The Dick lies

Erik Saar is a former military linguist at Guantanamo Bay. He says the facility was so dysfunctional that abuses were inevitable. When he arrived at the camp he believed the rhetoric that the “worst of the worst” were being interrogated there. When he left, his view had changed completely:

“It’s not humane and not effective. We have people there and we don’t know what their affiliations with terrorism are. We ourselves cannot verify that they were enemy combatants picked up on the battlefield, as General Miller has repeatedly said to the media. A number of them were turned over to us by foreign governments, and the Northern Alliance, who were paid a bounty for them. There wasn’t this extensive vetting process, as the Pentagon would lead you to believe. What extensive vetting process allows an 88-year-old to end up at Guantanamo Bay? And we are operating outside of the scope of the Geneva Conventions. Some of the things I saw were not only what I would consider unethical, but ineffective. We’re not getting enough of a benefit for the price we’re paying in terms of our reputation in the world. I don’t know how, as country, we can say we’re going to promote democracy and human dignity and justice throughout the Arab and Muslim world and at the same time defy some of those very same principles at Guantanamo Bay.”

Today we learn that the only Australian left at the facility, David Hicks, is being held in dubious legal circumstances, according to four international lawyers, including the former top human rights investigator in Afghanistan for the United Nations.

But don’t worry, says US Vice President Dick Cheney, detainees are being “well-treated, treated humanely and decently.” Cheney wouldn’t lie, would he? Let’s not forget his comments before the Iraq invasion regarding Saddam’s connections to 9/11 and WMDs. In September 2003, he said that victory in Iraq, would strike at “the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9/11.” Seems like Iraq has now become the new recruiting ground for terrorism after, not before, the invasion.

Truth teller: Dick Cheney. So why the hell is prominent blogger, Andrew Sullivan – running hard on the Bush administration’s use of torture since 9/11 – giving prominence to this meaningless Cheney quote at the top of his blog: “Freedom means freedom for everyone.” Andrew, very unbecoming.

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