Thursday, November 17, 2005

If I eat I condone the lie


Newsweek, the website rather than the magazine, has an article on the Guantanamo hunger-strikers (remember them?), specifically a Kuwaiti, Fawzi Al Odah, who is being forcibly fed, which is merely prolonging his death, since they can only get 1,000 calories a day into him. Al Odah is hunger-striking in support of his demand for a trial (or, as Gitmo spokesmodel Jeremy Martin puts it, implementing “an Al Qaeda tactic to try to get media attention,” just like those famous Al Qaeda members Mohandas Gandhi, Sylvia Pankhurst, Bobby Sands, Al Sharpton, and those landscapers in Beverly Hills protesting the banning of noisy leaf blowers) and in rebuttal of the claim that Gitmo prisoners are well-treated. “If I eat,” he told his lawyer, “I condone the lie.” This information comes to us only because of a court case, which ended with the judge claiming that Al Odah’s medical treatment was perfectly adequate. Such court reviews are, of course, about to be eliminated by Congress.

Speaking of prisoners who aren’t eating, although in this case because they weren’t being fed, the Iraqi interior minister claims that only a few of the prisoners in that secret prison (one of 8 or 10 “unofficial jails” run by special interior minister units which seem to be indistinguishable from sectarian militias) it says deep in this NYT article) (“unofficial jails”!) were beaten and/or tortured, although the BBC notes that he couldn’t keep his story straight, claiming the number was 5 at one point, 7 at another. His deputy said 160 a couple of days ago. On the bright side, “No one was beheaded”. So that’s ok, then. Also, they’re really really bad: “These are the most criminal terrorists”. Not just terrorists, but criminal terrorists, and not just criminal terrorists, but the most criminal terrorists. His deputy says that these were just isolated incidents of prisoner abuse. Can’t think where I’ve heard that before. Even deeper in the NYT story it says that some of the prisoners were released when their families paid ransoms. Also read the LAT article, which has remarkably little overlap with the NYT one. The secret prison was found by Americans, who haven’t figured out who was actually in charge of it, and despite the starving and tortured prisoners, failed to hold any of the guards, who “were dispersed.”

FEMA will stop paying for the housing of Katrina victims on December 1, because December 25 would have been too unsubtle even for them.

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