Witness Vigil :: Worthington & Horton report

( – promoted by buhdydharma )


I’ve slacked off the past several days, due to multiple distractions. mea culpa. The ever faithful journalists, thankfully, have not.

Murders at Guantanamo by Andy Worthington, published this morning at Common Dreams, discusses Horton’s bombshell piece.

This is disturbing enough, of course, and should lead to robust calls for an independent inquiry, but the problem may be that almost every branch of the government appears to be implicated in the cover-up that followed the deaths.

The full article is at Harpers: The Guantánamo “Suicides”: A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle, By Scott Horton, Jan 18, 2010. Go read the full story there.

When President Barack Obama took office last year, he promised to “restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great.” Toward that end, the president issued an executive order declaring that the extra-constitutional prison camp at Guantánamo “shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order.” Obama has failed to fulfill his promise. Some prisoners are being charged with crimes, others released, but the date for closing the camp seems to recede steadily into the future. Furthermore, new evidence now emerging may entangle Obama’s young administration with crimes that occurred during the Bush presidency, evidence that suggests the current administration failed to investigate seriously-and may even have continued-a cover-up of the possible homicides of three prisoners at Guantánamo in 2006.

Late in the evening on June 9 that year, three prisoners at Guantánamo died suddenly and violently.

I’m not sure why I thought of this song. I have been extremely fortunate in my life (not to tempt the fates or anything; makes sign of the cross) but I have learned, in just a few small ways, that there is such a thing as an “inconsolable loss”.  The people of Haiti know. Martin Luther King knew. New Orleans knows. VN vets know. Survivors of the Khmer Rouge killing fields know. You know.

Ne me quitte pas                Don’t leave me

Il faut oublier                 it ‘s neccesary to forget

Tout peut s’oublier             everything you need to forget

Qui s’enfuit deja               which is already over

Oublier le temps                forget the times

Des malentendus                 of the misunderstandings

Et le temps perdu               the lost time

A savoir comment                to know how

Oublier ces heures              forget the houres

Qui tuaient parfois             which sometimes kill

A coups de pourquoi             the reasons why

Le coeur du bonheur             the heart full of joy

Ne me quitte pas                Don’t leave me

Ne me quitte pas                Don’t leave me

Ne me quitte pas                Don’t leave me

Ne me quitte pas                Don’t leave me

Jacques Brel, Ne Me Quitte Pas and here’s more w/ English lyrics

Horton’s piece is quite in depth and lengthy. I’m still reading it. I have to digest this in bits and pieces. The grief … the loss on a such a grand scale, the very foundation of this country is laying in a rubble before my eyes… it’s nearly inconsolable when confronted full on, no filters.

What have we done?

Not everyone who is involved in this matter views it from a political perspective, of course. General Al-Zahrani grieves for his son, but at the end of a lengthy interview he paused and his thoughts turned elsewhere. “The truth is what matters,” he said. “They practiced every form of torture on my son and on many others as well. What was the result? What facts did they find? They found nothing. They learned nothing. They accomplished nothing.”


The truth is what matters.


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  1. Photobucket

  2. damn.

  3. … to suppressing the torture photos, they apparently also signed on to covering up these murders and an unknown number of other crimes against humanity in the same vein.

  4. mmmm chicken curry.

    Something the Dog Said posted about this story at GOS this morning. A good piece. He did not have an entirely  good reception… he implied … some things about complicit ‘After The Fact’. Not surprised.

    Oh. Greenwald is all over it. Again, not surprised.

    Despite all of this, our media persists in sustaining the lie that the torture controversy is about three cases of waterboarding and a few “high-value” detainees who were treated a bit harshly.  That’s why Horton’s story received so little attention and was almost completely ignored by right-wing commentators:  because it shatters the central myth that torture was used only in the most extreme cases — virtual Ticking Time Bomb scenarios — when there was simply no other choice.  Leading American media outlets, as a matter of policy, won’t even use the word “torture.”  This, despite the fact that the abuse was so brutal and inhumane that it led to the deaths of helpless captives — including run-of-the-mill detainees, almost certainly ones guilty of absolutely nothing — in numerous cases.  These three detainee deaths — like so many other similar cases — illustrate how extreme is the myth that has taken root in order to obscure what was really done.


    Every Obama-justifying excuse for Looking Forward, Not Backwards has been exposed as a sham (recall, for instance, the claim that we couldn’t prosecute Bush war crimes because it would ruin bipartisanship and Republicans wouldn’t support health care reform).   But even if those excuses had been factually accurate, it wouldn’t have mattered.  There are no legitimate excuses for averting one’s eyes from crimes of this magnitude and permitting them to go unexamined and unpunished.  The real reason why “Looking Forward, Not Backwards” is so attractive to our political and media elites is precisely because they don’t want to face what they enabled and supported.

    Greenwald also has video of Horton on Olbermann last night.

    Horton has an update at his own blog addressing the “Official Response” as well.

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