Wednesday, January 14, 2009


The BBC is wailing about the horrendous torture apparently inflicted upon the 20th 9/11 hijacker Qahtani. When I watched the news the person talking about the details of the "torture" said that the treatment doled out to him was shocking. She actually seemed genuinely appalled as she began to talk- describing how Qahtani was questioned for 18 hours at a time, kept in cold conditions and *gasp* forced to wear women's clothes. The Washington Post has more-

"For 160 days his only contact was with the interrogators," said Crawford, who personally reviewed Qahtani's interrogation records and other military documents. "Forty-eight of 54 consecutive days of 18-to-20-hour interrogations. Standing naked in front of a female agent. Subject to strip searches. And insults to his mother and sister."

At one point he was threatened with a military working dog named Zeus, according to a military report. Qahtani "was forced to wear a woman's bra and had a thong placed on his head during the course of his interrogation" and "was told that his mother and sister were whores." With a leash tied to his chains, he was led around the room "and forced to perform a series of dog tricks," the report shows.

Please note- this man is not a US citizen, he's a terrorist who has none of the same rights afforded by the Constitution or the Geneva Convention. And note too the details of the very real torture suffered by two US soldiers-

...two U.S. servicemen — in Geneva Convention-approved uniforms — have their hearts cut out, their testicles cut off, their penises cut off and stuffed in their mouths, arms contorted and eyes gouged? THIS is torture.

Precisely- and yet the world's media is aghast as the mistreatment of a terrorist involved in a plot which led to the mass murder of over 3,000 people. When two US soldiers are tortured, mutilated and murdered the media is lacking in the same outrage they afford a terrorist. It's a revolting double standard. Calling a terrorist's mother and sister names is not torture. Neither is threatening a man with a dog or putting women's underwear on him. Sure, it's humiliating and under normal circumstances (i.e. when dealing with a US citizen or an actual POW) it should never be countenanced- but to label mistreatment like this torture is preposterous.

Worth mentioning here too is this news on just what those released from Gitmo get up to-

According to the Pentagons report up to 61 of its former detainees have returned to a life of terrorism. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said 18 former detainees are confirmed as "returning to the fight" and 43 are suspected of having done in a report issued late in December by the Defense Intelligence Agency.

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