Friday, June 03, 2005

Guantanamo Bay - Quran Abuse

Still Ridiculous

AP Reports Pentagon Confirms "Quran Abuse".

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon on Friday confirmed for the first time that a U.S. soldier deliberately kicked a Guantanamo Bay prisoner's Muslim holy book in violation of the military's rules for handling the Quran.

OMG! The horror! It's inconceivable that a US soldier could be pissed off enough at a detainee to want to kick something (sarcasm). Fortunately, for the prisoner (and the guard) he restrained himself and kicked the Quran.

In other confirmed incidents, prison guards threw water balloons in a cell block, causing an unspecified number of Qurans to get wet; a guard's urine splashed on a detainee and his Quran; an interrogator stepped on a Quran during an interrogation; and a two-word obscenity was written in English on the inside cover of a Quran.

Okay, water balloons? Whose idea of "abusing prisoners" was that? Come on! If they're going to do something that gets them labeled as operating a "gulag", where's the unrestrained beatings, hanging from the ankles and electric shock? Criminy! If I got to keep hearing this stuff, I at least want to make sure that it was somewhere in the vicinity of "gulag" guard behavior. Of course, a reasonable person would understand that this is not "wide spread", "systematic" or "routine", particularly as the AP was generous enough to indicate that the activities were "against military policy".

I do wonder what a guard was doing urinating near a Quran or a prisoner with a Quran. The mind boggles. Whatever. I imagine that the guy kicking the Quran got a little reprimand since that type of behavior, though understandable, may not be helpful in prepping the detainee for interrogation, but may make them even more belligerent and insistent on being uncooperative. Most likely, the interrogation incident happened in 2002 when the Pentagon was going through multiple ideas on countering resistance to known interrogation techniques.

I will add here that, when I read the policy regarding treatment of the Quran and read the interrogation manual that makes recommendations on how to best obtain information from detainees, someone, a long time ago, determined that this behavior was counter productive to the program. That's why there is only ONE instance of that occurring. Probably didn't turn that interrogation around.

And, honestly, I don't blame the person that wrote the two word obscenity (I kind imagine what it was) in the Quran. I'm thinking when you got a bunch of crazy bastards that use their religion as a political ideology and justification for blowing up civilians, cutting their heads off and screaming "allahu akbar", one would be hard pressed not to want to tell them a thing or two about their ideas or how you feel about them.

On with the story, because now the AP says, "see, Newsweek was right and the US government was wrong for accusing them of lying":

The findings are among the results of an investigation last month by Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, the commander of the detention center in Cuba, that was triggered by a Newsweek magazine report — later retracted — that a U.S. soldier had flushed one Guantanamo Bay detainee's Quran down a toilet.

The story stirred worldwide controversy and the Bush administration blamed it for deadly demonstrations in Afghanistan..

Okay. Just so we're all on the same page, the Newsweek story was still a lie. Further, these incidents are almost laughably miniscule compared to the whole endeavor, one wonders why this much attention has been given to it? Probably because the other information regarding "detainee abuse" just has too many nuances and legitimate explanations along with obvious review and oversite continuing at administrative and unit levels. It's getting hard to claim policy driven abuse. Unless you're Amnesty International or the ACLU.

There were over 640 detainees at the onset of Guantanamo. Today, there are still 520 disregarding the 38 that will be released shortly.

Out of 640 detainees and over 24,000 interrogations, five, count them, FIVE incidents of actual "abuse of quran" could be found and I would lay my life savings of $5 down that soldiers received disciplinary actions for at least three of the incidents, policy regarding interrogation practices and handling of the Quran were clarified for two reasons:

1) We have an obligation under the Geneva Conventions to treat prisoners' religious ideas with respect and provide them with access to religious texts and "chaplains".

2) Mishandling the Quran has led to issues with control, security and interrogation within the facility.

I'll let the reader decide which of these two items probably drove the administration to make changes to policies more than the other.

In closing, the whole "Quran" abuse story is still a ridiculous red herring. I wonder, after reading the redacted FBI version (Lord knows what's in the full classified version) why no news agency is reporting some of the comments made by the detainees and show Americans what they are really about?

Document number 2, pages 11 and 12, the man had previously made statements that he had been to Pakistan, was met there by [name redacted] who helped him and other Arabs travel to several countries, finally arrived in Pakistan and ended up staying at a mosque related to an Islamist group related to Al Qaida. Then the guy says he was lying and it was coerced by the Pakistani interrogators. Then the FBI asks if he would take a polygraph test. The guy then states that he can't take the polygraph test because it's against his religion.


Or the character on page 10 of the same document who admits to training with Al Qaida, admits to meeting bin Laden, admits that he went to Afghanistan to train for "true jihad". He says that he didn't receive any training because he did not have his parents' permission to do so and it is against Islam to lie about having your parents' permission.

Now, if you all have been paying attention and the MSM wanted to report something of interest, how about the number of young men who have lied to their parents about going to visit friends, going on religious travels or going to university and then their parents get the surprise of their lives when their sons' names appear on the "martyrdom" website saying he had blown himself up and 30 innocent Muslims on a street in Baquba?

Anyone that pays attention and actually reads this stuff would know what it's about.

Quran abuse? A pain in the ass in regards to policy and interrogation obstruction, but it's not the real story here. Neither is the seven cases of "abuse" that have been reported and disciplined.

The real story here is that these men that remain are not just some poor Afghani guy, minding his business and his sheep when he got swept up by US, Northern Alliance or Pakistani forces. All of those folks were released some time ago or not even transported to Guantanamo.

What remains are men who have participated in or havknowledgege about organized Islamist movements and have admitted to it, recanted, told lies, couldn't keep their stories straight if their lives depended on it and we're supposed to sit back and be distracted by voodoo stories about Quran abuse and the "gulag" of Guantanamo, while our enemies laugh in our faces or behind the same Qurans, enjoying their air conditioning, culturally sensitive food, volley ball courts and soccer games.

To the media.Thehe story is dead. You played your part in the bullshit and we think you suck for it.

Report the truth. If the MSM wants to be objective, why don't you report even the unclassified portions of these investigations? Tell the American people and the rest of the world what these men believe in and what they should expect by men going to "true jihad".

The guy from page 15 and 16 that knows several of the fighters and where they're from.

The guy on page 17 who swears he doesn't know anything, didn't know about the attacks on September 11 in the US, but had made previous statements otherwise and was now trying to claim that he would just go back to Afghanistan and raise his family, although, he insists that there should only be one religion, Islam and that all others are false and insults to Allah.

The guy on page 23 that says he "feels sorry for Americans" because they will be targets abroad and specifically in the middle east, but refused to give specifics. This was in 2002. If the media wanted to report anything, how about this guy's statement with a little run down of the violence perpetuated against "westerners" in Saudi Arabia and many other places by jihadists exploding bombs?

I'm sure this guy was innocent. /sarcasm

Page 24, our detainee is talking about an organized mass suicide that the detainees will expect to "solidify" anger against America by its propaganda. I recall in 2002 when reports of this were leaked out and everyone started worrying that conditions in Guantanamo were so bad, men were willing to take their lives. Well, guess what? While they were complaining about conditions, they were planning organized psychological warfare and propaganda of their own.

Anybody in the media going to report that? NO? Because then it wouldn't make these "poor slobs" look like victims of the big oppressive regime anymore.

Speaking of the man on page 24, how about the fact that contract workers were passing information to them about outside events and one of the detainee's brother was responsible for killing two marines and was most interested in insuring that they, the detainees, were able to talk to these contract workers so information about their condition and imprisonment in Guantanamo could get out "to the world" and cause a fuss? Can you say "propaganda"? Organized, with specific intent.

These aren't some poor rug merchant in the wrong place at the wrong time with no idea on how to wage "insurgent" war.

Pages 30 and 31 detainee talks about a young man who had been residing in the west (name redacted), had been very tempted by western ways which went against his religious beliefs, became angry and decided that he had to fight against the west.

All the things that the government has been saying for several years now.

Further, he indicates that one speech from {redacted} would havMuslimsms lining up to fight the Americans with Jihad. He seemed well educated in all the propaganda about western influence, Israel and Palestine, troop withdrawals from Saudi Arabia. This was not simple man without contact to the outside world. He had previously admitted to going to training, then denied it, then pressured some more said that he could not answer without first "praying" about it. He also stated that Americans got what they deserved on 9/11 because of "foreign policy" and presence in the ME (we're talking prior to 9/11).

He seems well informed and has al the talking points down, don't you think?

That was one document. The first document actually had a detainee stating he wanted to kill Americans and if he was released, he considered it his duty to kill as many as possible.

So, why doesn't the chickenshit media want to report this information? Is it old and stale? No older or staler than the accusations aboumistreatmentnt or abuse. Yet, I don't see any media agency pawing through these interviews and coming up with compositeit of what these men are, what they believe, what they've done and what they would do if given the chance.

I believe in free press, but I also believe that they have a responsibility to report NEWS that impacts the American people. Questions about command, control and policy in the military are important to insure that the expectations of the people, whom the military represents, are met, that they are not put in harms way and not needlessly exposed to danger or legal actions because regulations and procedures were not followed.

We also want to make sure that information being used, true or not, as propaganda is heard, understood and refuted whenever possible because this is part of the war effort.

But, for some reason, the media refused to report on the specifics of what the detainees said outside of "allegations of abuse". Why?

If I was a conspiracy theorist, I'd say because then they'd have to rethink all their stories that they have put out that contradict this idea. Because, it might show that the government, whom they believe is out to manipulate the public and should not be given any press that supports their ideas, actually knows what they are talking about in terms of the threat of Islamist terrorists.

That's if I was into conspiracy theories.

Without that, I can only assume, as I've noted in the other posts on this subject, that the media is full of lazy, incompetent researchers that just parrot the headlines off of AP, editorialize things to make them "exciting" and don't really know anything about "investigative" reports or giving "context" to information so people really can make their own decisions on the topic.

Then again, it rounds back to who thinks they should be the ones shaping public opinion.

The major media outlets have lost their edge.

These reports continue to magnify the ridiculousness of reporting.

Tell the people the truth, not just the truth according the CNN or AP.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin Gets Email from ex-guard and Full Military Report

Your article describing the treatment of detainees and their access to books other than the Koran is accurate. The detainees also have their own medical facility and an exercise yard where they run, play soccer and engage in other physical activities.
I know these things because I was a guard there from Dec. 2002 to Sept. 2003. I was in a National Guard infantry unit assigned to man the towers inside and the checkpoints around Camp Delta. I have seen these things firsthand.

I will never forget seeing an MP waiting at Guantanamo Bay Naval Hospital after being splattered by a detainees bodily fluids. You never hear about these incidents in the media and you never hear about MP's having to be tested for hepatitis and other infections due to these incidents.

Gitmo, like most detention facilities, will never approach any state of perfection. However, from what I have observed, most injuries to detainees were self-inflicted, such as attempted suicides.


Anonymous said...

Mega Dittos!

This whole "Koran abuse" BS has had me so damn mad I've wanted to scream. Unfortunately I haven't been able to write much recently so I've had to confine myself to yelling at the radio in my car.

The newsmedia have been unbelieveably irresponsible in this affair. The bottom line is that they are do damn anxious to trash the Bush administration and the US military that they want to believe the worst. And most of them are so anxious to be the next Bob Woodward it's pathetic.



The Sandmonkey said...

The whole thing is fuckin stupid. It's a book, ok? I am sorrym but there is millions of them in the world. It's not that big of deal.

People need to fuckin grow up!

Anonymous said...

1. Understand that while christ is the primary focus in christian teaching,the doctrine or Qur'an is the primary focus of the islam communities. For many, especially those in the middle east, kicking a Quran would be like kicking jesus.

2. Humiliation is torture whether you choose to accept it or not. The U.N. recognises what affects such treatment on a persons mental health could have if continued over time.

3. Such dismisive attitudes, saying that water bombs aren't "really" torture, or abusation of religiously sacred items is being over-re acted to. Leads to one thing, confirming Extremist propaganda, these terrorists are fed constant messages that America is evil.

So you do what, capture them, humiliate them, deface their religious books, blow up their cities with "shock and awe" tactics.

You just end up confirming thier beliefs of America.

All in all this is to complex of a topic for me to answer. But I think this song quote would show you why your protocal when occupying other countries is wrong.

"America, FUCK YEAH!
Coming again, to save the mother fucking day yeah,
America, FUCK YEAH!"