The More We Know, The More We Don’t Know

Bloomberg breaks a story today that tells us less than it seems:

As many as one in five former Guantanamo Bay detainees are suspected of or confirmed to have engaged in terrorist activity after their release, U.S. officials said, citing the latest government statistics.

The 20 percent rate is an increase over the 14 percent of former inmates that an April Pentagon report said were thought to have joined terrorist efforts, said the officials, who requested anonymity. The officials didn’t provide the numbers on which the 20 percent is based.

Nor did they provide documentation for why the detainees were in Gitmo to begin with. Nor did Bloomberg’s reporters ask.

The April report lists a number of detainees “repatriated” to their country at various times, then “confirmed or suspected of reengaging in terrorist activities.” Even if we take that report at face value, it tells us nothing about what led to the original capture, and nothing about treatment while in custody. We’re invited to presume there was good reason to hold the captives at Gitmo in the first place, which we’ve learned isn’t always the case.

In other words: Have we been releasing terrorists, or creating them?

More Ex-Detainees Resort to Terror, Officials Say [Bloomberg]

Well, it stands to reason — if they weren’t pissed off at the US before getting hauled to Gitmo, they sure would be afterwards.

@Dodgerblue: No shit. You’re driving cab in Goatfuckistan and suddenly you’re in Gitmo being beaten and raped pretty much non-stop except for pauses when the Marines handcuff you and piss in your face. You go back to Goatfuckistan and the place has been bombed into talc by the Americans. What’s left but to dream of the day you rip the president’s head off and fuck the wet hole and eat his kids in front of his dismembered head while it retains consciousness?

TJ/ Leading Oklahoma wingnut Sally Kern has introduced a bill to restrict grounds for divorce. Ya gotta love it when the crazees do the work for us. Go, Sally, go!

@FlyingChainSaw: Of course they are willing to forgive us! We have done nothing wrong! We have never hurt their people!

@blogenfreude: In the early days, right after 9-11 and the invasion of Afghanistan, the military and the press let through a photo of torture that appeared everywhere in the mainstream press.

It was a photo of some of the Gitmo prisoners during transport, obviously in an Air Force transport plane, a plain metal interior with a big flat floor with lots of tracks and hold-downs for cargo.

The prisoners were sitting on the flat floor, their legs straight out ahead of them, and they were forced to sit straight up. With their hands bound behind them, no support from their arms. I can keep that position for about 3 minutes. The caption clearly stated that this was how they were forced to endure the transatlantic flight, 6 hours or so. To keep them upright, there were cargo straps that ran across the deck of the plane, attached to the side walls, and these straps were weaved behind and in front of their torsos, right under the arms, and cinched tight. It was clear that of they slumped either forward or back, these straps would tighten and make breathing difficult.

It was plainly torture, what they call a “stress position,” and I remember being horrified, it was torture, to me, but noone said boo.

@Promnight: Unfortunately, a lot of the stress positions and devices used on the Gitmo detainees (i.e. restraint chairs) are S.O.P. at most state adult and juvenile prisons.

Here’s an easier linque:

And someday we’ll teach you how to imbed linques

Here’s an example of domestic torture. Or just Google “restraint chair”

@SanFranLefty: Any method can be abused in an institutional setting, with uncaring, angry, staff, but SFL, I have to tell you, I have had to physically restrain my son whom I love so much, under the advice of doctors, i have had to phsyically restrain someone I love more than myself, and its inherently ugly, but if someone is going to hurt themself, its necessary. And in my case, its my horror, that if it ever comes that I cannot protect and control my son, he will wind up in state custody, where it will be like in the photos you posted.

Please don’t compare it to what is done to al queada prisoners in gitmo.

No matter how horrifying the pictures of physical restraint are, we do not tie them to chairs naked in a room kept at 60 degrees and play loud rock music for 5 days straight to keep them awake, as is standard procedure in Gitmo. The stories are that with respect to that one high-ranking al queada guy, the CIA told the whitehouse after 60 or so waterboardings, that they felt the guy had nothing more to say, and the order came straight from the white house that he should be waterboarded, tortured, some more.

Bush and Cheney do belong in jail.

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