Sunday, October 09, 2005
Sexual Perversion in Rumsfeld's Pentagon
This week Capt. James Yee’s book concerning his experiences in Guantánamo will hit America’s bookstores. This morning’s Sunday Times (London) offers a fascinating set of excerpts from Yee’s work. Money quote: “It was my turn to be humiliated every time I was taken to have a shower. Naked, I had to run my hands through my hair to show that I was not concealing a weapon in it. Then mouth open, tongue up, down, nothing inside. Right arm up, nothing in my armpit. Left arm up. Lift the right testicle, nothing hidden. Lift the left. Turn around, bend over, spread your buttocks, knowing a camera was displaying my naked image as male and female guards watched. “It didn’t matter that I was an army captain, a graduate of West Point, the elite US military academy. It didn’t matter that my religious beliefs prohibited me from being fully naked in front of strangers. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t been charged with a crime. It didn’t matter that my wife and daughter had no idea where I was. And it certainly didn’t matter that I was a loyal American citizen and, above all, innocent.”
“It was my turn to be humiliated every time I was taken to have a shower. Naked, I had to run my hands through my hair to show that I was not concealing a weapon in it. Then mouth open, tongue up, down, nothing inside. Right arm up, nothing in my armpit. Left arm up. Lift the right testicle, nothing hidden. Lift the left. Turn around, bend over, spread your buttocks, knowing a camera was displaying my naked image as male and female guards watched.
“It didn’t matter that I was an army captain, a graduate of West Point, the elite US military academy. It didn’t matter that my religious beliefs prohibited me from being fully naked in front of strangers. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t been charged with a crime. It didn’t matter that my wife and daughter had no idea where I was. And it certainly didn’t matter that I was a loyal American citizen and, above all, innocent.”
That was one of the best posts I have read in my time reading the blogosphere. A true must read.
Hey, great post... hey, have you ever looked into the smear job against Scott Ritter, former Iraq arms inspector and outspoken Bu**sh** critic?
The wingnuts were all a-buzz a couple of years ago accusing him of some sexual misdeed, but I can no longer remember exactly what it was.
Hey, have you ever looked into Scott Ritter's advocacy FOR war against Iraq until he was revealed to be a self-serving a_____e who could not be trusted to tell you the time of day and then turned 180 degrees around to keep his name in the news?
And as for the credibility of Mr. Horton's "[T]he vast majority of the population has sexual relations outside of wedlock at some point..." and all the other garbage. Hey, some of us can think and we know innuendo, half-truth and opinion pretending to be fact when we see it. Just write: "I hate Rumsfeld and you should too."
Here's an article from BBC which features Ritter complaining about being "smeared" by an "internet sex sting". The case was subsequently thrown out by a judge.
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Excellent post, Mr. Horton. Reading your post, Col. Wilkerson's point in his speech at the New America Foundation came to my mind again. He, a former military man, pointed out it was clear to him that something like Abu Ghraib was enabled by the implied encouragement coming from Cheney's office and the Pentagon.
Certainly, this wasn't masterminded by Lynndie England. This goes right to the top.
The Pentagon procecutions mentioned in your post, namely of Gen. Fiscus and Gen. Byrnes, IMO underline that.
It's a disgrace when superiors are using disciplinary tools selectively to enforce conformity and a political view, or to shut up dissent.
But I guess that's what happens when people who are so full of themselves as Bush's politicos are, are trying to enforce their vision of civilian control of the military (not a bad point in itself).
In my view (and in my country anyway) torture is a crime, and not a policy.
When politicians like Dick Cheney, and their mouthpieces, are pushing it as a issue, that tells a lot. Wilkerson made a good point: Never before America had a justice-department (perversely) or a vice-presidential approval for torture.
Cheney might well learn something reading about George Washington and his view on how to treat prisoners. That was IMO American tradition in the best sense, heritage of the America I admire.
Mr. Cheney has seemingly decided to opt for another American tradition, coming from the savage Indian Wars: That an dishonourable opponent - and so the Indians were perceived, and so are faceless, dark-skinned, broadly muslim terrorists perceived - doesn't deserve fair play. If they want a dirty fight, they'll get it.
Watching from over the atlantic I found this stance quite prevalent after 911: These ragheads are subhuman, and don't deserve better.
It is, however, very difficult to counter this with moral or factual arguments. This is about sentiment and emotion. It blinds people holding this view to the palpable problems involved, like that most of the folks imprisoned in Gitmo were not terrorists, but insurgent fighters, that is, peasants with an AK. Or that in Iraq as many as 80% of the people locked up in those broad sweeps are innocent, according to U.S. military intel.
Mr. Horton, I wich you all the best. Keep on writing, America needs you.
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