Author's posts

Abu Ghraib Cremation Ovens Controversy

[Recently posted at the Daily Kos – please see questions about (unwarranted?) banning below]

On the holocaust anniversary yesterday, President Obama spoke eloquently about other holocausts in Rwanda and Somalia.  But he steered clear of discussing the human remains and ashes in US run prisons overseas:

there was something about living in cells at Abu Ghraib that never felt right. “We had some kind of incinerator at the end of our building,” Specialist Megan Ambuhl said. “It was this huge circular thing. We just didn’t know what was incinerated in there. It could have been people, for all we knew—bodies.” Sergeant Davis was not in doubt. “It had bones in it,” he said, and he called it the crematorium.

This was reported by award winning journalists in The New Yorker just over a year ago.  But for obvious reasons I've never heard any politician mention it.

Now that it's suddenly appropriate to discuss illegal US torture policy – and in honor of the holocaust anniversary – is it possible we can investigate why our soldiers report that Iraqi detainees were evidently burned in ovens?

Yesterday Obama said, “part of the responsibility for the Holocaust rests with people who accepted the assigned role of bystander.”

I think he means it.  So maybe he was too busy to read The New Yorker during the primaries.  

Rather than be bystanders, let's make sure he sees the article today.


Pentagon Claim: Gitmo Created 61 “Terrorists” (w/poll)

Cross-posted at The Daily Kos

The Pentagon reports that, of the hundreds of innocent civilians who were kidnapped in Afghanistan and elsewhere, held without habeas corpus rights or arrest warrants, tortured and humiliated at Guantanamo Bay, and released without charges, they believe 61 have become involved with terrorism.

Keep in mind that these people were released because after enduring years of prison, abuse, torture, shackling to the floor, and other illegal efforts to extract confessions, no credible evidence of terrorism was found against any of them.  Apparently they were only there because Pakistani and Afghani “warlords” turned them over after the US announced cash bounties for terrorism suspects.  Evidence?  Optional.

So they weren’t terrorists when they got to Guantanamo.  Some were released years ago – without so much as an apology.  And the rendition policy that put them there is still in force.

Now the Pentagon claims a fraction of them are fighting to do things like end the US occupation of Afghanistan.  Does it make them terrorists?  Does it prove they were terrorists before?

What would you do if you were kidnapped and released that way?  Take the poll.