No Right Turn publishes a letter from someone in Guantanamo.
Oops. That sound you hear is the “gulag” claim flying out the window. See, in a real gulag there are no letters. No attorneys, no visitors of any kind. You work from before dawn to after dusk under constant beatings and little food. But I digress.
So in summary, the list is:
* assaulted me/beaten me unconscious
This is a serious allegation, and I will deal with it shortly.
* threatened to kill me/daughter
* placed me in solitary confinement,
* and told me I will stay in Cuba for the rest of my life.
* deprived me of sleep,
* forced me to listen to extremely loud music
* shined intense lights in my face
* They have placed me in cold rooms for hours without food & drink
* or the ability to go to the bathroom
* or wash for prayers
* wrapped me in the Israeli flag
* told me there is a holy war…
Here we have the bulk of the published claims. It makes rather unremarkable reading.
I’d frankly have been surprised if he hadn’t claimed to have been in solitary confinement. Depriving someone of sleep is hardly torture, and most teenagers would regard loud music as a human right.
Bright lights are not exactly going to kill anyone either. Not washing for prayers would be quite common on the battlefield, where we would presume this fellow was picked up.
But then we have a claim that he was wrapped in the Israeli flag. Wow. This makes a list that includes being beaten unconscious. “What I write here is not what my imagination fancies or my insanity dictates” – so he quite sanely believes that being wrapped in the flag of a democratic nation is a incredible insult to his humanity. One wonders why his attorneys kept this in, it clearly degrades his credibility.
Actually, that claim goes:
They have wrapped me in the Israeli flag and told me there is a holy war between the Cross and the Star of David on one hand and the Crescent on the other.
So there’s a war between Israel and Arabs? Good gracious! Who knew? Someone should tell Israel that all those rockets, terrorist attacks and invasions over their history were because of a war – I don’t think they know that.
Note that the key paragraph begins and ends in what may well be the same claim – assault, or being beaten unconscious. This is a serious claim, as is threatening to kill. However, the letter makes it plain that this is not army policy. It it more thank likely that if these things did happen, the perpetrators have been found and punished. More likely than in Iraq or Afghanistan under their respective despotic regimes that is.
But the most interesting thing about this letter is what is not there. There is no suggestion that people are being worked to death. There is no suggestion that people are denied Korans or pray time. There is no suggestion that people are being starved. There is no suggestion that people are unable to visit him. There is no proof supplied that he is innocent – the LA Times should be able to provide something, but choose not to. There is nothing to suggest that this man should not be held as a prisoner of war, and the Israeli flag claim to suggest he should be.
And that is what he is. A prisoner of war, who is alleged to have fought a war outside the protection of the Geneva convention.