Saturday, November 28, 2009

His Military Masters

The utter intimidation of Dr. Kidglove by the military he ostensibly commands could not be made more clear than by the story in this morning's New York Times.

Alissa J. Rubin reports from Kabul: " An American military detention camp in Afghanistan is still holding inmates for sometimes weeks at a time and without access to the International Committee of the Red Cross, according to human rights researchers and former detainees held at the site on the Bagram Air Base."

Kidglove campaigned on the theme of change, promising to reverse the shameful Bush policies of torture, illegal imprisonment, Geneva Convention violations and lies.

His promises have turned into lies to equal those those Bush told, with the possible exception of the fairy tale WMDs in Iraq that have wasted the lives of thousands of United States military personnel.

The Bagram jail, Rubin writes, "consists of individual windowless concrete cells, each lighted by a single light bulb glowing 24 hours a day, where detainees said that their only contact with another human being was at twice-daily interrogation sessions."

Kidglove signed an order last January to eliminate the so-called "black sites" run by the CIA, but -- oops! -- it didn't apply to this particular torture chamber because it's run by the military Special Operations forces.

Ah, but last August, our kindly torquemadas revised Pentagon policy so that detainees in these black sites could be held there no more than two weeks.

Rubin writes:

“The black jail was the most dangerous and fearful place,” said Hamidullah, a spare-parts dealer in Kandahar who was detained there and who, like some Afghans, doesn’t use a last name. “They don’t let the I.C.R.C. officials or any other civilians see or communicate with the people they keep there. Because I did not know what time it was, I did not know when to pray.”

Mr. Hamidullah was released in October, after five and half months in detention, five to six weeks of it in the black jail, he said.

Two weeks, schmoo weeks, he's only a raghead, right?

Rubin's article refers to "tension" between Kidglove and his military commanders, to whom the President wants to give "leeway to operate."

Operate? What's that mean, "operate?"

“They beat up  people in the black jail,” Hamidullah said. “They didn’t let me sleep. There was shouting noise so you couldn’t sleep."  Two Afghan teen-agers held in Bagram jail for more than ten months told a reporter they had been subjected to beatings and "humiliation" by their captors.

They were detained because they were suspected of being Taliban terrorists.  They weren't.  They were just people.  When their captors finally learned the truth, the detainees were released.

One of the freed prisoners said he was told, "'Please accept our apology, and we are sorry that we kept you here for this time.’ And that was it. They kept me for more than 10 months and gave me nothing back.”

By that time his family had spent two years' income in a futile effort to learn if he was alive or dead.

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