Sunday, May 16

Critical Mass

All of us in the left-side blogosphere have been really busy pointing out the idiocy and the wrongdoing of this administration and its behavior after 9/11.

But I really don't think that any of us thought we'd see the day where it got so out of hand that it even shocks us. That day may have arrived.

US guards 'filmed beatings' at terror camp

Dozens of videotapes of American guards allegedly engaged in brutal attacks on Guantanamo Bay detainees have been stored and catalogued at the camp, an investigation by The Observer has revealed.
The disclosures, made in an interview with Tarek Dergoul, the fifth British prisoner freed last March, who has been too traumatised to speak until now, prompted demands last night by senior politicians on both sides of the Atlantic to make the videos available immediately.

They say that if the contents are as shocking as Dergoul claims, they will provide final proof that brutality against detainees has become an institutionalised feature of America's war on terror.

In the wake of the furore over the abuses photographed at Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has continued to insist they were the work of a few rogue soldiers, and not a systemic problem. [...]

The Observer can also now disclose that a British military interrogator posted to the now notorious Abu Ghraib abuse jail raised the alarm about maltreatment of detainees by US troops as long ago as last March.

While ministers insisted last week that the three Britons working in the jail did not see any of the systematic and sadistic abuse, an unnamed lieutenant - a debriefer trained to deal only with co-operative witnesses - made an official complaint to US authorities after seeing what he considered to be 'rough handling' of prisoners.

But it is the revelations about Guantanamo Bay that are the most damaging for a White House desperately trying to draw a line under the Iraq abuse allegations.

Senator Patrick Leahy, the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has been an outspoken critic of the Abu Ghraib abuse, said he would demand that Rumsfeld must produce the videos this week.

'Congressional oversight of this administration has been lax in many areas, including detention policy in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo,' Leahy said. 'It is past time for that to change. If photos, videotapes or any other evidence exists that can help establish whether or not there has been mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, it should be provided without delay to Congress.
It's time to clean out and disinfect the White House and never let any of these people make another decision again. They just may have placed us fairly and squarely in harm's way.