It would be nice if Democratic National Committee Chair Terry McAuliffe would pipe up about this. “Would” is a hypothetical word. In actuality, they’ve so far been silent.
Perhaps the House Democratic Caucus would like to push for this. But whoops! As of December 22, 2004, the House Democratic Caucus hadn’t issued a press release since September 15, 2004.
Perhaps the Senate Democratic Leadership would like to push for an independent investigation of Americans engaging in torture. But as of December 22, 2004, the Senate Democratic Leadership hasn’t issued a press release since October 22.
Sadly, it appears we cannot expect politicians of either stripe to agree to an independent investigation of torture until they are forced to. So force we must. This is where you come in.
Additionally, you should get in touch with your own Representatives and Senators and demand they push for an independent investigation. You can find out who your House Representative is (and how to contact them) by clicking here. You can find out who your Senators are (and how to contact them) by clicking here.
It's sad, but we need to embarrass our representatives into representing us. This means that we must publicly annoy and, if necessary, shame them. That's where your local newspaper comes in. Click here to find out how to easily submit a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Then do it.
...we'd suggest getting in touch with the President, but come on, get real. He doesn't even read the newspaper. Who thinks he'll really read your message, much less listen to it? No, we've got to work around that sick puppy.
Irregular Times require open minds and open mouths.
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