They love us everywhere we go!

And why shouldn’t they?

The story of Mr. Dilawar’s brutal death at the Bagram Collection Point – and that of another detainee, Habibullah, who died there six days earlier in December 2002 – emerge from a nearly 2,000-page confidential file of the Army’s criminal investigation into the case, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times.
Like a narrative counterpart to the digital images from Abu Ghraib, the Bagram file depicts young, poorly trained soldiers in repeated incidents of abuse. The harsh treatment, which has resulted in criminal charges against seven soldiers, went well beyond the two deaths.

In some instances, testimony shows, it was directed or carried out by interrogators to extract information. In others, it was punishment meted out by military police guards. Sometimes, the torment seems to have been driven by little more than boredom or cruelty, or both.

In sworn statements to Army investigators, soldiers describe one female interrogator with a taste for humiliation stepping on the neck of one prostrate detainee and kicking another in the genitals. They tell of a shackled prisoner being forced to roll back and forth on the floor of a cell, kissing the boots of his two interrogators as he went. Yet another prisoner is made to pick plastic bottle caps out of a drum mixed with excrement and water as part of a strategy to soften him up for questioning.

Somehow it’s un-American to report stuff like this. Somehow all of this can be blamed on that darn librul media. Somehow this is all the invention of a lying leftist NY Times reporter. We should all be reading Chrenkoff, who’ll tell us about “good news” – much easier reading than the stuff quoted above.

Read the article and ask yourself if Abu Ghraib was the work of a few bad apples, or symptomatic of a policy that encourages torture of the most despicable kind. And don’t reply by saying the jihadists are even worse and use even more disgusting torture. We are the goddamned United States and we are supposed to be better than that. We are the ones claiming to bring freedom and liberty (except if you’re an ally like Uzbekistan, in which case murder and torture is jim dandy). We are the ones claiming the moral high road.

I am really glad the Newsweek scandalette played out the way it did, because now all of the world’s reporters have been formally challenged to find hard proof of our atrocities. Let the floodgates open. Let the games begin. Scotty, you asked for it and now you’re going to get it. Invading Afghanistan was the right thing to do. Licensing barbarism by US soldiers is insane and has seriously damaged our reputation among whatever allies we may have left.

Update: I see the Red Cross has indeed compiled allegations of Koran desecration at Gitmo. Maybe Scotty owes Newsweek an apology.

Update 2: Charles Johnson, ever predictable, headlines his post on this story (are you ready?) The Media Are the Enemy (no, I won’t link to that site). He of course damns the NYT to eternal hellfire because this is a two-year-old story. But perennial birdbrain and falsifier of fact Johnson fails to remind his readers that the report has just come out. It would be like damning all the stories that came out after the 911 commision’s book was made public because, after all, 911 occurred two years earlier. As Atrios would say, “Wanker.”

Update 3: I really wasn’t kidding when I said the right-wingers would shout out in chorus that the real story here is the badness of libruls and their vile MSM. Too, too much.

The Discussion: 28 Comments

we are supposed to be better than that


May 20, 2005 @ 12:15 pm | Comment

Richard, I share your outrage, and I am so utterly disgusted with those who would prefer to blame the messenger rather than the conduct. And to repeat what I said down the page:

Our government is torturing people as a matter of policy, either directly or by proxy. If this is okay with some folks, they should just come out and admit it. Unfortunately that pretty much eliminates our right to decry such treatment, including when it happens to our own people. But them’s the breaks.

May 20, 2005 @ 12:19 pm | Comment

And then Gordon and my other GOP friends will rip us apart because we’re soft squishy libruls who don’t get that war is mean and nasty and, after all, these are Moslems.

It is so heart-breaking it’s beyond description. This kind of thinking has poisoned America and turned us into a country the likes of which I never, ever thought I would see.

May 20, 2005 @ 12:24 pm | Comment

Yeah…I’m feeling like, why not go live in China? At least what their government does isn’t being done in my name.

I know that’s kind of cowardly, but I’m finding it increasingly hard to be here.

May 20, 2005 @ 12:32 pm | Comment

We were supposed to be the “good guys”.

When did we put on the black stetson?

May 20, 2005 @ 12:38 pm | Comment

On “prisoner abuse,” Daniel Pearl, Paul Johnson, Nicholas Berg, Fabrizio Quattrochi, and Lyubomir Kostov could not be reached for comment.

May 20, 2005 @ 1:17 pm | Comment

Wow, “Real World” is making a career of cut and paste commenting – he just said exactly the same thing at Digby’s Blog.

I’m too exhausted to point out the logical fallacies and moral bankruptcy of this person’s “argument” (using the term loosely) – perhaps I should just go back to Digby’s blog and copy some of the responses to this inanity over there…

May 20, 2005 @ 1:33 pm | Comment

Oh, heck, I can’t resist – um, those were criminal acts – you know, very bad things that civilized people and nations don’t do…what’s the cliche? “Two wrongs don’t make a right”?

Quaint, that.

May 20, 2005 @ 1:34 pm | Comment

Lisa, he totally proved my point! I wrote above that the right-wing vegetables would go into automatic pilot and say, “But they do worse things than us.”

Um, Real, in case no one mentioned this to you, we are Americans, in the Middle East/Afghanistan to win hearts and minds and spread love and democracy. We went there because we claim to be above the behavior of terrorists and thugs, because we will not tolerate that kind of behavior, because we wanted to put a stop to the kind of sick, sadistic thinking that could lead to 911. And there we are, torturing and killing.

Since you are going blog to blog and writing the same comment, I recommend you return to Digby and read it carefully. Read about the Americans cracking the legs of young men they happened to arrest, crippling them and subjecting them to unbearable pain. Sawing off Nick Berg’s head was an atrocity and worthy of revenge and condemnation. But if we descend to their level, then they’ve won.

May 20, 2005 @ 1:41 pm | Comment

Lisa, he totally proved my point! I wrote above that the right-wing vegetables would go into automatic pilot and say, “But they do worse things than us.”

Who is a “he”? Are you a sexist?

I made a statement of fact, do you dispute those facts?

Sawing off Nick Berg’s head was an atrocity and worthy of revenge and condemnation.

I never mentioned “revenge” or “condemnation.” However, my guess is you would abhor any “revenge,” and that this blog and its readers did not “condemn” the islamofascists who massacred of Daniel Pearl, Paul Johnson, Nicholas Berg, Fabrizio Quattrochi, and Lyubomir Kostov.

But if we descend to their level, then they’ve won.

Then what do you suggest? You’re in charge — it’s September 12th, thousands lie buried in the smoldering ruins of the World Trade Center, what is your strategy?

May 20, 2005 @ 2:19 pm | Comment

Real World, assuming you can read and not just parrot, you will find numerous examples of us libruhls condemning fundamentalist terrorism (of all stripes) – since Richard knows his blog better than I do, I’ll let him point you to a few. But your argument is specious at best (as I said before, it’s not even an argument). We are talking about acts committed by US troops, in our service. These are our people, and it’s our responsibility. You throw up atrocities committed by terrorists, which proves what, exactly? That it’s okay for us to do the same thing? Because that’s really the only conclusion I can make from what you’re saying.

So go ahead, Real World. Admit it. You think that the United States should engage in torture as policy. Say it. Because that’s what you mean.

May 20, 2005 @ 3:35 pm | Comment

I love Real World’s way of “thinking.” We are in the smoldering rubble of the World Trade Center, and what would Real World do? Oh, that’s a no-brainer — crush the legs of young Afghan men and torture innocent Iraqis who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Brilliant. I’m sure John Bolton will want to hire Real World for his staff.

I have condemned terrorism here so many time I can’t count them. I denounced the insurgency and even supported the invasion of Iraq for a while. So Real World is in his own world; a world that I’m sure is many things, though “real” isn’t one of them.

I think he must be joking. He actually views torture and murder as a “strategy,” when all they do is breed more terrorists.

May 20, 2005 @ 3:50 pm | Comment

I love Real World’s way of “thinking.” We are in the smoldering rubble of the World Trade Center, and what would Real World do? Oh, that’s a no-brainer — crush the legs of young Afghan men and torture innocent Iraqis who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.


I may have to quote you on this in the future…

May 20, 2005 @ 4:48 pm | Comment

Thanks Lisa. He definitely had it coming.

But just wait until Conrad and my other neo-con friends get here tonight. I’m sure you and I will be in for quite a thrashing.

May 20, 2005 @ 5:13 pm | Comment

I can hardly wait…

May 20, 2005 @ 6:35 pm | Comment

Mistreating prisoners is not even an effective means of extracting information. Quite the opposite, in fact. Good interrogators have historically been able to converse in the subject’s language, gain the subject’s trust and thereby get information. Good torturers have historically only been able to get a high rate of false confessions. So the current strategy is both immoral and ineffective.

May 20, 2005 @ 7:36 pm | Comment

Torture really isn’t about getting information. It’s about impressing upon the victim and the rest of the population the power of the torturer. It’s a means of oppression, a way of instilling fear, of showing dominance.

Be afraid of us. This is what we do to you if you don’t do what we want.

May 20, 2005 @ 8:25 pm | Comment

And the guys doing the torturing were on average 21 frikkin’ years old. How dare we put them in charge of interrogations? Where is the leadership? How can someone that age, with no training, be gicven such life and death responsibility. It’s not fair to them, and God knows it’s not fair to the young people they were allowed to torture and kill.

May 20, 2005 @ 8:30 pm | Comment

MMMMmmm…let’s see. Should we really care if the Muslim world loves us? I know the liberal thing to do is want everyone to love you and hold hands with everyone. That’s not reality in this world. Why should we care about a region that went to the streets to cheer the men who took control of those four airliners on 9/11? Why should we give one ounce about a region whose largest media will post the videos of women and men, some fellow muslims, having their heads cut off in the name of Allah but won’t post some stupid pictures of a former Dictator because it is disrespectful to fellow muslims.
Then the liberal media in the US and Europe is complaining about the pictures because it could have violated Saddams civil rights. These pictures are no worse then the pictures they take of some Hollywood type then publish them in the local tabloid. So let me get this straight, you liberals are really hard to understand. Its ok to take pictures of men and women from Hollywood, then publish them but its not ok to take pictures of Saddam and publish them? Ok next question for you libs, it’s ok topost videos of innocent people getting their heads cut off but it’s not ok to post pictures of Saddam in his shorts? Wow what hypocrites you are. If the liberals of today were around during WWII then I’m sure they would have tried and sued the American military for not doing more to stop the suicides of Hitler and those closest to him in the bunker.

May 21, 2005 @ 9:59 am | Comment

Jason, if taking the Hollywood pictures were a violation of the Geneva Conventions I’d be upset about them. If they had the potential to further inflame an insurgency poised to kill our soldiers I’d be upset. Do you really see an equivalency with taking humiliating photos of Saddam? Now, no one deserves humiliation and misery more than he does, but if you think posting these photos was a good idea, good for our soldiers and good for our mission, then I have to question your reasoning. I mean like, really question it.

All liberals were opposed to Hitler, you idiot, and to imply that we wouldn’t be is vile. Hitler was a direct threat to every free country in ther world, and he really did have a military force to worry about, unlike Saddam. As a Jew and a liberal, I will kindly request that, to borrow a phrase from our vice president, you go fuck yourself.

I especially like your “arguments” as to why we shouldn’t give a damn about Middle Easterners because of all the terrible things they’ve done to us. Following that logic, we would never have launched a pre-emptive war to “liberate” such animals. After damning them as monsters, do you believe we should be there dying for them? What’s your logic. I’d love to hear.

Sorry for the harsh language, but I have a low threshold for sheer idiocy and racism.

May 21, 2005 @ 10:11 am | Comment

Hmmm, interesting…only the truly logic deficient are taking on the defense of torture.

Maybe there’s hope for us yet.

May 21, 2005 @ 12:42 pm | Comment

Isn’t it something? Sorry for the harsh language, but I can only take so much BS. Needless to say, Jason never responded.

May 21, 2005 @ 12:46 pm | Comment

I love it how liberals are so quick to throw the “racism” in at anyone who they do not agree with. If this is your argument then our conversation is more or less over as it seems you fail to provide a real argument besides DNC talking points. Anyway, I am against posting the pictures of Saddam as well. The soldier who took those should and will be prosecuted to the extent of the Uniform Code of Military Justice allows.
You show me where taking pictures of a POW is in violation of the Geneva Convention. Although I do believe it was wrong since it will more or less put those of us who have been there and WILL BE GOING BACK in danger.
I do believe in the mission, of which I was apart of thank you, in going into Iraq. The vast majority of people there are peaceful and are not involved in the terrorist acts. I know since I have been there and will be going back.
I am glad you decided to mention the Hitler, WWII, comment. Did you know that Hitler would not have become so powerful, nor would he have been able to invade and threatin so many countries in the world if weak politicians like Neville Chamberlain of the UK and those leaders in the League of Nations would have enforced the Treaty of Versaille. Nope but they decided to appease and appease Hitler time and time again. He built an offensive military in violation of the treaty. He built an air force in violation of the treaty, he built a U-boat fleet in violation of the treaty, he conscripted over a million man army in violation of the treaty and the weak leaders of the world did nothing. They did not enforce the provisions of the Treaty of Versaille. Hitler annexed Austria, nothing. Hitler took the Rhineland and Sudatenland and the world did nothing. Hitler was given Czechoslavakia by the League of Nations and Chamberlain in order to appeae Hitler. Then finally after four years of military growth and violation after violation and land grab after land grab Hitler goes into Poland. Then the powers finally decide to do something but it is too late, Hilter is too powerful. It is because of appeasement that so many people lost their lives. If weak world leaders would have done something about Hitler before he became too powerful then maybe we would not have lost so many lives. You would think that we would learn.
Don’t worry your language does not offend me. If that is how you express yourself then I guess go for it.

May 21, 2005 @ 4:26 pm | Comment

Jason, you know precious little about history. True, Hitler was appeased by Chamberlain, but that was no vast left-wing conspiracy. It was the liberals who Hitler persecuted more than anyone – leftisits and intellectuals. Chamberlain was stupid and inefferctive, but that has nothing to do with liberalism. Roosevelt and Churchill were all liberals, certainly by today’s standards, and they are the ones who defeated Hitler. Shouldn’t you be praising Roosevelt, the father of modern liberalism and architect of the New Deal? He was infinitely more liberal than Chamberlain! I am a student of the topic of Hitler and his rise to power, and it was based on a complex series of factors. To simply attribute his success to liberals is so scary, so Ann Coulterish and frigging ignorant it is painful, and funny, too.

Speaking of criticizing for losing “so many lives” as you say, have you heard we’ve lost more than 1,600 of our boys in Iraq, in a war that was utterly needless based on Bush’s criterion for the invasion, i.e., weapons of mass destruction? Talk about weak, stupid leadership.

Anyway, thanks for visiting and for boosting my site traffic. Please stick around. I always enjoy examples that underscore why today’s right wing is so frighterneing. This sterotyping of liberals is exactly the same tactic Hitler used against the Jews. Hopefully we’ve learned the lesson that stereotyping almost always leads to hatred and violence. I don’t sterotype when it comes to conservatiuves. I respect true conservatives who think for themselves and understand history. It’s moron conservatives who spew hatred and racism that I despise (and the same applies to liberal idiots, too).

As to why you are a racist, that’s an easy one. Because we were attacked by brown people you find it not only acceptable but commendable to torture and murder brown people even if they were totally innocent, as the Afghan man in the NYT article is, simply because they are brown. Sure sounds like racism to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

May 21, 2005 @ 7:30 pm | Comment

What a fucktard…

May 22, 2005 @ 1:59 am | Comment


I seriously think you should go back to college history textbooks because i think WWII history is almost alien to you.

Who practised a policy of isolation and turn its back on the world after WWI? The Republicans.

Who rejected the Treaty of Versailles and voted in Senate to prevent the US participation in the League of Nations? The Republicans.

Who drafted the Treaty of Versailles in such harsh and hawkish terms that later gain Hitler nationalist sympathies by calling the treaty a “diktat”? The not-so soft but hawkish Georges Clemenceau.

Basically, because the Treaty of Versailles was so harsh that enforcing it is almost impossible without dismembering and crippling the German state. That in return fuels the sentiments of appeasement out of the guilt of the victors.

Maybe college history books should be on your shopping list for this summer.

May 23, 2005 @ 7:45 am | Comment

Isn’t it ironic that Chamberlain was from the Tory party also.

May 23, 2005 @ 8:57 am | Comment


Afraid irony is a bit beyond Warrior Jason!

May 23, 2005 @ 11:56 am | Comment

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