Torture: I Report, You Decide
If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime--Pol Pot or others--that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.
Vice-President Dick Cheney, in a representative Republican response:
I thought Durbin was totally out of line. For him to make those comparisons was one of the more egregious things I'd ever heard uttered on the floor of the United States Senate. ... It was so far over the top that I'm just appalled that anybody who serves in the United States Senate would even think those thoughts.... [The terrorist detainees] are well-housed. They're well-fed. Their religious needs and desires are catered to. They're not being tortured or mistreated, but they are a major source of intelligence for us. Plus, we need to keep them off the streets.
And, finally, today's Washington Post:
Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush was being stubborn with his American captors, and a series of intense beatings and creative interrogation tactics were not enough to break his will. On the morning of Nov. 26, 2003, a U.S. Army interrogator and a military guard grabbed a green sleeping bag, stuffed Mowhoush inside, wrapped him in an electrical cord, laid him on the floor and began to go to work. Again.
It was inside the sleeping bag that the 56-year-old detainee took his last breath through broken ribs, lying on the floor beneath a U.S. soldier in Interrogation Room 6 in the western Iraqi desert. Two days before, a secret CIA-sponsored group of Iraqi paramilitaries, working with Army interrogators, had beaten Mowhoush nearly senseless, using fists, a club and a rubber hose, according to classified documents.
I report, you decide.