Sunday, January 30, 2005

What Maureen Dowd Said

Nothing more than recycling material from someone else, but, this is Maureen Dowd's description of some of the material in Erik Sarr's book about his experiences as an Army Sergeant and Arabic interpreter at Gitmo:
After the prisoner spat in her face, she left the room to ask a Muslim linguist how she could break the prisoner's reliance on God. The linguist suggested she tell the prisoner that she was menstruating, touch him, and then shut off the water in his cell so he couldn't wash.

"The concept was to make the detainee feel that after talking to her he was unclean and was unable to go before his God in prayer and gain strength," Mr. Saar recounted, adding: "She then started to place her hands in her pants as she walked behind the detainee. As she circled around him he could see that she was taking her hand out of her pants. When it became visible the detainee saw what appeared to be red blood on her hand. She said, 'Who sent you to Arizona?' He then glared at her with a piercing look of hatred. She then wiped the red ink on his face. He shouted at the top of his lungs, spat at her and lunged forward," breaking out of an ankle shackle.

"He began to cry like a baby," the author wrote, adding that the interrogator's parting shot was: "Have a fun night in your cell without any water to clean yourself."

A female civilian contractor kept her "uniform" - a thong and miniskirt - on the back of the door of an interrogation room, the author says.

Who are these women? Who allows this to happen? Why don't the officers who allow it get into trouble? Why do Rummy and Paul Wolfowitz still have their jobs?
And, of course:
The military did not deny the specifics, but said the prisoners were treated "humanely" and in a way consistent "with legal obligations prohibiting torture." However the Bush White House is redefining torture these days, the point is this: Such behavior degrades the women who are doing it, the men they are doing it to, and the country they are doing it for.
"God bless America", they say. But when they are acting like this, have they forgotten what God did for the country God had a covenant with? Have none of these people heard of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Hosea? "God Bless America" is soon going to sound like a desperate plea, not a triumphalist slogan.

The public response to this, of course, will be that such disclosures undermine our "war on terror," or the troops, or the country. A textbook example of Samuel Johnson's assertion that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. And our country is now full of patriots.

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