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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Guantánamo lid off 

The Guardian reveals that a new book on Guantánamo pinpoints the US military for horrific--and in some cases puerile--torture at Guantánamo:

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1479040,00.html

The most damning? Perhaps the following quote:

Saar also describes the 'snatch teams', known as the Initial Reaction Force (IRF), who remove unco-operative prisoners from their cells. He describes one such snatch where a prisoner's arm was broken. In a training session for an IRF team, one US soldier posing as a prisoner was beaten so badly that he suffered brain damage. It is believed the IRF team had not been told the 'detainee' was a soldier.

Why is Saar coming out with this revelation?

Saar was an enthusiastic supporter of George Bush in the 2000 elections but he has changed his world view after being exposed to Guantánamo Bay. 'I believe in America and American troops,' he said, 'but it has drastically changed my world view and my politics.'

Saar left the army and has become a hate figure for some right-wing groups which say he and his book are unpatriotic. But Saar believes exposing the abuses of Guantánamo will lessen the damage done to America's reputation in the long run. 'The camp is a mistake. It does not need to be that way. There should be a better way, more in line with American morals,' he said.


This makes sense to me. If there are still Americans like Saar, then there is still hope for the world and for Americans traveling in it. If no one speaks up and out, then why should the world trust us ever again? After all, the truth will come out. Why shouldn't the US break the story to start the healing process?

By the way, I'm in the Low Countries this week myself. It is amazing to see the extent of the anti-Bush propaganda...in Maastricht, Delft, Den Haag, etc. He may still be popular at home with the 46% of Americans who voted for him (and the other 5% who were added on by the non-paper trail generating election equipment), but he's rubbish here.

-Vulf

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