My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Sometimes An Outsider Can See Quite Clearly. . .

that which is overlooked by those close to the situation.

I draw your attention to this column in the London Daily Telegraph (registration required) by Alisdair Palmer.

The horrors of what undoubtedly took place in Abu Ghraib, the prison in Iraq, have convinced many people that the Americans must also have administered hideous tortures to everyone they imprisoned at Guantanamo. In fact it is not at all clear that the Americans have tortured anyone in Guantanamo. Some of the "sexual tortures" – women interrogators rubbing their breasts against the backs of those being questioned – sound, to Western ears, too close to the comfy chair of Monty Python's Spanish Inquistion to be taken seriously. Surprisingly, perhaps, the US army authorities took them very seriously: . . .

When the Brits start making fun of you for being mamby-pamby, you know you're in a little too deep for your own good.

Especially when this point comes up:

The men's claim that they were tortured at Guantanamo should also be set in the context of the al-Qa'eda training manual discovered during a raid in Manchester a couple of years ago. Lesson 18 of that manual, whose authenticity has not been questioned, emphatically states, under the heading "Prison and Detention Centres", that, when arrested, members of al-Qa'eda "must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by state security investigators. [They must] complain to the court of mistreatment while in prison". That is not, of course, proof that the Britons were not tortured in Guantanamo. But it ought to encourage some doubts about uncritically accepting that they were – which seems to be the attitude adopted by most of the media.

I'm also reminded of another scene from Monty Python--from "The Holy Grail." Couldn't I have just a little of the peril . . .

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