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Blumenthal: This Is the New Gulag

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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:40 AM
Original message
Blumenthal: This Is the New Gulag
Bush has created a global network of extra-legal and secret US prisons with thousands of inmates

It was "unacceptable" and "un-American", but was it torture? "My impression is that what has been charged thus far is abuse, which I believe technically is different from torture," said Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defence on Tuesday. "I don't know if it is correct to say what you just said, that torture has taken place, or that there's been a conviction for torture. And therefore I'm not going to address the torture word."

He confessed he had still not read the March 9 report by Major General Antonio Taguba on "abuse" at the Abu Ghraib prison. Some highlights: " ... pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape ... sodomising a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick ... "

(snip)

Bush has created what is in effect a gulag. It stretches from prisons in Afghanistan to Iraq, from Guantnamo to secret CIA prisons around the world. There are perhaps 10,000 people being held in Iraq, 1,000 in Afghanistan and almost 700 in Guantnamo, but no one knows the exact numbers. The law as it applies to them is whatever the executive deems necessary. There has been nothing like this system since the fall of the Soviet Union. The US military embraced the Geneva conventions after the second world war, because applying them to prisoners of war protects American soldiers. But the Bush administration, in an internal fight, trumped its argument by designating those at Guantnamo "enemy combatants". Rumsfeld extended this system - "a legal black hole", according to Human Rights Watch - to Afghanistan and then Iraq, openly rejecting the conventions.

Private contractors, according to the Toguba report, gave orders to US soldiers to torture prisoners. Their presence in Iraq is a result of the Bush military strategy of invading with a relatively light force. The gap has been filled by private contractors, who are not subject to Iraqi law or the US military code of justice. Now, there are an estimated 20,000 of them on the ground in Iraq, a larger force than the British army.

more
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1210588,00....
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:45 AM
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1. Great article
Second to the last paragraphs is one of the most powerful statements I have read on the matter.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:00 AM
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2. Milford's Nightmare come true
Damn damn damn. The Authority Figure gives "License" to do bad things. 60% of Americans will do bad things when given "Orders" by Supervisors.
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pfitz59 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:45 AM
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3. Where's Saddam?
Time the world demands "habeus corpus". Produce the body.....
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enough Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 07:18 AM
Response to Original message
4. kick.
.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 07:41 AM
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5. This is one of the things that disgusts me most about BushCo
Running around smirking about loving freedom and all that rot, and yet using tactics that historically have been used by facist dictatorships such as the Soviet Union and China.

See, in school, I remember it being taught that this was bad, bad, bad. The lack of things like this was one of the things that made our country special.

We had 'due process'.

Now, we are no better than these other countries that we've been pointing our finger at for nearly half a decade. We have our gulag. Dissent is squelched.

There are 'Free Speech Zones'. :puke:

There is the unPATRIOTic Act, which is probably the single most unconstitutional piece of legislation in the US.

There is torture and 'preemptive self defense' invasions.

And what scares me most, is that there is a very large part of the populace who thinks that all this is a-okay.

Because for me, all of the above sound like very un-American traits.



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