Weekend Reading: Gitmo, Iraq, Etc.
For many of us this will be a long weekend, as Monday is a federal holiday commemorating the birthday of a great American, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plenty of time to sleep and be lazy, but for your reading "enjoyment", here are a couple of articles which I found to be timely and thought-provoking.
A Bahraini father imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay speaks to the world about his agony:
At Guantanamo, soldiers have assaulted me, placed me in solitary confinement, threatened to kill me, threatened to kill my daughter and told me I will stay in Cuba for the rest of my life. They have deprived me of sleep, forced me to listen to extremely loud music and 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. 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. They have beaten me unconscious. [LA Times]Robert Kraiser, a journalist who covered the Vietnam War, speaks of failures in Iraq:
After nearly four years of ineffectual war-fighting, after the collapse of domestic support for President Bush and his policies, after the expenditure of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars, it no longer seems possible to avoid the grim conclusion: For the United States, Iraq has become another Vietnam. [Washington Post]Dahlia Lithwick scrutinizes the Bush administration's efforts in fighting the war on terrorism:
...It has finally become clear that the goal of these efforts isn't to win the war against terrorism; indeed, nothing about Padilla, Guantanamo Bay or signing statements moves the country an inch closer to eradicating terrorism. The object is a larger one: expanding executive power, for its own sake. [Washington Post]Pentagon Official Doesn't Want Military Detainees to Have Lawyers:
The senior Pentagon official in charge of military detainees suspected of terrorism said in an interview this week that he was dismayed that lawyers at many of the nation’s top firms were representing prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and that the firms’ corporate clients should consider ending their business ties. [NY Times]And one more...when you think the world is closing in on you, just count your blessings:
Instead, when the family arrived at Dulles International Airport late Tuesday afternoon, a frail-looking Kabir rode in a wheelchair. A navy knit cap concealed the damage wrought by chemotherapy. His leukemia had kept coming back with more and more vengeance until he unequivocally declared that he was done. [Washington Post]